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Conference Proceeding

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Virgin coconut oil (VCO) can be prepared with or without heat. Fermentation and centrifuge processes can be done without the use of heat (cold process), while expelling involves heat due to friction. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from VCO samples prepared using these three methods were collected using solid phase microextraction (SPME) and analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Twenty-seven VCO samples from nine VCO producers were analyzed. The VOCs from refined, bleached, and deodorized coconut oil (RBDCO) were also obtained for comparison. Fourteen compounds were found to be common in more than 80% of the VCO samples analyzed. These included: Acetic acid; C6, C8, C10, C12, and C14 fatty acids, and their corresponding delta-lactones; and C8, C10 and C12 ethyl carboxylates. Fourteen minor VOCs were likewise detected which can be grouped into five types: Carboxylic acids (formic acid, butanoic acid, benzoic acid, and pentadecanoic acid), ketones (acetoin, 2-heptanone), an alcohol (ethanol), aldehydes (acetaldehyde, hexanal, benzaldehyde), esters (ethyl acetate, methyl tetradecanoate), and hydrocarbons (n-hexane and toluene). Five pyrazines were detected in expeller VCO. Various hydrocarbons from C5 to C14 were noted to be higher in old RBDCO and VCO samples. There were variations in the VOCs within each VCO process as each producer used different processing times, temperatures, and drying procedures. Principal components analysis (PCA) was able to group the samples according to the process used, but there were overlaps which may be due to variations in the specific procedures used by the manufacturers. These results may help VCO manufacturers control their production processes.