Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.) has a unique role in the diet as an important physiologically functional food. The health and nutritional benefits that can be derived from consuming coconut oil have been recognized in many parts of the world for centuries. The aim of this study was to compare the quality parameters of coconut oil under different common extraction techniques. Six different techniques of coconut oil extraction were employed to produce virgin coconut oil (VCOs) and refined coconut oil (RCO). VCOs were produced using enzymatic, chilling and thawing, centrifugation, natural-fermentation and induced-fermentation processes. The highest oil yield (83%) was from RCO and also RCO had a significantly higher peroxide value (1.06 meq/kg oil) than VCO samples. Antioxidant activity of RCO was significantly (p<0.5) lower than those of VCO samples, with induced-fermentation having the highest antioxidant activity of 28.3%. Interestingly, enzymatic extraction resulted in higher quantity of short-chain triglycerides. Although, there was no method which could result significantly in high quantity of all the tested parameters, induced-fermentation showed relatively high oil yield and antioxidant activity.
Key words: Antioxidants, coconut oil, extraction, fatty acids, quality.
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