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Hydrolysis of Virgin Coconut Oil Using Immobilized Lipase in a Batch Reactor

DOI: 10.1155/2012/542589

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Hydrolysis of virgin coconut oil (VCO) had been carried out by using an immobilised lipase from Mucor miehei (Lipozyme) in a water-jacketed batch reactor. The kinetic of the hydrolysis was investigated by varying the parameters such as VCO concentration, enzyme loading, water content, and reaction temperature. It was found that VCO exhibited substrate inhibition at the concentration more than 40% (v/v). Lipozyme also achieved the highest production of free fatty acids, 4.56?mM at 1% (w/v) of enzyme loading. The optimum water content for VCO hydrolysis was 7% (v/v). A relatively high content of water was required because water was one of the reactants in the hydrolysis. The progress curve and the temperature profile of the enzymatic hydrolysis also showed that Lipozyme could be used for free fatty acid production at the temperature up to 50°C. However, the highest initial reaction rate and the highest yield of free fatty acid production were at 45 and 40°C, respectively. A 100 hours of initial reaction time has to be compensated in order to obtain the highest yield of free fatty acid production at 40°C. 1. Introduction Coconut oil, which is derived from the seeds of coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is traditionally processed from the meat of the fruit, called copra. Copra is the dried kernel that produced by smoke drying, sun drying, or a combination of both methods. Therefore, it is usually colorless to pale brownish yellow. Recently, the most welcomed product from coconut is virgin coconut oil (VCO), particularly from the tropical countries. The concept of producing VCO is actually triggered by the well-known virgin olive oil that produced from Mediterranean Basin. The high demand for the virgin oils is definitely due to the preservation of oil composition, including the minor components such as provitamin A, vitamin E, phytosterols, and polyphenols, without aflatoxin contamination and oxidative rancidity from drastic processing and handling approach. These minor components are believed to have the nutritional benefits. By definition, VCO is defined as the oil obtained from the fresh, mature kernel of coconuts by mechanical or natural means without the use of heat, chemical refining, bleaching, and odorizing which does not lead to the alteration of the natural content of the oil [1]. It should also have the moisture content less than 0.1%. Because of the beneficial effects on human health [2, 3] and high saturation degree [1] as well as high oxidative stability of VCO [4], the oil is the great source of oil material for the production of value-added

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