Comparative Study of Physico-Chemical Properties of Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera L.) Obtained by Industrial and Artisanal ProcessesAuthor(s): Jakeline Santos Martins, Jose Carlos Oliveira Santos* and Marta Maria da Conceicao
Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.), widely used by the food and pharmaceutical industry, has required analytical methods capable of evaluating processing and storage conditions. In this work, the chemical composition and physicochemical properties of the extra virgin coconut oil produced by the Brazilian industry and the coconut oil obtained in a handmade way were compared. The results confirm the high content of saturated fatty acids in coconut oil, mainly due to the high content of lauric acid (approximately 2% for extra virgin oil and 3% for oil obtained by hand), responsible for increasing the oxidation stability, besides changing the oil melting profile, contributing to the increase of the use of the fat of this oil in specific products of the pharmaceutical and food industries. It can be estimated that in most cases the results obtained for samples of industrial and artisanal coconut oil were higher than the standards established by National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance. However, the analyzes made of coconut oil were extremely important to be able to refer to this oil, as its studies are still scarce and controversial in the literature. Considering that coconut oil is widely used in the media, the comparative analysis of the chemical composition and the physic-chemical characteristics of the oils studied can contribute significantly to provide clarification on the difference Among the oils, when obtained through the industrial and artisanal processes, aiming to make people aware of obtaining a quality product.