The Bread of Life : The Coconut Flour
In late 2008, The Philippine Coconut Authority, and Julie’s Franchise Corporation held a press conference for the launch of the original Filipino project: the coconut flour. Dubbed “The Bread of Life”, coconut flour is posed to become a formidable substitute to conventional flour in local bakeshop products, especially the Filipino staple, pan de sal.
With the volatile economy in the country in recent years, investors in the financial market are shifting their sights to safer commodities, like coconut products, says Atty. Arturo Liquete, Deputy Administrator of the Trades and Market Development Branch, Philippine Coconut Authority.
President and Chief Operating Officer of the Julie’s Franchise Corporation cited that the price increase of local flour has prompted the invention of the coco flour project. Additionally, studies show that both the bakeshop and coconut industries will benefit tremendously if coconut flour can substitute at least 10% of the total flour usage in bakeshop products.
Liquete also adds that the economic success of coconut flour, just like other locally-produced commodities, highly depends on consumers, and as such, they must be encouraged to patronize local products.
Our health and lifestyle Promoting coconut flour is not just for economic purposes, but for the health and cultural growth of the country as well.
Coco queen expert and coconut products endorser Cory Quirino, who was present at the conference, expresses her personal hopes, “to see the coconut as part of the lifestyle of every Filipino.” With the mantra “Kalusugan, Kalakasan, Kagandahan”, she adds, “Its only side effect is that you become more beautiful.”
Other coconut products considered to be healthy functional foods are coco sugar, coco honey, and the soon to be launched coco wine.
The Coco Pan de Sal
Pioneer Julie’s bakeshop pioneered the use of coco flour in the Nutribread line of their bakeshop products. In September 2008, the franchise started the pipeline of products using coco flour in their shops, including products such as sweet coco pan de sal, pan Americano and coco pimiento. Other coco flour products are also in their final stage before Julie’s bakeshop launches them: coco bread with kalabasa, coco bread with malunggay, and coco bread with VCO (virgin coconut oil).
With this growing list of coconut products, the future of the Philippine coconut industry is indeed looking up.
Dr. Trinidad P. Trinidad of the Department of Science and Technology and Food and Nutrition Research Institute presented the following findings on the Nutritional and Health benefits of Coconut Flour:
1. Coconut flour is a good source of dietary fiber.
2. Coconut flour has little or no effect on mineral absorption.
3. Coconut flour supplemented foods have low glycemic index-which is good for proper control and management of diabetes mellitus and in the maintenance of weight.
4. Coconut flour can reduce serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in moderately raised cholesterol levels of humans.
*Glycemic Index is a classification of food based on the blood glucose response of an individual relative to a standard glucose solution or a starchy food e.g. white bread. It is a therapeutic principle for diabetes mellitus by slowing carbohydrate absorption.