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Abstract (English):
In tropical regions coconut is the tree of great significance: it provides millions of people with food, employment, and business opportunities. The fruit is referred to as ‘miracle fruit’ due to its inherent rich profile of macro- and micro-nutrients for human nutrition and health. Different products, such as coconut water, milk, raw kernels, oil and desiccated coconut are commercially processed. Coconut flour is a byproduct of coconut milk and oil industry which is made from coconut meal leftover after processing. Being a rich source of dietary fibre and protein, it has found numerous applications in different functional foods. Coconut flour can be successfully incorporated into various food products, such as bakery, extruded products, snacks, and sweets. It has antidiabetic and anticancer effects, prevents cardiovascular diseases, and improves immune function. Coconut flour is also gluten-free and its nutritional composition is quite comparable to that of wheat flour. Gluten-free food products enriched with coconut flour are a healthy and viable option for the people with celiac disease. In this paper, we summarised the present use of coconut flour. There is an apparent need to convert the food processing byproducts into functional ingredients in order to implement their environment-friendly and efficient utilisation.

Coconut flour, dietary fibres, celiac disease, functional food, anticancer, antidiabetic, pasta, bakery
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Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) palm is a monocotyledon
belonging to Arecaceae or Palmae family. Coconut
is among the ten most useful trees in the world and
is referred to as ‘tree of life’, ‘tree of heaven’, ‘tree of
abundance’ due to its multi-utilisation in nutrition,
medicine, cosmetics, etc. [1]. Coconut palm can be
processed into coconut water, coconut milk, coconut
sugar, coconut oil, and coconut meat. Coconut consists of
outer fibrous coat, or husk known as exocarp, and inner
hard protective endocarp, or shell. A white albuminous
part is endosperm, or coconut meat, and inner cavity is
filled with clear fluid called coconut water (Fig 1).
There are two main varieties of coconut, i.e. tall and
dwarf ones, depending on fruiting time. The tall varieties
Review Article DOI:
Open Access Available online at
Coconut meal: Nutraceutical importance
and food industry application
Karandeep Kaur1, Navnidhi Chhikara2 , Poorva Sharma1, M.K. Garg3, Anil Panghal3,*
1 Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India
2 Department of Food Technology, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar, India
3 Department of Processing and Food Engineering, AICRP-PHET, Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana
Agricultural University, Hisar, India
* e-mail:
Received May 08, 2019; Accepted in revised form September 18, 2019; Published October 21, 2019
Abstract: In tropical regions coconut is the tree of great significance: it provides millions of people with food, employment, and
business opportunities. The fruit is referred to as ‘miracle fruit’ due to its inherent rich profile of macro- and micro-nutrients for
human nutrition and health. Different products, such as coconut water, milk, raw kernels, oil and desiccated coconut are commercially
processed. Coconut flour is a byproduct of coconut milk and oil industry which is made from coconut meal leftover after processing.
Being a rich source of dietary fibre and protein, it has found numerous applications in different functional foods. Coconut flour can
be successfully incorporated into various food products, such as bakery, extruded products, snacks, and sweets. It has antidiabetic
and anticancer effects, prevents cardiovascular diseases, and improves immune function. Coconut flour is also gluten-free and its
nutritional composition is quite comparable to that of wheat flour. Gluten-free food products enriched with coconut flour are a healthy
and viable option for the people with celiac disease. In this paper, we summarised the present use of coconut flour. There is an
apparent need to convert the food processing byproducts into functional ingredients in order to implement their environment-friendly
and efficient utilisation.
Statement of Novelty: The review discusses the recent research of coconut meal valorisation with the focus on technologies allowing
the promotion of coconut meal and its commercial availability.
