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Coconut oil

Palmaceae Cocos nucifera L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

See Coconut for tree and fruit characteristics.

In preparing copra, the dried meat of the coconut, the nuts are cut in half, the milk drained off, and the nuts are exposed to sun. The partially dried meat contracts and can be readily removed from the shell. Further drying reduces the moisture to under 8 percent, necessary to prevent mold growth. Artificial heat is often used for this. The fresh meats contain 30 to 40 percent of oil, the dried copra 60 to 70 percent. The oil is extracted from the copra by heating and pressing in various types of expellers. The oil is used for margarines and vegetable shortenings. The press cake is used for livestock feed. Crude oil is made into soap. World production of coconut oil is near 2,400,000 tons. Around 300,000 tons of copra and over 200,000 tons of coconut oil are imported into the U.S. annually.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch