The popularity of coconut is on the rise. Now, people are aware of its innumerable heath benefits. It is also a popular ingredient in sweets and savouries. There are umpteen...
Copra is the dried form of coconut meat. On a commercial scale, initially the firm white coconut meat of a matured coconut is processed in a hot kiln at a certain temperature to remove the moisture content from the coconut. At this stage, the coconut becomes dry and lightly browned. This product is called the copra. Then it is deshelled from the hard outer shell of the coconut and is further treated for various uses.
This copra is further processed in many ways to extract from it. Several processes like the Wet mill method, cold press method and the boiling method are used to extract oil. The cold press method is highly recommended for commercial manufacturing of high quality organic virgin coconut oil.
The copra is cut into chunks and run through the press to shred the copra pieces. Repeating this process turns the shredded coconut into a buttery consistency. This is called coconut butter and is used as a vegan butter replacing the regular dairy butter. It is also used in baking and in the preparation of desserts and sorbets. It has excellent moisturizing properties and is used in the manufacture of soaps, shampoos, hair masks and body scrubs.
The copra that is cut into chunks and sent through a press is processed to form the coconut butter. Repeating this process helps to extract the oil from the butter. This oil is called virgin coconut oil and is used for cooking and in the manufacture of several cosmetics.
After extracting coconut oil, the leftover residue of the copra or coconut butter is called as the copra meal or copra cake. This desiccated coconut waste is an effective by-product of copra and is used as a nutritious fodder for livestock. The advantage of using copra meal as animal feed is that it is abundant and cheap. Copra has high protein content and is used as a primary product in horse feed. It improves the skin texture in horses, conditions the body and improves the shiny coat on the skin of horses. It is used in pig diet to increase the growth rate of the pigs. It is also used as poultry feed to increase growth rates. Soaked copra meal is used as a feed for fish. Researches show that using soaked copra meal in the diet of Nile Tilapia fingerlings has improved the growth and nutrient utilization of the fish. This has resulted in the cost reduction of the fish. The fish also thrive well with soaked copra meal as a part of their regular diet. In villages, copra meal alone is used as a food for home reared ornamental fish like Guppies. The copra meal is tied up in a tiny mesh and left soaked in the water tank. The fish feed on the soaked meal every now and then. This considerably reduces the fish feed costs.
These are some of the conservative uses of copra that is a product of matured coconut.