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Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) is a tropical palm tree widely distributed throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific region. In Sanskrit the coconut palm is called kalpa vriksha, which is translated as the tree that provides all the necessities of life. The name cocos is derived from the Portuguese word coco or coque meaning monkey from the resemblance of the eyes at the basal end of the fruit to the monkeys face. The fruit of the coconut is classified as a fibrous drupe, and not as a nut (Ohler, 1999). It is 300 to 450 mm in length and 150 to 200 mm in diameter. It consists of an exocarp enclosing a fibrous layer, husk, and an endocarp or shell inside. The shell may be long, ovoid, or almost round. It is hard, stony, and dark brown, with three ridges on the outside and three eyes at the basal end. A single seed with a thin brown testa is attached to the endocarp and adheres firmly to the endosperm or meat. A mature endosperm is firm, white, oily, and 1 to 2 cm thick, and is a source of copra, oil, meal, and desiccated coconut. A peg-like embryo is embedded in the endosperm, which develops from one of the eyes in the shell. In the center of the seed is a large cavity partially filled with coconut water that is completely absorbed in about 6 months after harvesting. Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content.


Meat part of coconut is mostly used for food. Edible at all stage of maturity (12 months).

At 6 months, the meat of the coconut (endosperm) appears as a thin translucent layer. It gradually becomes thicker and opaque-white as it goes to the young buko stage (9 months). The meat in a mature nut (12 months) reaches about 12 to 15 mm thick (Banzon et al., 1990). The nutrient composition of the coconut endosperm varies with maturity. Fat, protein, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and most minerals increase as the coconut matures. However, moisture, riboflavin, and vitamin C content decrease as maturity increases. Thiamine and niacin contents are at a maximum in young (9-month old) coconuts There are following coconut meat products: Coconut Oil
Desiccated Coconut Coconut Flour Copra Meal

Dehydrated Edible Coconut Meat (DECM)

Copra Coconut Sport (Macapuno)

Young Coconut (Buko) Coconut Milk and Cream Coconut Jam Coconut Cheese and Yogurt

a) More resistant to oxidation. b) It is rich in lauric acid ( C-12 ) and also has the highest caprylic, capric, and myristic acid contents compared to palm kernel.

c) Monolaurin, a derivative of lauric acid, is essential in destroying lipidcoated viruses. d) It is used for industrial purposes as raw material for production of toilet and laundry soap and as a vehicle in paint and varnish industry. e) It is also used in the manufacture of methyl esters, fatty acids, and fatty alcohols. These in turn are raw materials for detergent, surfactants, emulsifiers, and pesticides. Processing Coconut oil is obtained from the mature meat (solid endosperm) which, when dried, contains 65 to 68% oil and is known as copra. Extraction of oil from copra is one of the oldest seed crushing industries in the world. The fresh coconut meat has a moisture content of 50 to 55%, which has to be reduced to 6 to 7% to prevent deterioration during storage and transport, as well as to facilitate oil extraction. Two methods of processing Dry process - Copra is first dried to 6 to 7% moisture by smoke drying, sun drying, or kiln drying, and then processed in continuous screw presses or expellers. About 30% of the oil is extracted using low pressure expellers and a further 10 to 14% with high-pressure expellers from milling the residual cake. The meal from the first stage may also be treated with a solvent like hexane, leaving a residual oil content of about 1% in the cake. For the manufacture of edible products, the crude oil is refined with caustic solution, dried, and bleached with fullers earth.

Wet process Coconut oil extraction from fresh coconut meat is called the wet process or the non copra route .Traditionally, oil is prepared by heating coconut milk obtained by squeezing the grated fresh kernel and the residue is fed to animals. In Indonesia, the fresh grated kernel is heated or fried for 1 h to recover the oil after straining. Further oil is recovered by pressing the residue after straining. The oil recovered from traditional cooking process has an inferior quality, strong nutty odor, brown color, and burnt taste.

Virgin coconut oil

Fractionate d coconut oil

Coconut oil

Refined coconut oil

Hydrogenated coconunut oil

Fig 1: Types of coconut oil

Coconut oil may be trans-esterified into methyl esters, which are reacted with hydrogen to produce alcohol or split into fatty acids and glycerine. The resulting fatty acids are fractionated and hydrogenated to yield alcohol. The glycerine water undergoes pretreatment, evaporation, and distillation to yield refined glycerine. The fatty alcohol can be processed further into surfactants: fatty alcohol ethoxylates, fatty alcohol sulphates, and fatty alcohol ether sulphates.

