Coconut Oil Expeller

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Coconut Oil Expeller

Uses of coconut oil

Coconut oil is used as cooking oil and in the preparation of oil and fat blends for the food industry. It has important industrial uses, particularly as an ingredient in soap-making. 

Coconut oil expeller from copra using a small-scale oil expeller
Using the De Smet Rosedown Mini 40 oil expeller

The small-scale coconut oil expeller processing of copra was demonstrated to be technically feasible and potentially profitable in the Cook Islands (Barrett et al., 1987). The coconut oil expeller comprised a copra chopper, a De Smet Rosedown Mini 40 screw press and a filter press. At copra throughputs of approaching 65 kg/in, yields of clarified oil and copra cake were approximately 55% and 40%, respectively, on a weight basis. The oil yield was equivalent to about 60 l of oil/100 kg of copra, containing 5.3% moisture. This corresponded to an oil expeller efficiency of close to 84%. When copra containing 9.2% moisture was processed, the crude coconut oil expeller rate fell from 58% to 37%. Over-dried copra with a moisture content of 2% proved to be difficult to process with the Mini 40. It was judged that well-dried copra, with a moisture range of 4.5% to 7%, could be processed without pre-heating.

A consumer survey indicated that coconut oil could be marketed as a cooking oil to substitute for imported vegetable oils; its potential use in soap manufacture was also recognized, while copra cake was readily marketed for animal feed.

Using the CeCoCo Hander H52 coconut oil expeller

A copra processing plant on the Caribbean island of Nevis using CeCoCo equipment, which included the H52 expeller, was tested by NRI staff in 1985. The coconut oil expeller functioned well on warm disintegrated copra (60-70°C) conditioned to a moisture content of about 3%. Copra throughput was a little over 50 kg/in and the yield of clarified oil, expeller cake and filter press-cake was 56.8%, 35% and 6%, respectively, from copra containing 4.4% moisture. This represents a coconut oil expeller efficiency of 86%.