Keywords: Coconut flour, dietary fibres, celiac disease, functional food, anticancer, antidiabetic, pasta, bakery
Please cite this article in press as: Kaur K, Chhikara N, Sharma P, Garg MK, Panghal A. Coconut meal: Nutraceutical importance and
food industry application. Foods and Raw Materials. 2019;7(2):419–427. DOI:
Copyright © 2019, Kaur et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix,
transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2
E-ISSN 2310-9599
ISSN 2308-4057
Figure 1 Internal view of Coconut [2]
Kaur K. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 419–427
grow slowly, and their fruiting occurs after 6–10 years of
plantation. The dwarf varieties grow faster, and fruiting
occurs within 4–5 years of plantation [3]. Indonesia,
Philippine and India are the largest coconut producers
in the world, with the annual production of 61, 18 and
15.86 million tons, respectively [4]. In India, Kerala’s
coconut production is 48.79%, followed by Karnataka
(18.90%), Tamil Nadu (17.70%), and Andhra Pradesh
(5.50%), which together accounts for 91% of the total
production in the country [5].
Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is the main product from
the coconut industry of great economic importance.
VCO is extracted from the fresh, mature coconut kernel
mechanically with or without the use of heat. Refining,
bleaching or deodorising is avoided in VCO extraction
to retain all its natural properties. The white residue,
or meal, left after the extraction of VCO is called
Virgin Coconut Meal (VCM). It can be milled to obtain
flour rich in dietary fibre and considered as a suitable
ingredient in the formulation of functional foods.
Production of coconut flour has been increased recently
due to its functional properties such as prevention of
diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and
colon cancer. Waste generated in the fruit, vegetable and
nut industry is full of valuable nutrients and needs to
be reused in value added food products thus providing
additional economic benefits [6, 7].
Processing of coconut flour. De-oiled cakes of
coconut and flour are a good source of dietary fibres.
Being a rich source of dietary fibre and protein, it has
found numerous applications in different functional
foods. Non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) or dietary fibre
are protective against gastrointestinal cancer, including
esophageal one [8].
There are two methods for VCO extraction: dry and
wet ones. In dry processing the fresh mature coconuts
are dehusked and deshelled. After the removal of
brown coat, the coconuts are grated and dried at 65–
70°C in tray or vacuum drier. The dried coconuts are
then subjected to cold press expeller to extract coconut
oil. The white low fat residue/meal obtained is grinded
to make coconut flour. In wet processing, the coconut
milk is extracted from the fresh kernel which is then
fermented naturally (at 35–40°C for 16–24 h) to obtain
VCO from coconut curd by phase separation. The meal
is milled into coconut flour [9]. The solvent extraction
method is generally avoided because of health hazards
and low quality meal [10]. Normally, the meal or the
residue obtained after the extraction of coconut oil is
used as cattle and poultry feed. Nevertheless, coconut
meal has nutraceutical properties, which make it useful
for human consumption, and should be incorporated
in various food products [11]. The meal contains
carbohydrates, protein and dietary fibre, which can also
be utilised for food enrichment. In addition, another
advantage of the meal is its low cost.
During food production and processing, hygiene
and sanitation are prerequisites to avoid any hazards to
enter in food supply chain [12]. The main concern in
food utilisation is that the unhygienic processing makes
copra press cake unsuitable for consumption by humans.
However, in order to overcome this problem, coconut
meal obtained from virgin coconut oil extraction can
be processed into coconut flour [13]. Coconut flour
can be marketed to the bakery, snacks, and noodles
manufacturers [14]. There is an apparent need to
convert the food processing by-products into functional
ingredients in order to implement environment-friendly
and efficient utilisation of these by-products.
Nutritional composition of coconut flour.
Composition of coconut flour mainly depends upon
the method employed for the extraction of coconut oil.
However, varieties have slight influence on oil content of
coconut and, thus, on flour. According to [15], coconut
flour is quite superior to wheat flour in terms of protein,
fibre, mineral, and lipid profile (Table 1).
