(press release) Monday, October 16, 2006
Professor Vermont P. Dia of the University of the Philippines Los Banos recently conducted several tests on samples of Virgin Coconut Oil produced by Mt. Banahaw Health Products Corporation in the Philippines for phenolic acid content. Professor Dia and his students found that the level of phenolic acid in these samples was higher than any other Virgin Coconut Oil they had previously tested. Mt. Banahaw Health Products Corporation's Virgin Coconut Oil is marketed in the US, Europe, and Australia under the brand name "Tropical Traditions," and was the first "Virgin Coconut Oil" exported from the Philippines in 2001.
Many local varieties of "Virgin Coconut Oil" have entered the Philippine market in the past 5 years. In 2005 Professor Vermont P. Dia conducted a study with some of his graduate students to analyze various Virgin Coconut Oils produced in different ways. Their results were published in December 2005, in The Philippine Agricultural Scientist, Vol. 88 No. 4, pages 462-475. The title of the article is "Comparative Physiochemical Characteristics of Virgin Coconut Oil." The results of this study have become the standard for Virgin Coconut Oil quality in the Philippines, and were published and implemented by both BFAD (Bureau of Food and Drugs) and PNS (Philippine National Standards). In this study they produced three batches of Virgin Coconut Oil in their laboratory using three different methods using little or no heat, and also analyzed six different commercial brands of Virgin Coconut Oil in the Philippines. Their results found that: "While the VCOs produced by the three methods and using different varieties had some differences in chemical and quality properties, these differences may not be large enough to significantly affect the overall quality of the VCO."
Mt. Banahaw Health Products Corp.'s Virgin Coconut Oil is not sold in the local Philippine market, and was therefore not included in the study. So the company sent samples to Professor Dia to analyze, since the company had never tested antioxidant activity in their oil. Professor Dia and his students were among the first to test for phenolic acid in Virgin Coconut Oil. When they tested the Virgin Coconut Oil of Mt. Banahaw Health Products Corp., the values for phenolic acid were 13.21 to 13.43 micrograms gallic acid per gram of oil. By comparison, the three samples Professor Dia and his students produced in the laboratory for their study published in The Philippine Agricultural Scientist, and the six commercial samples they tested for that study all had a range of 6.29 to 8.38 micrograms gallic acid of phenolic content per gram of oil. So the antioxidant value of phenolic acid was significantly higher in the Mt. Banahaw samples.
Brian Shilhavy, CEO and founder of both Mt. Banahaw Health Products Corp. and Tropical Traditions, commented: "This study validates what we have been saying for over five years now, that the traditional method of producing Virgin Coconut Oil results in a very high quality coconut oil, and that the new mass-produced machine-made coconut oils have no advantage over the traditional method practiced by families for generations." Professor Dia's report on these tests can be found on the Tropical Traditions website.
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