Monkey’s Choice (Coconut Press Holdings)

The Coconut Club is an up and coming restaurant that is taking Singapore back to its heritage. Their signature Nasi Lemak has won them the new entry Michelin Bib Gourmands (MBG). The secret ingredient is their home-made premium coconut milk. Before knowing more about the coconut milk, let us first understand coconut fruit first.

Coconut comes from coconut tree which is a member of the palm tree family. Coconuts are used as food, cosmetics, furnishing and decorating.

Mesocarp (Coir) is used in ropes, mats, doormats, brushes, sack, caulking and stuffing fibre for mattresses.

Exocarp (Outer skin), Mesocarp (Coir) and Endocarp (Shell) [husks and shells] can be used for fuel and a source for charcoal. If it’s burned, this can be used for mosquitoes repellent.

Endocarp (Shell) can be made into bowls, handicrafts, and musical instrument.

Varieties of coconut:

  • Dwarf yellow coconut
  • Golden Malay coconut
  • Fiji Dwarf (Niu Leka)
  • Green Malay coconut
  • Macapuno coconut
  • Nawassi coconut
  • Kopyor coconut
  • Dwarf orange coconut
  • Dwarf green coconut
  • Kannu’on
  • King coconut
  • Maypan coconut
  • Yellow Malay coconut

Coconuts are produced in:

  1. Indonesia
  2. Philippines
  3. India
  4. Brazil
  5. Sri Lanka
  6. Malaysia

3 main categories of coconut:

  1. Dwarf
  2. Tall
  3. Hybrid

White/young coconut produces more water. The meat is gelatinous and not very flavourful. Brown/mature coconut products more meat. The meat is thick, fibrous and full of flavour.

Coconut Club gets the coconut from United Plantation which is located at Perak. United Plantation mainly produces Matag (Cross between Tagnannan Tall (TAG) Male Parent and Malayan Yellow Dwarf (MYD) Female Parent) and Mawa (Cross between West African Tall (WAT) Male Parent and Malayan Yellow Dwarf (MYD) Female Parent).

Guar Gum:

  • Acts as a bulk-forming laxative.
    • WAS used in weight loss pill but removed due to Esophageal (food pipe) blockage.
    • Caused at least 10 users of the pill to be hospitalized and 1 death.
  • Not good for soy-sensitive people.
  • Contains a high level of Dioxins which damages the human immune system. It is a thickening agent and stabilizer.

What is Lipase Enzyme?
It is naturally produced by the body to break down fats into fatty acids

How does Lipase Enzyme affect coconut milk?
Since lipase enzymes break down fats into fatty acids, the pH level of the coconut milk will go down (meaning the coconut milk will be more acidic). When the coconut milk is more acidic, it denatures the protein. Thus causing the protein to not hold the oil properly and cause coagulation.

Why don’t remove lipase enzyme in coconut milk?

In order to remove lipase enzyme from coconut milk, coconut milk must be heated to kill the lipase enzyme. When heated, the protein is also denatured and will also cause coagulation.

What is Coagulation?

It is the change in the structure of protein (from liquid to semi-solid or even solid) brought upon by heat, mechanical action, acid or some enzymes

What is Flocculation?

It is the process when oil droplets in coconut milk are attracted to each other to form flocs.

What is Homogenization?

It is the process of breaking down the fat molecules so that the product (which is coconut milk) will stay together and not separate. Thus causing the protein to hold the fats easier (since they are smaller)

Disadvantages of Homogenization

When the product (coconut milk) is homogenized, this means that not only the fat molecules are being broken down. Other content in the product will also be broken down. Thus, destroying other nutrients and valuable organisms.

What is Heat Pasteurization

It is a process of heat going through a liquid or food to kill pathogenic bacteria to make food safe to eat.

Disadvantages of Heat Pasteurization

Although heat pasteurization does kill pathogenic bacteria to make food safe to eat, it also kills many other forms. Heat pasteurization does not 100% kill all harmful micro-organisms, destroy active enzymes and beneficial bacteria in food (which our bodies need), diminish the vitamin content of food and denature protein (cause coagulation).

Lipase enzymes will always be in all fresh coconut milk. If need to be removed, coconut milk must be heated and when coconut milk is heated, not only lipase enzymes will die, the protein and other things that are inside the coconut milk will be damaged or destroyed. That’s why when coconut milk is heat-pasteurized but then it will still coagulate. And it will coagulate more because the protein that is holding the oil together is damaged already. So when the manufacturers know that the protein has been damaged, they add stabilizers (additives) to the coconut milk to blind them together artificially. These stabilizers will add or change the taste of the original coconut milk.