Khan et al. investigated coconut flour composition
made from coconut meal obtained by dry processing
method [16]. The reported composition was: moisture,
6.7%; ash, 1.55%; protein, 14.3%; fat, 54.0%; fibre,
20.50%; and carbohydrates, 23.40%. Igbabul et al.
investigated the composition of coconut flour obtained
from fermented coconut slices which were deoiled by
dry processing method [17]. Thus, obtained coconut
flour possesses moisture of 5.27%; ash, 2.76%; protein,
12.31%; fat, 0.48%; fibre, 11.81%; and carbohydrates,
67.37%. Gunathilake et al. investigated the dry
processed coconut flour composition as: moisture,
9.76%; ash, 0.51%; protein, 9.90%; fat, 0.87%; fibre,
0.50%; and carbohydrates, 78.46% [18]. Coconut flour
produced by dry processing is rich in protein, while
flour from wet processing is predominantly rich in fibre
Health benefits of coconut flour. Functional food is
any food that imparts a positive effect on people’s health
and provides basic nutrition. Coconut milk residue
and virgin coconut oil meal are rich sources of dietary
fibre [19]. Dietary fibre is the best ingredient to be used
in the development of functional foods, due to its health
promoting effects, such as controlling cholesterol and
blood sugar levels, increasing the fecal bulk volume,
proliferation of gut microflora, decreasing intestinal
Table 1 Comparative proximate composition of wheat flour
and coconut flour
Component Wheat flour, % Coconut flour, %
Moisture 9.76 4.20
Ash 0.51 5.96
Protein 9.90 21.65
Fibre 0.50 10.45
Fat 0.87 8.42
Carbohydrates 78.46 59.77
Kaur K. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 419–427
transit time, trapping carcinogenic agents, etc. Fibre can
be supplemented using coconut flour to develop healthy
foods low in calories and fats. Coconut flour is a potent
functional ingredient used in food products with wide
health benefits (Table 2).
Antidiabetic effect. Glycemic index (GI) is a
therapeutic principle for diabetes mellitus. GI can be
estimated by determining the increase in blood glucose
concentration after the intake of a test meal for a specific
period of time and compared to equivalent control meal
consisting of bread or glucose. Low glycemic index
food reduces the postprandial blood glucose levels. The
glycemic index of coconut flour supplemented foods
decreases with increase in the amount of coconut flour
due to its high fibre content. This forms a scientific basis
for its utilisation as a functional food for the dietary
control and management of diabetes mellitus [20].
Not only the coconut dietary fibre but also the
coconut kernel proteins have an antidiabetic effect.
Coconut is rich in L-arginine which contributes to
glucose homeostasis through nitric oxide synthase
pathway leading to pancreatic beta cell regeneration [21].
It regulates blood glucose levels and improves insulin
sensitivity in diabetic and non-diabetic individuals [22].
Cardiovascular diseases prevention. An increase
in fibre intake is beneficial for heart health as it
lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels
thus reducing the risk of stroke and hypertension.
Coconut fire was shown to lower the serum cholesterol,
triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels thus reducing
the risk of coronary heart diseases. After fat digestion,
bile acids are reabsorbed in the body and then converted
into cholesterol. Coconut fibres prevent the re-absorption
of bile acids into enterohepatic circulation and bile acid
are excreted through feces along with fibre. This justifies
the need for the development of coconut flour food
products as a functional food [23].
The short chain fatty acids (butyrate, acetate and
propionate) produced by the fermentation of dietary fibres
in large intestine inhibits the synthesis of cholesterol in
the liver. Propionate is known to inhibit HMG (3-hydroxy-
3-methylglutaryl) CoA synthase, a limiting enzyme for
the synthesis of cholesterol from acetyl- CoA in the liver.
This fermentation metabolite decreases the cholesterol
synthesis by the rate of 45% [24].
Coconut fats increase the level of high density
lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, a good cholesterol
lowering the risk of coronary heart disease. Although
the polyphenol content in coconut is high, it maintains
normal levels of lipids in tissues by trapping the reactive
oxygen species in plasma and interstitial fluid of the
arterial wall resulting in the inhibition of LDL oxidation,
reversal of cholesterol transport and reduction in the
intestinal absorption of cholesterol [25].
