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Desiccated Coconut

An Introduction
Desiccated coconut is the product that is obtained by drying the granulated or shredded white meat of the fully mature coconut kernel, by means of a mechanical air drying. Coconut is known outside the tropics mainly through the popularity of desiccated coconut in cakes  and chocolate bars. In fact according to industry experts there is excellent scope for production of coconut-based items such as desiccated coconut, coconut cream and coconut milk powder and packaged coconut tender water as a beverage.

What is desiccated Coconut?
  • Desiccated Coconut powder is a free flowing white powder made from pasteurized, homogenized and spray dried natural extract of coconut kernel.
  • Desiccated Coconut Powder is obtained by drying ground or shredded coconut kernel after the removal of brown testa.
  • It finds extensive use in confectioneries, puddings and many other food preparations as a substitute to raw grated coconut.

Production Process
The de-shelling is completed by an unusual knife to obtain the kernel in the shape of a ball, which is pared using scrapers to take away the testa. The pared kernel balls are then slashed open to tap off the water and then cleaned carefully in fresh water to get rid of the invert sugars from the inner surface of the kernel.

The de-shelling is done by a special knife to get the kernel in the form of a ball, which is pared using scrapers to remove the testa. The pared kernel balls are then cut open to drain off the water and then washed thoroughly in fresh water to remove the invert sugars from the inner surface of the kernel.

The kernel is then ground into a fine mass using hammer or pin mills. The ground mass is blanched with live steam for about 20 minutes to bring down the microbiological counts. The blanched mass is then dried in a hot air drier at a temperature of 80-90oC for about 10 hours so as to bring down the moisture content to below 3 per cent. The hot air drier is provided with a drying chamber consisting of a series of trays, which hold the feed. Hot air is blown into this chamber from an external source through blowers. The dried mass is tested for moisture, free fatty acid and microbiological counts. The product is packed in polythene pouches. The brown testa obtained during paring of kernel can be dried and the oil extracted which is known as paring oil. The dried brown testa can also be mixed with copra during the extraction of oil.
The process flow chart is as under:

1. De husking of coconuts
2. Deshelling and disintegration
3. Drying
4. Sieving/Grading
5. Packing.

The Indian Market Perspective For Desiccated Coconut
India is one of the leading producers of coconuts in the world. About 55-60% of the total production of the country is used for various food preparations whereas balance quantity goes for oil extraction. Coconut oil is used as a cooking medium in certain parts of the country and it is also popular hair oil.

Coastal areas of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Maharashtra grow large quantities of coconut trees and this project can be set up in any of these states. For food preparations, fresh coconuts are used in small quantities but copra and desiccated coconut are very popular with several applications round the year.

Why is Dessicated Coconut Preferred Choice?

  • Desiccated coconut has the natural goodness of fresh coconut and is hygienically processed to give the real state of real taste of fresh taste  
  • It adds new flavor to curries, chuttnies, gravies, stews, side-dishes, savories, cakes, sweets, pastries, ice-cream, Biscuits, Bakeries and Confectionery delicacies
  • It is a total boon to busy house wives and fast moving food production centers    
  • Desiccated coconut is economical, easy to store and handle
  • No artificial coloring, preservatives or flavor is added. No oil contents removed. True to the original coconut.

Availability of know-how, Quality Standards and Compliance  

  • CFTRI, Mysore, has successfully developed the technological know-how
  • BIS has specified quality standards vide IS 966:1962
  • Compliance under PFA Act is mandatory

Market Potential
Indians are using coconuts in foodstuff and nibble preparations since ancient time. Brand new coconuts have partial accessibility as well as shelf life once their shells are detached. for this reason, dried coconuts in the variety of Copra or coconut powder have become mass utilization substance owing to their ease of use round the year across the country, longer shelf life, decrease  in wastage, suitable to transport and freedom to the consumers to buy the required quantity. Shriveled coconut is not used in large amount in entity family but its main patrons are confectionery and biscuit industry. It is also used in the making of sweets, curry, many varieties of chutney, farsan and chikkies and many other cooking and nibble preparations. Thus, eating place, dhabas, cafeteria, sweet, farsan and chikki manufacturers, certain food processing units and caterers are bulk and regular consumers.

In global terms the major consumers for desiccated coconut are UK, West Germany, France, Netherlands, USA and Australia, while the largest producers are Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Industrial Applications
Dried coconut, also known as coconut dust, is in dehydrated form and has many uses. Its shelf life is more and it is effortless to transport. Ease of use of fresh coconuts is adequate in coastal areas only and therefore dried coconut is popular in all other region. Desiccated Coconut is generally by the following segments:

  • Confectionery Industry
  • Bakery Products
  • Frozen Food Industry
  • Food Processing Industry
  • Food Service Industry
  • Consumer Products industry.

Nutritional Aspect
Nutritionally desiccated coconut is not dissimilar from fresh coconut kernel. It preserves all the traits of the drenched kernel including the nutrients. High-quality desiccated coconut is crunchy, snowy in color with a sugary, pleasing and unsullied taste of the wet kernel.
  • Dessicated coconut provides nutrients and a source of energy for your immune defense
  • It also contains the raw materials your body uses to mount its antimicrobial defense
  • It contains 69% coconut fat - an excellent source of healthy saturated fat
  • Naturally high in lauric acid—the compound also found in breast milk—which may help enhance the immune system
  • Dehydrated using very low heat to keep nutrients and enzymes intact; dessicated coconut is dried at much higher temperatures (175°F) which kills off many nutrients
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