Coconut News


By Marvyn N. Benaning

Administrator Oscar Garin of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) reported that the PCA's Research Center (PCA-ARC) has developed cosmetics from macapuno, and this development may spell another boost to the coconut industry.

Garin said Dr. Maria Judith B. Rodriguez of the PCA-ARC has been working on project to develop cosmetics from macapuno, and PCA gave her a P100,000 grant in June 2008 for a project proposal entitled "Isolation, Characterization and Utilization of Galactomannan from Macapuno."

The PCA chief said the study was inspired by the agency's desire to find other high-value products from macapuno, which is a favorite dessert among Filipinos.

Compared to normal coconuts, macapuno has higher content of galactomannan, a polysaccharide also classified as a gum. Galactomannan gives the macapuno "its jellylike solid endosperm (meat) and highly viscous liquid endosperm. "

"Usually the meat is made into jam while the liquid endosperm is thrown away, " says Rodriguez. Little did Rodriguez expect that the liquid endosperm treated as waste could be source of high-value products like cosmetics.

"Newly harvested macapuno liquid endosperm, when applied as is on the hands and other parts of the body (including hair), has a soothing and moisturizing effect " she says.

Rodriguez discovered that macapuno's liquid endosperm could be the basic ingredient for hand and body lotions. Her study was able to develop an inexpensive and large-scale method of isolating the galactomannan from the waste macapuno liquid endosperm.

The whitish, fibrous powder of galactomannan produced she later called mak gum. A liter of waste macapuno liquid endosperm can make 50 grams of mak gum.

The hand and body lotion's major ingredient was the mak gum, while the virgin coconut oil was its anti-bacterial and fungal agent.

Rodriguez says the galactomannan found in macapuno is a natural biopolymer that has a natural hydrating function. She says "its high moisturizing capacity then makes it suitable for formulations that treat dry, damaged or aged skin. "

Manila Bulletin , June 09, 2008


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