Coconut proteins also exhibit hypolipidemic
effect due to the high content of L-arginine (24.5%),
a precursor of nitric oxide [26]. Nitric oxide is
an endogenous vasodilator and also prevents the
aggregation and adhesion of platelets and was
identified as an endothelium derived relaxing factor
(EDRF). The consumption of dietary arginine checks
hypercholesterolemia by correcting the reduced
concentrations of EDRF [27]. Consumption of coconut
products, such as desiccated coconut and coconut flour,
can therefore help improve the lipid profiles.
Anticancer effect. Colorective cancer is the cancer
of digestive tract, which depends on genetic factors (over
expression of enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2), oxidative
stress and diet. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers
and are considered as the potent chemo-preventive
components. Coconut flour contains high content
of phenols and flavonoids, which have antioxidant
properties (Table 1).
The study reported that coconut flour extracts
affect the integrity of the Caco-2 cancer cells of the
colon due to release of lactate dehydrogenase as found
in the cytotoxicity assays. The extracts also increase
the activity of detoxifying enzyme catalase which
is responsible for the neutralisation of hydrogen
peroxide [28]. Butyrate produced during the intestinal
fermentation of fibres has anti-inflammatory and
anticarcinogenic properties [29]. It enhances cell
Table 2 Health benefits of coconut flour
Component Health benefit Biological action Reference
Fiber Antidiabetic effect Reduces postprandial glucose levels [20]
Cardiovascular disease
Lowers the serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels [23]
Prebiotic and immune
Oligosaccharides produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of polysaccharides
present in coconut meal are a potent prebiotic substance for humans
Weight control Gives bulkiness without supplying fats, resulting in consumption of less food
and low calories
Fat Cardiovascular diseases
Coconut fats elevate the levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol,
a good cholesterol known to lower the risk of coronary heart disease
Protein Hypolipidemic effect Arginine checks hypercholesterolemia by correcting the reduced
concentrations of EDRF
Phenols and
Anticancer effect Coconut flour extracts affect the integrity of the Caco-2 cancer cells due
to release of lactate dehydrogenase as found in the cytotoxicity assays
Kaur K. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 419–427
differentiation which prevents tumor formation in
colon. Excess bile acids induces oxidative stress by the
production of reactive oxygen species which causes
repeated DNA damage leading to mutations and
carcinogenesis in the gastrointestinal tract [30]. The
secondary bile acids contribute to the risk of colorectal
cancer. Dietary fibre binds with the bile acids and
facilitates their effective fecal excretion [31].
Bioactive peptides also possess antioxidant
properties and other health benefits. The two peptides
from the coconut cake protein isolates, Pro-Gln-Phe-
Tyr-Trp and Arg-Pro-Glu-Ile-Val, are the peptides
exhibiting free radical scavenging activities with
4.28 and 7.65 μg/mL IC50 value respectively (IC50 is
the concentration of the peptide needed to scavenge
50 percent of the radical activity) [32].
Prebiotic and immune modulator. Dietary
fibres act as prebiotics and are essential for intestinal
microflora. Oligosaccharides produced by enzymatic
hydrolysis of polysaccharides present in coconut meal
are a potent prebiotic substance for humans [33].
Prebiotics are the non-digestible oligosaccharides
favouring the growth of Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli
and other microorganisms responsible for the intestinal
immune responses [34]. These bacteria carry out the
fermentation of the prebiotic oligosaccharides and
produce short chain fatty acids. ß-1,4-Mannobiose is a
disaccharide obtained from coconut flour which exhibits
immune modulating and prebiotic effect. It increases the
production of antibody IgA which prevents the growth
of pathogenic bacteria by increasing the phagocytic
activity. The branched structure of ß-1,4-Mannobiose
shows similarity with the bacterial cell wall components
and thus acts as a toll-like receptor agonist. Toll-like
receptors activate the signaling pathways that are
responsible for the host defense mechanisms [35].
