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Feature: Coconut flour a healthy alternative to wheat, other flour products

Dagupan City (18 November) -- The price of flour has risen and keeps on increasing until now. Scarcity of supply of wheat and flour products worldwide is the main reason for the continuous rise of their prices in the market. Local bakers announced that they would raise the prices of their products unless the government finds a substitute that is cheaper and locally available.

The Philippines is the second largest coconut producer in the world and the largest exporter of coconut producers. One of the products of the coconut is the sepal. This is taken after the extraction of the coconut milk from its meat. The sapal or coconut residue is made into coconut flour

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology investigated and found the potential of using flour made from coconut residue as an ingredient in the formulation of functional foods. Coconut flour has a greater total dietary fiber (TDI) content which is even greater than the popular dietary fiber sources such as oat brand and flaxseed.

Increased intake of high fiber food was found to be effective in the elimination of waste, sugar and fat from the body and is recommended for better control of chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardio vascular and cancer.

The use of coconut flour in the formulation of different food products would benefit not only the coconut industry and local bakers but also the general consuming public. This is by making available sources of dietary fiber in products such as extruded snacks, processed meat, breakfast cereals and bakery products like the pan de sal. Other products that can be made with coconut flour include white bread, multi grain loaf, brownies, carrot cake, macaroons, granola bar and cinnamon.

The technology for producing coconut flour from the residue is simple and only requires locally available equipment. Coconut flour can be the alternative and the answer that the government needs to fill the gap in the scarcity pr low supply of wheat and flour products. As people get more health conscious, the demand for functional food products increases as well. (PIA/FNRI-DOST) [top]

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