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Improving the Value of the Coconut with Biotechnology

  • Fabian M. DayritEmail author
  • Quang Nguyen
Chapter
  • 36 Downloads

Abstract

Coconut is a traditional resource with many uses. It is experiencing a revival in interest due to the health benefits from numerous consumable products that can be derived from it. Processing of the fruit provides coconut milk, which is a basic ingredient for many traditional diets worldwide. Coconut milk is also a nutritious lactose-free substitute for cow milk. Further processing of the milk produces coconut flour and virgin coconut oil (VCO). Coconut flour is a gluten-free cooking and baking ingredient, while VCO is a nutritional and energy-rich supplement with medicinal properties. The fruit also yields coconut water, which provides a nutritious and refreshing drink with therapeutic applications. The coconut water can also be converted into nata de coco and coconut vinegar through fermentation. Nata de coco is not only a popular dessert but has also been developed for various biomaterial applications. Furthermore, coconut elite varieties, such as Makapuno and Aromatics, have been gaining popularity. Makapuno nuts are filled with galactomannan that has also been developed as a natural biocompatible material. Recently, coconut sugar extracted from the inflorescence sap has been gaining popularity due to its high nutritional value and low Glycemic Index. Biotechnology can be used to further enhance the utilization of each of these valuable products as food, nutraceutical, and novel materials. The coconut is truly a bountiful resource with numerous existing and potential applications.

Keywords

Coconut milk Nutritional value Medicinal value Antibacterial activity Nata de coco Elite varieties 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryAteneo de Manila UniversityQuezon CityPhilippines
  2. 2.School of Agriculture and Food SciencesThe University of QueenslandGattonAustralia
  3. 3.School of BiotechnologyInternational University, Vietnam National University-HCMHo Chi Minh CityVietnam

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