Weight control. Dietary fibre is an important tool for
obesity control by the nutrition and diet professionals.
Consumption of dietary fibre is known to show
significant changes in the gut hormones, glycemic index,
gastric emptying, and satiation indices. As coconut
consists of fibre, it absorbs water and provides a feeling
of fullness. It gives bulkiness without supplying fats,
resulting in consumption of less food and low calories
and thus regulating weight. Hypoenergetic diet, when
supplemented with coconut flour, lowers glucose and
cholesterol levels thus managing obesity [36].
Gluten free flour. Celiac disease is genetically
inherited chronic disease characterised by an immune
response on the consumption of gluten. This auto
immune response causes villi damage of the small
intestine and thus hampers the absorption of nutrients
into the body leading to gastrointestinal distress
and malnutrition [37]. At present, the only treatment
for gluten intolerance is strict avoidance of gluten
containing foods made up of wheat, barley, and rye. The
main constraint in gluten free diets is that these are quite
poor in dietary fibres and carbohydrates.
On the contrary, coconut flour contains abundant
amount of fibres (Table 1). Gluten free foods can be
enriched with natural non-cereal gluten free fibre
sources such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, or
seed. Coconut flour is marketed as a gluten free product
for flour replacement and as an additive to cereal
products (Table 3). Thus, gluten free food products
enriched with coconut flour are a healthy and viable
option for the people with celiac disease.
Table 3 Coconut flour food products
Food product Ingredients used References
Bread Refined wheat flour, coconut flour (10–30% substitution with refined wheat flour) [18]
Plain cake Wheat flour, coconut flour (10–30% substitution with wheat flour), egg, sugar, powder milk,
baking powder and soybean oil
Cookies Wheat flour, coconut flour fiber concentrate (10% and 20% substitution with wheat flour),
sugar, fat, corn flour, salt, ammonium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and water
Extruded ready-to-eat
(RTE) snacks
VCM flour (5–20% substitution with rice flour), rice flour, sugar and cardamom powder [16]
Cold extruded and
baked RTE snacks
African breadfruit flour, cashew nut flour, defatted coconut flour (in the ratio of 8:5:2
respectively), sugar, water, salt, flavourings and wheat flour
Gluten free cookies Rice flour, coconut flour (30% and 50% substitution with rice flour), maple syrup, butter, egg
powder, ammonium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate
RTE Breakfast cereals Maize flour, African yam bean seeds flour, coconut flour (10–50% incorporation in maize and
African yam bean flour blends), sorghum malt extract, sugar, salt and water
Noodles Wheat flour, coconut flour (10–30% level incorporation in wheat flour), water and salt [15]
Biscuits Refined wheat flour, virgin coconut meal (5–25% replacement with refined wheat flour),
hydrogenated fat, sugar, baking powder and water.
Breakfast cereal Composite flour ( rice flour and soybean flour in the ratio of 50:50), coconut flour (5–20%
replacement with composite flour)
Gluten free cookies Rice cream, coconut flour, potato starch, sugar, butter, eggs, xanthum gum, salt, sodium
carbonate, lemon juice, honey essence and chocolate chips
Sweet meat (ladoo) VCM, desiccated coconut powder, whole wheat flour, sugar, cashew nut and hydrogenated fat [53]
Kaur K. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 419–427
Antinutrients. Anti-nutrients are the substances
which either inhibit the absorption of nutrients or hinder
in their further metabolic pathways. Major substrate
cereals, legumes and millets have certain antinutrients,
such as phytic acid, lathyrogens, saponins, lectins,
haemagglutinins, alpha amylase inhibitors, etc. They
lower the bioavailability of minerals and inhibit the protein
digestion. Coconut flour can be considered as a good
substitute for gluten free products and other processed due
to the absence of an antinutritional factor [38].
