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Vol. XXVI, 1st Quarter
January–March 2008



Galactomannan from coconut

A Filipino researcher has tapped the potential of the Makapuno, a mutant coconut, as a source of galactomannan, a compound that helps ice cream not to melt easily. It also makes salad dressing stay in its right consistency.

Dr. Maria Judith Rodriguez of the Philippine Coconut Authority - Albay Research Center developed a method of isolating galactomannan from makapuno for food preparation and various industrial applications. This compound, also called Mak gum because it is derived from Makapuno, has been tried as a raw material for the development of biodegradable film (biofilm). Mak gum biofilm can be used as wound gauze and as wrapping material for food products. It has also been tried as an ingredient in the production of hand sanitizer and a substitute to or combined with agarose or polyacrylamide to lessen the cost of electrophoresis laboratory analysis with positive results.

Rodriguez’s project called “Isolation, Characterization and Utilization of Galactomannan from Makapuno” is monitored by the Los Baños-based Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), a science council of the Department of Science and Technology.

With sufficient support, discoveries on the other potential uses of Mak gum are not far-fetched, and it will further widen the range of products from the remarkable coconut, PCARRD says.