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Submitted: 16 May 2007 Modified: 15 June 2017
HERDIN Record #: PCHRDPC910228

A study of the amino acids in coconut meat.

 Lugay J Jr,
 Phung-Le A

This work presents a study of the amino acids contents of coconut meat. Many works have been published on the utilization of coconut as food. Copra is the main raw material used in industry for the production of both technical and edible coconut oil, and large amounts of copra meal are obtained as by-product, of which a portion is exported and only a small portion is consumed locally as supplement in animal feed and as fertilizer. copra meal has long been considered of no value as food for human consumption. This may be due to fact that copra, as commonly found in the market, is highly contaminated with bacteria which develop during the process of manufacture and storing that cause the fermentation and sometimes putrefaction of its non-oil components. Furthermore, there appears to be a lack of sufficient information on the true food value of the copra meal. Many papers have been published on the utilization of coconut, on the proximate composition of coconut meat and copra, with particular reference to their oil and protein contents, but there seems to be no published works on the composition of the protein, i.e. its amino acids contents. This study is undertaken with the hope that the information will aid further the utilization of coconut and its by-products as food for human consumption In this investigation, both fresh and dried coconut meat were used. In the fractionation of the proteins, the conventional method of treating the sample successively with several different solvents was followed and the proteins recovered from the different fractions by precipitation with various precipitants. To avoid the troublesome cream formation, the oil was previously separated before the protein fractionation The amino acids were separated and identified in the different fractions by ascending paper chromatography, using butanol and phenol as developing agents. The quantitative determination was done by spectrophotometric measurements of their ninhydrin color compounds. Both the qualitative and quantitative determinations were run alongside standards of known concentrations The analysis shows that coconut protein at least 19 different amino acids of which 17 have been identified and 11 quantitatively determined. The amino acids that have been qualitatively identified are tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine, leucine, glycine and threonine. The following have been qualitatively and quantitatively determined, the figures representing grams of amino acids per 16 grams of nitrogen: glutamic acid 20.532; proline 16.9; isoleucine 10.491; lysine 7.219; arginine 6.659; valine 6.12; aspartic acid 5.637; cystine 4.758; histidine 0.772; and methionine 0.645 Based on the amino acid contents of the coconut protein (coconut fresh meat contains 6 to 7 percent protein), the results show that they have the essential amino acids required for human nutrition.(Summary and Conclusion)

Publication Type
Acta Manilana
1967 Jun
Publication Date
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