Food Structure


Light and electron microscopy have been used to study the structure of fresh coconut endosperm tissue and the changes which have occurred when this has been processed to the desiccated form. In fresh tissue, a marked gradation of cell size , shape and contents exists between inner and outer endosperm regions. Adjacent to the brown testa, cells are rigid, compact and lipid-filled while those cells lining the central water-filled cavity have thin, easily deformed cell walls and contain little lipid . Desiccated coconut be ing derived from fresh tissue, is similar in morphology but moisture is reduced from 50% to 2- 3%. During the cutting and disintegration stages of the process, a fatty "rind" develops around individual particles and tissue damage may occur.

A comparison has been made of a range of desiccated coconut samples from Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Variation in structural characteristics appears to correlate with known differences in processing that exist between the two countries. Significant factors relate to particle size, shape, colour and tissue damage . In the subsequent manufacture of products, such factors could clearly lead to differences in processing behaviour such that for a given recipe, products may be formed which vary in both texture and taste.

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