By: Estrella Z. Gallardo

The Philippine Coconut Authority Albay Reseach Center Recognizing the potential of novel coconut products as a profitable enterprise, a research project on the utilization of coconut genetic resources for high value and emerging products, titled “ Development and Optimization of Isolation Protocol for Food Grade Galactomannan, Potein and Oil from Makapuno” was implemented through the support of Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARD) in 2011-2013.

Makapuno is a coconut mutant with white, viscous, translucent and jelly-like meat that almost fills the nut cavity. Although considered as a special coconut on its own, the commercial use of makapuno has been limited to the traditional preserves or candies and production of seedings from the embryo.

The project explored the novel uses of the makapuno endosperm by isolating its natural components with potentially high nutritional and economic value that resulted in production of high-value and non-traditional by-products.

Through the project, four products were derived. These are the Mak gum, Mak oil, Mak protein and Mak cream.

Mak gum is a product from both the solid and liquid makapuno endosperm . In powder from, it could be used as extender/thickener, gelling agent,emulsifier, and stabilizer. The quick alcohol precipitation method of isolating industrial-grade Mak gum from makapuno liquid endosperm was optimized and standardized while the extraction methoid of Mak gum from makapuno solid endorsperm was developed. Further experiemnts on the proportions of Mak gum led to production of biodegradable, film and tested as edible wrappers for candies and fresh lumpia.

Instead of the freezing/thawing and centrifugation method that worked successfully for extracting virgin coconut oil (VCO) from normal coconut, a different approach was devised for extracting oil from makapuno. This is called the Mak oil.

In extracting Mak oil from makapuno, the galactomanan or gumy layer was first removed followed by freezing/thawing and centrifugation. Mak oil is water white with fresh natural scent and very low moisture content. It can be used topically as massage theraphy oil.

The residue left after the extraction of Mak gum and Mak oil from the solid endosperm is called Mak protein. Similar to defatted coconut flour, Mak protein is a rich source of albumin, which is used in cosmetic products. While albumin derived from Mak protein could also offer another option to the food and cosmetic industries and their consumers.

On the other hand, the Mak cream was derived from the loose solid Makapuno endosperm. It is edible and lactose-free. It can be a potential substitute to creams of animal origin, which are allergenic to some people with lactose intolerance. It is observed that Mak cream exfoliates, moisturizes, nourishes, and tightens the skin when applied topically. It is non-greasy and non-allergenic even on prolonged use.

10.Approximate cost of production of natural ingredients from Makapuno endosperm was initially computed. With a total cost of P5,500 the following were produced: 3 kg of Mak gum, 200ml of Mak oil, 1.7 kg of Mak protein residue, and 165 g of mak cream. These were valued at P6,083.00 Makapuno By products are more than just preserves and candies but offer a lot as source of additional income.(PSciJourn MegaManila)