Can Coconut Testa Oil be the Game Changer in Kerala’s Coconut Processing Industry?

Posted on 22/07/2024

Coconut testa oil, oil produced from the protective outer layer of coconut seed is going to change the fate of Kerala’s coconut processing industry, latest studies find.

A group of researchers from CFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute), one of the constituent laboratories under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Mysore, Karnataka found that Coconut Testa has Vitamin-E content four times higher than the pure coconut oil.

What is Coconut Testa?

Coconut Testa, which is the little hard brown portion surrounding the white kernel is a by-product from the coconut processing industry which is getting wasted. The research initiative was done as part of the study carried out to utilise testa as a source of edible oil.

What did the study find out?

The study report titled - Composition of Coconut Testa, Coconut Kernel and its Oil is published in the online journal, the American Oil Chemists' Society in June 2014.

The study proved that coconut testa contained more of natural antioxidants such as tocopherols, tocotrienols and phenolics compared to coconut kernel oil and may confer health benefits. While the coconut kernel oils contained fewer tocopherols(T) and tocotrienols (T3) content when compared to oils from testa.

Oils extracted from coconut testa were found to be rich in minor components like tocopherols, phenolics and phytosterols than oil extracted from the kernel or whole coconut.

Dried CT (Copra) and WCT (Testa of Wet Coconut) yield the same amount of fat like copra and dry coconut kernel; therefore, they can also be used as a good oil source. Oils extracted from WCT and CT could be used for regular consumption as they contain a similar fatty acid composition, acylglycerol and triacylglycerol profile, minor components like phenolics, phytosterols, tocopherols and tocotrienols for beneficial health effects.

The Kochi based, state-owned Coconut Development Board also conducted similar research on the usage of testa and have found that the Coconut Testa Oil contains high-quality natural antioxidants than it is found in the ordinary coconut oil.

While, coconut as a seed struggling to find a nominal market price, the latest findings on Testa will open up a way out to change the fate of Coconut and Coconut Oil.

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