Coconut flour. Coconut flour is successfully
incorporated into bakery, extruded products and
traditional sweets.
Bakery products. Cereal based cookies, bread,
crackers (an integral part of human diet) accounts
mainly for energy source in human nutrition therefore
they are good vehicles for supplementation of nutrients
[39]. Gunathilake et al. used coconut flour in different
proportions (10, 20, and 30%) for refined wheat flour
bread to enhance proteins, amino acid profile and
dietary fibres [18]. Cereal proteins are not a valuable
source of lysine [40]. The mixing behavior of the
wheat flour and coconut flour blends was analysed.
It was found that water absorption decreased while
dough development time, arrival time, and stability
increased with 20% substitution. The study concluded
that acceptable quality of bread can be made by 20%
substitution of the wheat flour with coconut flour.
Hossain et al. made nutritionally rich cake by
incorporating coconut flour in wheat flour [41].
Substitution of wheat flour with 20% coconut flour for
the preparation of plain cake resulted in increase in
moisture by 0.75%, protein by 0.58%, fat by13.84%, ash
by 0.91%, crude fibre by 0.9%, while the carbohydrate
content decreased by 16.16%. The moisture content
increased due to the presence of water holding matrix
i.e. dietary fibres (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, etc.),
which resulted in an enhancement of cake volume.
Yalegama and Chavan made fibre supplemented
cookies with coconut flour fibre extracts [13]. Fats,
proteins and sugars were removed from coconut flour
and the purified fiber was incorporated into cookies.
10% coconut fibre substituted cookies showed good
overall acceptability. The coconut flour was found
to contain 13.4 g/100g fat, 9.3 g/100g crude fibre,
3.7 g/100g moisture, and 18.8 g/100g total sugars. Cell
wall polysaccharide concentrate was prepared from
the coconut flour with free flowing properties and was
used in the preparation of cookies. The cookies showed
a slight increase in moisture content by 1% and ash
content by 0.19%. The protein content decreased by 0.1%
and carbohydrate increased by 3.2%. The protein content
decreased and carbohydrate increased due to addition
of extra sugar and fat in the cookies. The sensory
properties decreased with increasing level of substitution
with coconut fibre. High fibre cookies can be made by
supplementation with coconut fibre.
Sivakami and Sarojini formulated biscuits using
defatted coconut flour, rice flakes, and defatted soya
flour [42]. The biscuits contained lower amount of fibre
(2 g) which might be due to highly processed flours used
for the preparation of biscuits. The carbohydrate content
of biscuits was found to be in the range of 54–57 g. The
biscuits provided 464 kcal of energy per 100 g.
Srivastava et al. prepared virgin coconut meal
(VCM) incorporated refined wheat flour biscuits [43].
Sample investigations showed that incorporation of
15% VCM was most suitable for the acceptable sensory
qualities of biscuits. Fibre and protein content was
comparatively high as compared to the 100% wheat
flour biscuits. Addition of VCM increased the hardness
of the dough and decreased the adhesiveness. Addition
of VCM also resulted in an increase of moisture by
1.14% (due to high water absorption capacity), fat by
14.55%, protein by 1.41%, ash content by 0.47%, and
fibre by 3.40%. The 5–25% VCM resulted in decrease in
palmitic and oleic acids, while lauric, myristic, caprylic
and capric acids increased. Potassium content increased
by 382.82 mg/100 g, calcium by 14.8 mg/100 g, iron
by 4.94 mg/100 g, sodium by 32.98 mg/100 g, and zinc
by 0.51 mg/100 g. The hardness of dough increased by
2.41 N on 10% replacement with VCM. Coconut meal
flour is used owing to its high energy density, high food
grade proteins, functional properties and other health
benefits. The study found that de-oiled coconut meal
flour biscuits were rich in all nutrients and can be used
for the production of supplementary protein foods.
