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VCO has “zero” trans fat – FNRI

Researchers of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) tested samples of virgin coconut oil (VCO) for trans fatty acid using the standard method of the American Oil Chemist Society (AOCS) and found that it contains very low trans fatty acid content which can be declared as “zero” based on the 2008 US FDA Food Labeling Guide.

The FNRI researchers further studied the moisture, cholesterol and fatty acid profile of VCO using validated methods of analyses.

The study showed that the moisture and the fatty acid content of the VCO were within the prescribed Philippine National Standard (PNS) set by the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (DA-BAFPS), while the cholesterol values were lower than the edible oils found in the market.

The study found that VCO contains mostly short and medium chain fatty acid, fifty percent of which is lauric acid. According to Dr. Conrado S. Dayrit, past president of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST-DOST), coconut oil also has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiprotozoal properties.

Samples of VCO manufactured in the Philippines were sent to the Japan Food Research Laboratory in Tokyo to compare and verify the accuracy of the FNRI findings. The results obtained by the Japanese food laboratory were similar to the values obtained by the FNRI.

For more information on food and nutrition, write or call: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City. E-mail: mcv@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com Telefax: 837-2934 and 827-3164, or call: 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST /  Czarina Teresita S. Martinez

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