It is the edible, shredded, dehydrated meat prepared from the fresh meat, having a mild, sweet, and pleasant taste with a chewy property characteristic of coconut. It is one of the most affordable ingredients in the bakery industry. Processing Shelling is required for the manufacture of desiccated coconut, coconut cream or milk, or any wet process where the meat is milled into small particles. Well-matured nuts are selected for de-shelling, taking care not to break the kernel because broken kernels are hard to pare. The testa (brown layer) is pared off and the parings are dried for oil extraction. The pared kernel is cut open to release the coconut water. The meat is then washed and soaked in water to prevent discoloration. The kernel pieces are then pasteurized in live steam for 5 min at about 88C (190F) or for 8 to 10 min at 70 to 80C (158 to 176F). These are then

immersed in sulfur dioxide solution for stabilization, followed by grinding, and the moisture content is adjusted to 3%.


Dehydrated edible coconut meat is obtained from 11-month-old coconuts that are shelled, opened, drained, washed, pasteurized (82.2 to 90C for 10 min in 2% sodium metabisulfite), and dried. DECM is used for both religious and culinary purposes mostly for edible oil, flour, protein ,chips, and desiccated coconut.


Coconut flour is the food-grade product made from dried, de-oiled, and finely ground coconut meat by either the dry or wet method. The dry method extracts the coconut oil after the meat has been comminuted and dried. In the wet method, the oil is extracted from the combination of the cellular water and water-soluble components of the coconut meat. Coconut meat has a higher fiber content as compared with that of soybean, groundnut, sesame, and cottonseed. In 2000, Boceta and others further stated that coconut flour when incorporated into wheat flour increases the amino acid content, especially lysine.

For copra production, it is essential to use fully mature nuts, i.e., at 12 to 14 months from the opening of the spathe. Copra contains more oil than any of the oilseeds. It is the source of commercial coconut oil and coconut cake

Copra meal is a by-product of oil extraction. Leaving the expellers, it is cooled and ground to fine particles or pelletized for export. Copra meal is valued for enhancing butter fat content and increasing yields of milk in lactating cows. Good quality copra for oil extraction yields copra meal with an acceptable aflatoxin content. When contaminated copra is milled, the aflatoxin passes to the oil. Poor quality meal is used as fertilizer.

Mutant coconut Sweetened macapuno used as a dessert, or included in ice cream and other desserts.

The meat from 9-month-old fruit is a major ingredient in pie, salad, and sherbet. Water from 7-monthold coconuts (buko) has a delicately sweet flavor and is drunk chilled with or without sugar It is valued for its therapeutic properties, particularly for people with kidney trouble and high blood pressure. Gonzales (1990) has also studied production methods for buko leather and preserve.


Coconut milk is the product obtained by manual or mechanical extraction of grated coconut meatwith or without the addition of water. Coconut milk denotes the milky fluid freshly extracted from the coconut kernel, whereas coconut cream refers to the high-fat, creamlike layer obtained from coconut milk by gravitational separation or centrifugation. Dehydrated coconut milk is used as topping for rice cakes and added to snack foods. Coconut milk can also be processed into coco-filled white soft cheese and yogurt (The Coconut Committee, 1993), as well as sugar concentrates in the form of jam, coconut milk syrup (different from coconut sap syrup), coconut honey, and coconut candy.


White soft cheese is produced from 40% skim milk extended with 60% coconut milk. The flavor,aroma, texture, and general acceptability of the white soft cheese produced from this mixture were found comparable to that made from 100% cow milk. The starter cultures used in the processing of reconstituted skim milk into white soft cheese are Streptococcus lactis and S. diacetilactis. Yogurt has been successfully produced using reconstituted milk containing 50% nonfat dry milk (NFDM) and 50% coconut milk. The starter cultures used in the production of this yogurt are

Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus (Ohler,


Coconut jam is a creamy, viscous, sweetened product, with a moisture content of about 25%; fat, 4%; protein, 6%; and total solids, 5% (Ohler, 1999). It is traditionally prepared by adding brown sugar and cooking the sweetened coconut milk to a very strong consistency at low heat with constant stirring.


Formed in the 3rd month and its volume reaches a maximum in the 8th month. Its major chemical constituents are sugars and minerals. There are following coconut water product : Coconut water Vinegar Champagne Coconut gel

It varies in composition depending on the age of the nut. The sugar content reaches its peak at 2.9% in the 9th month. It is either drunk directly or processed to carbonated and noncarbonated types of beverage, as well as concentrates. In May 2000, the FAO was granted a U.K. patent for the production of a sterile beverage from coconut water of 9-month-old nuts.

b) CHAMPAGNE Wine from sugar-reinforced coconut water is a product of controlled

fermentation with Saccaromyces cerevisiae.

After 2 d of aerobic fermentation, the clear liquid is siphoned to

another container and racked for 2 d at intervals of 2 or 3 weeks to remove the sediments. If coconut champagne isto be produced, the mixture is transferred to clean bottles and inoculated with champagne yeast and aged for at least 6 months.

c) VINEGAR Although coconut sap may be used, coconut water is generally

preferred for vinegar production because the former is utilized in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.