Paucean et al. developed gluten-free cookies from
rice and coconut flour blends with pleasant flavour and
taste [44]. The nutritional properties of coconut flour
make it suitable for the value addition of the baked
foods. 50% substitution of coconut flour with rice flour
was most acceptable in sensory qualities and showed
increase in moisture by 6.65%, total fat by 2.15%,
proteins by 2.55% and ash by 0.38%.
Snacks. Modern lifestyle improved living standard,
and changing eating habits have opened a huge market
of snacks [45]. Khan et al. made virgin coconut meal
(VCM) incorporated rice based extruded ready-to-eat
snacks [16]. The extrusion temperature was maintained
from 40 to 185°C for 9 zones with screw speed of
150 rpm. Incorporation of VCM in the amount of 10%
in rice snacks was most acceptable. It showed a decrease
in expansion ratio by 0.233, mass flow rate by 16 g/min
while increase in bulk density by 0.36 g/ml, water
holding capacity by 1.83 g/g, fibre content by 0.21%, and
protein by 0.77%.
Okafor and Ugwu made cold extruded and baked RTE
snacks from blends of breadfruit (Treculia Africana L.),
cashewnut (Anacardium occidentale L.) and coconut
meal [46]. Coconut flour addition showed an increase in
fibre by 0.47%, fat by 1.16%, bulk density by 0.06%, pro
vitamin by 2.6 mg/100g, vitamin B2 by 0.046mg/100g,
vitamin B3 by 0.116 mg/100g while decrease in moisture
Kaur K. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 419–427
by 1.75%, protein by 1.32%, carbohydrates by 3.87%,
porosity by 0.04% and lateral expansion by 2.33%. The
fibre content of the extruded snacks increased with the
addition of defatted coconut flour. As was proved, fibre
rich foods control the blood glucose levels in diabetic
people; therefore the snacks with coconut flour as one of
the ingredients have potential application as diabetic food.
Mihiranie et al. made snack crackers with coconut
flour to improve the dietary fiber, protein and mineral
content [47]. Addition of coconut flour decreases the
thickness and puffiness of the crackers. 20% of the
defatted coconut flour can be successfully added to
the wheat flour without compromising the sensory
properties. It was concluded that defatted coconut flour
is a potent ingredient for the formulation of healthy and
low cost snack crackers.
Queiroz et al. prepared potato starch gluten free
cookies with 10% incorporation of coconut flour [48].
This amount of coconut flour resulted in an increase
in moisture by 10.5%, ash by 0.12%, protein by 1.08%,
lipid by 3.46%, as well as in a decrease in carbohydrates
by 15.19% and energy value by 25.1 kcal/g. The
enrichment of the cookies with coconut flour improved
its nutritional quality and provided superior physical
and physicochemical properties to the product. The lipid
and protein content was increased but the carbohydrate
content was decreased.
Breakfast cereal. Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are
gaining popularity due to convenience and improved
nutritional value [49]. Okafor and Usman prepared RTE
breakfast cereals from blends of maize, African yam
bean, defatted coconut cake and sorghum malt extract
[50]. It was concluded that addition of defatted coconut
flour increased the pH and water absorbing capacity
of the formulation but decreased the bulk density, oil
absorbing capacity and viscosity of the breakfast cereal.
Increased levels of coconut flour addition showed more
protein digestion. 50% substitution of coconut flour
resulted in an increase in water absorbing capacity
by 8.07%, in vitro protein digestibility by 15.9% and
in a decrease in oil absorption capacity by 0.45%,
foam capacity by 1.01%, viscosity by 11.35%, and
emulsification capacity by 1.64%.
Ojali et al. made breakfast cereals by blending rice,
soybean, and defatted coconut flour blends [51]. It was
found that the protein and crude fibre content increased
with the addition of soybean and defatted coconut flour,
respectively, while the carbohydrate content decreased.
