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Thursday, June 17, 2010

VCO Technology

Virgin Coconut Oil (Short name as VCO) is fully transparent oil and made directly from fresh coconut triglyceride (MCT) which provides a quick source of energy. VCO can be processed either by dry or wet method. The choice of the processes depend on scale of the operation, degree of mechanization and availability of raw material and marketing strategies. The quality of VCO produced much depend on the quality of raw material of COCONUT (Cocos nucifera) and the processing method. The price if VCO in Malaysia yet to be studied due to its demand and supply and today still considered as a niche market.

This article will discuss about the VCO industry in Malaysia on nutritional value potential based on my observation as agriculture officer for nearly 30 years experience. At it is , Malaysia still not listed as VCO producers in the world even among ASEAN countries the production is very low. In 2009 only about RM 4.5 million of VCO has been produces in Malaysia in a small scale operation. So far only Coconut Ingredients Sabah Sdn Bhd is the only biggest producers of VCO in Malaysia and mostly exported to China market. Malaysia needs to improve current technology of production, produce high quality of VCO and add value to VCO which will contribute the variation of VCO product in the market. MARDI invented MVCO or called modified virgin coconut oil to produce novel product that's contain effective amounts of microbial components.

VCO must be seen as a Functional Food. VCO is more beneficial than any other plants oil since the mode of extraction retains most of its bio active components. VCO has 3 major claims as functional food that is (1) containing micro nutrients such as phopolipids, plants sterols , antioxidants (2) has unique metabolic pathways and can be easily digested and absorbed (3) when consumed, VCO is hydrolyzed by enzymes and produced MCFA and their corresponding monoglycerides that has antimicrobial properties.

VCO contains a  composition of phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylchlonine and phosphatidylinositol which is common phospolipids in coconut oil between 0.003-0.004%. Beta-sitosterol is the most common plant sterols in coconut oils. VCO also does not contain high cholesterol only about 5-24 ppm compare to animal fat (800-1,400 ppm), Butter (2,200-4,400 ppm) and lard fat (3,000-4,000).VCO was consumed throughout the world as natural antioxidant food. It has natural antioxidant that gives its long shelf life compared to any other edible oil. The medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) in VCO is easily digested and absorbed easily with minimal effort. VCO able to provide fast or quick source of energy to increase metabolism activity. it will result strengthened immunity system to the consumer.

Malaysia must improve the production of VCO processes. The quality and organolectid properties may differ in wet or dry processing method used by the VCO producers. As I visited a small processing plant in Muar and Batu Pahat recently, types of extraction method depend mostly on type of raw material used and the extraction method. Supply of matured coconut imported from Indonesia a much different results compare from MATAG coconut from local suppliers. Malaysia need for standardization VCO grades for future development.


M Anem
Pct11, Putrajaya,

(17 October 2010)

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