Standards for Essential Composition and Quality Factors of Commercial Virgin Coconut Oil and its Differentiation from RBD Coconut Oil and Copra Oil


Fabian M. Dayrit*, Olivia Erin M. Buenafe, Edward T. Chainani,
Ian Mitchelle S. de Vera, Ian Ken D. Dimzon, Estrella G. Gonzales
and Jaclyn Elizabeth R. Santos
National Chemistry Instrumentation Center
Department of Chemistry, Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines


Commercial samples of virgin coconut oil (VCO), refined, bleached and deodorized coconut oil (RBD CNO), and copra oil were analyzed using standard chemical parameters: gas chromatography (GC) of the fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), % moisture by Karl Fischer titration, % volatile matter at 120° C, % free fatty acid, iodine value, peroxide value, and microbial contamination. Principal components analysis (PCA) of the GC-FAME results indicates that the various samples cannot be differentiated by their fatty acid composition, indicating that the fatty acid profile is not affected by the processing method. No trans-fatty acid was detected in all samples down to 0.01% (w/w) detection limit. VCO can be differentiated from RBD CNO and copra oil using the following tests: % moisture by Karl Fischer, % volatile matter volatile at 120° C, and peroxide value.



Coconut oil is a vegetable oil derived from the kernel of Cocos nucifera Linn. The international standards for coconut oil are set mainly by 2 organizations: the Codex Alimentarius, and the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC). The current Codex standard for coconut oil, which is based on commercial refined, bleached and deodorized coconut oil (RBD CNO), states that edible vegetable oils may be refined by alkali extraction and washing, bleaching and deodorization to remove undesirable constituents and to prolong shelf life (Codex Alimentarius 2006).




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