CORD 2020-12-25T07:31:42+00:00 Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw Open Journal Systems <p>Cord is a semi-annual Journal of the International Coconut Community (ICC) devoted to coconut research and development (R &amp; D). The ICC is the first commodity based organization established under the auspices of United Nations-Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in 1969. It is an independent intergovernmental organization, currently consisting of nineteen member countries, namely: Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. The objectives of the ICC are to promote, coordinate and harmonize all activities of the coconut industry to achieve the maximum socio-economic development of the industry. In addition to Cord, the ICC publishes The Cocommunity (monthly newsletter), Coconut Statistical Yearbook (yearly) and Cocoinfo International (semi-annual popular Journal on the coconut industry) and other ad-hoc publications. Cord welcomes original research articles on any aspect of the coconut industry. The views expressed in Cord do not necessarily represent those of the editors or the ICC. Although the editors are responsible for the selection and acceptance of articles, the responsibility for the opinions expressed and for the accuracy of statements rests with the authors.</p> Integration of in silico and in vitro approach to reveal the anticancer efficacy of Virgin Coconut Oil 2020-12-25T07:31:42+00:00 Babita Pruseth Silvi Banerjee Amit Ghosh <p><strong>Background</strong>: Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has antioxidant properties and is being increasingly used as nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals. It also has a long history of ethnopharmacological use. Anticancer effect of VCO has been reported in several articles. The main bottleneck of exploring the anticancer efficacy of VCO is the difficulty in identification and validation of target proteins and their regulated pathways.</p> <p><strong>Aim</strong>: The work plan was <em>in-silico</em> analysis using Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) and STRING. CTD curated and integrated data for more than 5700 gene-disease and 2000 chemical-disease relationship. Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) from VCO like Lauric acid, Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, and Myristic acid can target almost 17 cancer-associated proteins.</p> <p><strong>Method</strong>: Using in silico and in vitro approach, an attempt was made to identify the target proteins and their pathways regulated by VCO.</p> <p><strong>Result</strong>: We analyze curated and inferred VCO-gene expression data and illustrate the impact of VCO exposure on cancer-related gene network and molecular function. In enriched pathway analysis, it has been evident that all of them are the part of different cancer-associated pathways (Neoplasms, Digestive System Neoplasms, Urogenital Neoplasms, Liver Neoplasms). This response may mimic the biological response to VCO. In silico result was tested by in vitro study and VCO kill the Human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines (hepG2).</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Based on the findings of this study and several published studies it is proposed that a VCO may have immense potential as a botanical product against cancer.</p> 2020-12-22T06:53:17+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 CORD Detection of Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease Phytoplasma by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction 2020-12-22T08:40:21+00:00 H.T.R. Wijesekara S.A.C.N. Perera D. Bandupriya M.K. Meegahakumbura Lalith Perera <p>Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease (WCLWD) is a non-lethal, but debilitating phytoplasma disease found in coconut palms in Sri Lanka which is confined to the Southern Province of the country, well-away from the major coconut growing area. If it spreads to the major coconut growing area, it might severely damage the coconut industry in Sri Lanka. Government commenced a disease control program to eradicate the disease and, more importantly to prevent spreading of the disease to major coconut growing areas. The major constraint in this program is the lack of an accurate and reliable method for identifying affected palms. Visual symptoms are used to identify the affected palms for removal, yet growers are not always convinced of the method of resisting palm removal. This poses a serious threat to the implementation of the disease control program. Although a Nested-PCR-based disease diagnosis was established earlier, the detection rate and reliability need further improvements. Therefore, an urgent necessity for a more reliable disease detection method has arisen. In the current study, a Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) powered by a pair of primers and a probe designed from the published partial sequences of the WCLWD phytoplasma was validated with 202 coconut samples and a detection rate of above 95% was achieved. This newly established detection system was highly reliable and a way forward for controlling the WCLWD disease in Sri Lanka.</p> 2020-12-22T07:55:49+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 CORD The Coconut Industry: A Review of Price Forecasting Modelling in Major Coconut Producing Countries 2020-12-22T08:40:22+00:00 M. G. D. Abeysekara K.P Waidyarathne <p>The global supply and demand of coconuts and coconut-based products have been increased tremendously over the past decades; hence, the industry has become one of the significant contributors to the economies of producer countries. However, similar to the other agricultural industries, coconut has confronted by fluctuation in prices and accords the importance of reliable price modelling and forecasting techniques to ease the burden on the value chain actors. