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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Coconut oil, also known as coconut butter, is a tropical oil with many applications. It is extracted from copra (derived from Malayalam word "kopra" which means dried coconut). Coconut oil constitutes seven percent of the total export income of the Philippines, the world's largest exporter of the product.
  • Coconut oil is unusually rich in short and medium chain fatty acids. Shorter chain length allows fatty acids to be metabolized without use of the carnitine transport system.

Technology

  • Coconut oil can be blended with diesel, straight in an adapted engine or turned into biodiesel. Because of higher specific density and slightly lower energy content, specific fuel consumption using coconut oil is generally 8% higher.
  • Coconut oil soap is a well-known commercially established product. The cold process of soapmaking involves the reaction of the oil with a quantity of strong caustic alkali solution . This process needs very simple equipment.

Extraction Process

  • Coconut oil is produced in large quantities for cooking oil, cosmetics and other related products. Coconut oil is produced by expeller pressing or solvent extraction from copra – the edible ‘meat’ of a coconut. Coconut oil is also generally further processed by refining, bleaching and deodorizing (RBD).

Uses

  • The widespread use of Coconut Oil to replace diesel has a range of potential environmental benefits such as there is the decrease of emissions of poisonous gases and particulate matter as compared to diesel, through the higher oxygen content of coconut oil and the use of coconut oil can be considered CO2 neutral.
  • Coconut oil was used for medical purposes even by our ancestors. It has been used for rheumatism and back pain, to relieve stiffness in the joints, to treat sick newborn infants and women who have just given birth. Additionally, to place a baby from a breech to a normal position in the mother’s womb, the abdomen is massaged with coconut oil.
  • Coconut oil is one of the most stable oils because of its high proportion of saturated fats. It is mild on the skin and is widely used to protect both the skin and hair. Its film forming qualities allow it to act as a skin moisturizer, and a protectant against moisture loss.

Market

  • Coconut oil is becoming more and more popular. Amount of coconut oil exported to the world market during 2004 was 2.06 million tonnes (up from 1.10 million tonnes in 1980), of which the European market absorbed about 44.5 per cent and others such as US and Asia Pacific received
    23.3 per cent and 24.7 per cent, respectively.
  • India has unbeatable quality advantage in this sector. Refined coconut oil is also manufactured in the country for industrial uses. Refined coconut oil is mainly used in the manufacture of biscuits, chocolates and other confectionery items, ice cream, pharmaceutical products and costly paints. Generally, filtered coconut oil is used for cooking and toiletry purposes.

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