Coconut is a tropical woody oil plant of the Palmae. Copra can be produced through drying the coconut flesh. When the moisture content of copra reduces to 6% – 10%, it contains the copra fat of 57% – 75%. Traditional press method can be used to extract coconut oil and the coconut cake produced after extraction can be used as animal feed. Coconut flesh can also be processed into coconut powder, dried coconut and other food.
Obtaining Coconut Oil: the processing process
There are two major ways of producing coconut oil with the help of a coconut oil processing machine. The methods include the dry and the wet approach. The following is the basic dry process of copra processing.
- Dry Processing
With the dry process, the meat is extracted from the shell and dried with the sunlight, or fire. This creates the copra which is dissolved with solvents, which leads to the production of coconut oil and a high-fiber mash and protein. This mash is fed to ruminants as it is considered unsafe for humans.
- Wet Processing
The wet method was a bit difficult because the protein in the raw coconut creates an emulsion of oil and water which is supposed to be broken up in order to recover the coconut oil. This was even more difficult because it used to be done manually. However, with the introduction of new coconut oil processing machines, centrifuges, pre-treatments such as heat, acids, salts, and colds, enzymes and electrolysis are used.
What you need to take into consideration is that proper harvesting of the coconut is a major determiner of the rate of efficiency and efficacy in the production of the coconut oil.
This coconut oil is now the refined oil and can further be processed into other forms as explained below. Refined coconut oil is produced using dried coconut kernel, which is placed in a hydraulic press in addition to heat to extract the oil.
Coconut Oil Refining
Coconut oil refining is very important, the most commonly coconut oil is refined, bleached and deodorised coconut oil or RBD coconut oil, which is produced from dry coconut meat (copra). RBD coconut oil is produced from copra.
Coconut Oil Refining Methods
＊ Chemical oil refinikng
＊ Physical oil refining
＊ Chemical-physical oil refining
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