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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil or commonly called coconut butter is a vegetable oil derived from the meat and milk of coconuts. There are so many benefits of this one fruit. Coconut oil is a white solid fat, melts at warmer room temperatures around 25 °C (78 °F), in warmer climates during the summer months it is a thin, clear liquid oil. Coconut oil has a long history in Asia, especially in the tropics. Besides being used for cooking, coconut oil is known as oil with all kinds of functions and benefits. Coconut oil can be extracted through wet or dry processing.

Wet process coconut oil uses coconut milk extracted from raw coconut rather than dried copra. The protein in coconut milk makes an emulsion of oil and water. This is usually done by prolonged boiling, but this results in discolored and uneconomical oil. Modern techniques using centrifuges and pre-treatments include cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves, steam distillation, or some combination thereof. Despite the many variations and technologies, wet treatment is less feasible than dry treatment due to 10-15% lower yields, even taking into account the losses due to spoilage and pests with dry treatment. Extraction of traditional coconut oil (Lana) directly from coconut milk in the Philippines. This process also produces latik (coconut curd), which is used as a garnish in Filipino desserts.

Proper harvesting of coconuts (coconuts can be 2 to 20 months old when picked) makes a significant difference in the efficacy of the oil-making process. Copra made from immature nuts is more difficult to process and results in an inferior product with lower yields. Producing it from fresh meat involves wet grinding or drying the residue, and using a press to extract the oil. Coconut oil can also be extracted from the dry residue left over from coconut milk production.

For the dry processing of coconut oil itself, the pulp is extracted from the shell and dried using fire, sunlight, or a kiln to make copra. The copra is pressed or dissolved in a solvent, resulting in high protein, high fiber coconut oil, and blends.