Coconut water is strained and 10 to 12% of sugar is added; it is

pasteurized by heating to boiling. Filipino producers generally use active or dry compressed yeast for the alcoholic fermentation.

The gel that is formed on the surface of the fermentation medium by

Acetobacter aceti may be produced from coconut water or dilute

coconut milk. The gel is preserved in syrup and used as a dessert. The cream adhering to the raw gel is removed with a blunt instrument.



The fresh or unfermented coconut sap is sweet, oyster white, and translucent with a neutral pH. Toddy Distilled spirit a) TODDY (TUBA) Coconut toddy produced in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and India. It is a product of the spontaneous fermentation of coconut sap and has a short shelf life. The addition of tangal bark containing 17 to 19% tannin turns the sap reddish brown and imparts an astringent taste. Normal tuba contains 2 to 4% alcohol, while tuba with added bark has 10 to 14% alcohol and can be kept for severalmonths (Sanchez, 1990). b) WINE The freshly collected tuba from the spathe may also be siphoned up to the neck of another container, leaving behind the sediments, and then stoppered lightly. This procedure is repeated 4 times in 2-d intervals until the tuba becomes clear. It is buried in the ground to age for 7 weeks to 1 year.The aged wine, referred to as bahalina, is common in the Visayan islands of the Philippines (Sanchez, 1990). c) DISTILLED SPIRIT The collected sap undergoes spontaneous fermentation for 3 to 5 d in an uncovered earthen jar or plastic container, followed by distillation. The first 0.5 l of distillate is used as a medical rubbing alcohol. From the 570 l fermented toddy, an average of 91 l of 80 proof lambanog is obtained (Sanchez, 1990). d) SAP SYRUP AND SUGAR

Wine Sap syrup and sugar

Coconut sap syrup is produced with the addition of calcium carbonate

to the filtered, freshly gathered sap, and by heating to 45C. After the addition of trisodium phosphate, the mixture is heated to 100C, allowed to boil, and filtered. Three to four drops of coconut oil per 50 percent of sap is added and boiled for 2 to 3 h in an open vessel with constant stirring to prevent caramelization.

Coconut sap syrup is a thick, free-flowing mixture with a sugar content

of 75% used for snack and dessert recipes (Sanchez, 1990).

Coconut sugar is a crude, dark brown sugar in the form commonly sold It has the characteristicflavor of coconut, and white sugar is
produced if small amounts of water are added during rystallization. The production of the sugar is similar to that of the syrup, except for the additional 1 h boiling to further evaporate the water content of the sap (Ledesma, 1993).


COCONUT PITH The innermost pith of the trunk that is called ubod in the Philippines
or palm cabbage by foreigners is considered a delicacy eaten raw or cooked. It has long been part of Filipino meals. To prolong shelf life, studies are being conducted on canned, candied, and dehydrated products (de Leon, 1990).



Coir fiber may be extracted from husks that are also used as
domestic fuel and for soil erosion control (Ohler, 1999).

White coir is obtained by retting fresh green husks in saline water

and spinning them into yarn to manufacture mats, matting, carpets, and ropes.

Coir is gradually replacing jute and polypropylene fabrics as a

geotextile in the U.S. and Germany.

Brown coir is extracted from brown husks with fresh water by

combing it on a pair of rotating spiked drums to yield bristle, mattress fiber, and coir dust.

6, COCONUT SHELL PRODUCT Coconut shells are commercially utilized in the desiccated coconutproducing countries such as the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Charcoal and activated carbon Shell flour a) CHARCOAL AND ACTIVATED CARBON The shells are carbonized with a limited supply of air to yield charcoal. Shell charcoal has been traditionally used for barbecues, and in blacksmith and goldsmith furnaces. New uses are gaseous phase absorption applications (manufacture of activated carbon for gas masks, solvent recovery plant in industry, recovery of petroleum gases, and air pollution control) and liquid phase applications (decolorizing edible oils and sugar refining) (Ohler, 1999).


Obtained by breaking the shell into granules and reducing these to flour by pulverization. shell flour is used as a filler and extender for phenolic thermosetting plastics and for phenolic glue in the manufacture of plywood and polyester laminated sheets (Ohler, 1999).

In the light of all waves of changes in the 21st century, the coconut industry has to be able to meet consumer specifications on the various food and feed items produced for use all over the world. Because of the application of modern production and processing methods in the coconut industry, consumers can continue to look forward to more healthy and functional food from coconuts. Coconut and coconut products including desiccated coconut and coconut oil provide health benefit over and beyond the basic nutrients. Lauric acid has come to the fore due to its antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal functions (Enig, 1997). The potential of coconut oil and monolaurin as a cure for HIV/AIDS is being researched (Dayrit, 2000). Consumers will increasingly appreciate healthy foods such as coconut, taking advantage of its dietary fiber (Trinidad, 2000).