Wednesday, May 11, 2011

coconut oil

coconut oil is obtained from coconuts. You first dehusk the coconuts. Then you cut the shell into two hemispherical pieces and let it dry in the sun. After one or two days of very good sunshine the fleshy part can be detatched from the shell (automatically or using a curved metal rod). Then you have to slice up the fleshy part into smaller pieces if you are using a small oil mill or you can use the whole hemispherical piece if you are using a big oil mill. Either way you have to dry it till almost all the water content is removed. This will take around 1 to 2 weeks depending on the heat in the sunshine. After that you take the resulting dried coconut flesh called copra to a mill where they will extract the coconut oil from it. The residue after removing the oil is called pinnakku ( coconut oil cake )and is used as cattle feed or manure.

Now in bigger oil mills there are other dryers for drying the coconut so that you do not have to depend on the sunshine.
In kerala coconut oil was used largely for cooking. Later on there was some sort of a movement against coconut oil relating it to cholestrol, fat etc, and palmolein also was popularised . Coconut oil is also used for rubbing into the hair and the whole body as some sort of moisturiser.
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