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to review the main approaches used in modelling and forecasting coconut prices, with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. The modelling techniques used in coconut price forecasting were mainly time series models dominated by univariate time series models. This type of models excessively confines the analysis to a single variable, despite the many interactions affected in a system of coconut pricing. The major drawback in existing price modelling studies is the absence of interacting factors such as prices, production, climatic variables and their interactions as a system. Therefore, it is important to extend the existing studies of coconut price modelling and forecasting with a system’s approach by including other influencing variables to generate more realistic forecast values, allowing the industry to adopt its changing circumstances.</p> <p>Keywords: Coconut, modelling, price forecasting, time series models, system’s approach</p> 2020-12-22T07:58:56+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 CORD Design and Development of Semi-Direct Copra Dryer for Flat Terrain 2020-12-22T08:40:22+00:00 Mencius B. Lesidan <p>The study was conducted to design and develop a semi-direct dryer for flat terrain. This dryer was designed to provide farmers an alternative to traditional and existing dryers particularly the semi-direct and indirect dryers. The components of the dryer were drying bed, plenum chamber, tunnel and firing chamber. It has a capacity of 2,000 nuts and the husks from the nuts were used as fuel for the dryer. The means of the average drying temperature on the front, middle and rear portions of the drying platform were 56.5 <sup>o</sup>C, 58.2 <sup>o</sup>C, and 58.4 <sup>o</sup>C, respectively. The average time of drying in bringing down the moisture content of the copra from 50% to 12% wet basis was 24 hours using only 66.30% of the husks. As of January 2017, the total cost of the dryer with shed was P 61,100.00 and the computed break-even cost was P 1.82/kg. The performance of the dryer is comparable to the existing dryers.</p> 2020-12-22T08:00:52+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 CORD Evaluation of Nutritional Composition of Defatted Coconut Flour Incorporated Biscuits 2020-12-25T07:31:06+00:00 H. P. D. T. Hewa Pathirana W. M. K. Lakdusinghe L. L. W. C. Yalegama C. A. T. D. Chandrapeli J. A .D. Madusanka <p>Defatted coconut kernel is the major by-product of the dry method of virgin coconut oil (VCO) processing which includes high fiber content. It is ground into a fine powder, has a high potential to use as a composite matrix for baked food items with wheat flour. The aim of this research is to compare nutritional characteristics of defatted coconut flour incorporated biscuits (CF), desiccated coconut incorporated commercial biscuits (DC) and wheat flour-based commercial biscuits (WF) using white bread (WB) as a reference. Proximate composition (moisture, ash, crude fat, crude protein, crude fiber and carbohydrate), Hydrolysis Index (HI) and Predicted Glycemic Index (PGI) of samples were performed through standard in-vitro analysis methods. Results of the proximate analysis revealed that moisture (36.67±0.16 %) and protein (13.35±1.17 %) content of bread were significantly (p&lt;0.05) higher while fat, fiber and ash content of CF incorporated biscuits were significantly (p&lt;0.05) higher with the values of 26.67±1.87 %, 3.53±0.10 % and 4.70±2.61 % respectively. Free sugar glucose content (FSG) of WF was observed the highest significant (p&lt;0.05) value of 5.88±1.03 % while the highest amount of rapidly available glucose (RAG) (81.45±5.27 %), slowly available glucose (SAG) (59.81±7.58 %), total glucose (TG) (99.16±5.56 %) were observed in reference food of bread. The PGI of three biscuit types belonging to the medium glycemic food with the values of 60.84, 64.53 and 62.90 respectively for CF, DC and WF treatments.</p> 2020-12-22T08:24:47+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 CORD Propagation and Possible Allelopathic Effects of Vernoniazeylanica on Selected Bioassay Species 2020-12-23T07:29:56+00:00 S.H.S. Senarathne S. S. Udumann <p><em>Vernonia zeylanica</em> (L.) belongs to the family Asteraceae, is one of the major endemic weed species present in coconut (<em>Cocos nucifera</em> L.) plantations of the tropics, which propagates very easily.&nbsp; There is a possibility that this plant could also possess allelopathic effects, but this has not been scientifically tested.&nbsp; Thus, a study was carried out to determine the seed germination of <em>V. zeylanica </em>under soil moisture stress conditions, shoot propagation methods and possible allopathic effects of this species, on selected species in bioassay tests.&nbsp; Germination of <em>V. zeylanica</em> seeds was not observed at higher osmotic potential (-0.9 MPa).&nbsp; The highest sprouting percentage of this species were obtained with soft wood cuttings.&nbsp; The aqueous leaf extract was highly phytotoxic, and it significantly reduced germination and seedling growth of all bioassay species tested. Full strength (33.3 g L<sup>-1</sup>) aqueous extracts of leaves significantly reduced the germination percentage, root and hypocotyl growth rates of all species tested.&nbsp; The inhibitory effects were often dependent on concentration.&nbsp; However, the degree of inhibition varied among the test plant species.&nbsp; The seedling emergences of all four tested plants were severally inhibited when planted in <em>V. zeylanica </em>contaminated soil.&nbsp; The results indicated that incorporated aqueous leaf extract of <em>V. zeylanica </em>and its rhizosphere contaminated soil can suppress seed germination, seedling growth and seedling emergence of certain plant species indicating a possible allelopathic effect.</p> 2020-12-22T08:34:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 CORD