Thus, the nutritional quality of the breakfast cereals
can be enhanced by addition of soybean and defatted
coconut flour. 20% coconut flour composition resulted
in an increase in ash by 1%, crude fibre by 0.54%,
carbohydrate by 1.76%, crude fat by 0.7% and a decrease
in crude protein by 6.72%, tannin content by 0.27%, and
oxalate content by 1%.
Pasta. Pasta is the primary convenience food
available in different shapes and size like spaghetti,
noodles, vermicelli, etc., which are consumed worldwide
[52]. The nutritional and functional characteristics
of noodles can be increased by their fortification with
proteins and fibres. Noodle fortification can be an
effective public health intervention. Gunathilake and
Abeyrathne developed coconut flour incorporated wheat
flour noodles to supplement wheat flour noodles with
fibre and protein [15]. Wheat flour noodles were used
as a medium for the incorporation of fibre and protein
because in Asia 40% of the wheat flour is used for
making noodles. The noodles made by addition of 20%
coconut flour were not much different from 100% wheat
flour noodles in sensory properties. 20% substitution
showed more stable dough due to stabilisation of gluten
by coconut proteins and thus better textural properties.
Sweets. Coconut burfi enjoys great popularity,
especially in Southern India. It is generally made from
desiccated coconut. Coconut ladoo is also a popular
Indian sweet rich in fibre and protein. It generally
contains sugar, wheat flour, hydrogenated fat, dry fruits
and flavouring substances in desiccated coconut powder
[11]. Srivastava et al. made Indian traditional Sweet
meat (ladoo) from VCM and analysed the shelf life of
the product under different conditions at the ambient
temperatures of 15–35°C [11]. The main ingredients used
in the formulation were VCM, sugar, and water.
The study found that the samples with potassium
sorbate, an antimycotic agent, showed a shelf life of 4
months as compared to the samples without it, whose
shelf life was only three weeks due to mold growth
and fermenting odour. The loss of moisture from the
samples and sorbic acid degradation rates were higher in
polypropylene packaging as compared to the metalised
polyester packaging.
Normally, coconut ladoo is made from desiccated
coconut and sold by the small scale confectioners
without proper protective packaging material. The
study found that during storage the samples packaged
in polypropylene turned hard and brittle because of the
moisture loss, while the samples packaged in metalised
polyester remained soft longer.
Awasthi made gluten-free coconut flour ladoo and
coconut flour burfi [53]. Coconut flour is a useful product
for gluten-allergic people because it is gluten-free. It can
be used as a wheat flour substitute for preparing various
dishes. Fat and protein contents in ladoo were 33.8% and
2.1%, respectively, while those in burfi were 46.6% and
2.91%. Table 3 shows coconut flour incorporated to food
Coconut meal obtained from extraction of virgin
coconut oil can be used in the form of coconut flour as
it is nutritious and a good source of proteins, minerals
and dietary fibre. Coconut flour made from coconut meal
promotes health and prevents diseases such as diabetes,
obesity, colon cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.
The flour can be used in the preparation of gluten-free
products for individuals with celiac disease.
Utilisation of coconut meal in the form of coconut
flour aims at incorporation of dietary fibres and proteins
Kaur K. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 419–427
into the gluten free food. In India, the meal obtained after
the extraction of coconut oil is usually discarded or used
as animal feed. If hygienically processed, the meal can
be used to make flour, which can be utilised for making
a variety of food products. Agro-industrial waste can be
used in an efficient way for human consumption.
Extruded products such as pasta, noodles, and readyto-
eat snacks can also be made using coconut flour.
Coconut flour is an underutilised product of coconut
industry and its present use is very limited. There is
immense need of commercial processing techniques to
enhance utilisation of coconut flour from coconut meal.
Coconut flour extruded products will be convenience
products with nutritional and health benefits. Coconut
flour is a high protein, fibre-rich and gluten-free
functional food product.
Authors declare no conflict of interest.


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