Effect of different pre-treatments of fresh coconut kernels on some of the quality attributes of the coconut milk extracted

Fresh, dehusked and shelled coconut kernels were subjected to blanching and freezing treatments and were tested for chemical and enzymatic deterioration and yield of milk by monitoring the percentage extraction of coconut milk, free fatty acid (FFA) content, peroxide value (PV), lipase (LIP) and peroxidase (POD) activities, once each fortnight for a total period of 8 weeks. The percentage extraction of milk varied between 31.0% and 33.5% in the blanched samples and did not show a significant change at p > 0.05, as compared to the values at week 0. Similar observations were seen in FFA content and the PV. The LIP activity in these samples decreased to almost 0.176% liberated FFA and POD activity to 0.387 Absorbance Units/g fresh-weight. In conclusion, the results indicated the efficiency of the pretreatment in suppressing the chemical and enzymatic deterioration of coconut kernels, which normally results in the loss of quality of the coconut milk when extracted.

Ultrasound extraction of phenolic compounds from coconut (Cocos nucifera) shell powder
Coconut is a tropical fruit largely consumed in many countries. In some areas of the Brazilian coast, coconut shell represents more than 60% of the domestic waste volume. The shell is composed mainly of lignin and cellulose with chemical composition very similar to wood. As several kinds of wood are used as a phenolic source to produce extracts for artificial aging of alcoholic beverages, in this work, the coconut shell was evaluated as a source of phenolic compounds. The coconut powder was submitted to different toasting temperatures and the phenolic compounds were extracted by the application of ultrasound. The ultrasound extraction methodology has been studied as a low cost alternative in substitution to solvent reflux extraction. The experiments were done according to a factorial experimental planning and the effects of toasting time, toasting temperature and extraction time were evaluated through response surface methodology. The results indicate that high amounts of phenolics can be extracted from coconut shell by ultrasound assisted extraction technology, and that the extraction time was the most significant parameter for the process.

Thermophysical properties of coconut milk
Thermal conductivity and specific heat of coconut milk were measured by a thermal conductivity probe apparatus and a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), respectively. Thermal diffusivity of coconut milk was then calculated from experimental results of thermal conductivity, specific heat, and density. It was found that thermal conductivity, specific heat, density, and thermal diffusivity of coconut milk samples with 20–35% fat content at 60–80 °C were in the range of 0.425–0.590 W/m °C, 3.277–3.711 kJ/kg °C, 969.00–983.05 kg/m3, and 1.325–1.634 × 10−7 m2/s, respectively. The empirical models for each property as a function of fat content and temperature were obtained.

Effects of coconut sugar and stabilizing agents on stability and apparent viscosity of high-fat coconut milk
This study was aimed at determining the physical properties of sterilized high-fat coconut milk (30%) as affected by coconut sugar (10–30%) and stabilizing agents, namely carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC, 0.6– 1.0%) and Montanox 60 (0.6–1.0%). The emulsion stability (ES) and rheological properties were determined after thermal processing at 121 °C for 60 min. At similar sugar content, increasing concentration of CMC or Montanox 60 resulted in an increase in ES. The concentrations of CMC and Montanox 60 in the range of 0.8–1.0% were found to give the ES in the range of 81.16–91.15%. These conditions were selected to conduct the rheological measurements. It was found that all samples exhibited pseudoplastic behavior with the flow behavior index (n) between 0.63 and 0.84. The results suggested that suitable ratio between coconut sugar and stabilizing agent contents should be specified in order to obtain a high quality of processed sweetened coconut milk.

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