03rd February 2012, www.nation.lk
NMK Green Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, a member of the NMK Holdings (Private) Limited has introduced a new process for the production of copra, after a series of research.
This innovative system will replace the age-old traditional method of copra production and will help Sri Lanka to save around Rs. 4 billion in foreign exchange per annum, said Manjula Narayana, Managing Director of NMK Group of Companies.
In the usual process of producing coconut oil, the enormous amount of coconut shells is unnecessarily wasted by burning them for drying the copra. Around 80,000 to 120,000 tons of coconut oil is produced locally per annum to meet the consumer demand. This means that around 8,000 coconuts are required to produce a ton of coconut oil. Therefore, on an average, one billion coconuts are needed to produce Sri Lanka’s annual coconut oil consumption.
“Around 65% - 75% coconut shells are annually burnt in this traditional method. If we were to export these wasted shells as charcoal and value added activated carbon, Sri Lanka can earn Rs. 4 billion per annum”.
This situation can be diverted for the greater benefit and prosperity of the country if the newly invented process of copra drying is applied. For the benefit of the national economy, this machinery can be provided to those keen in this new technology, he stressed.
Coconut oil contains the lauric acid which is a feature in mother’s milk too. Lauric acid enhances the human body’s immune system and helps in a big way to resist diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. As coconut oil contains short and medium chain fatty acid, it digests easily thereby providing the stamina the human system needs.
In addition, as coconut oil also contains substantial volumes of MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride), it provides energy and nutrition to brain cells to enhance its functions apart from glucose.
He said these fundamentally important factors have been scientifically proven in research done in USA and Europe. But, it should be borne in mind that the human body can accrue all these health benefits only if proper and systematic processes and techniques are used to extract coconut oil. In applying traditional methods to produce coconut oil, the natural goodness and its useful health benefits are destroyed. Not only that, due to bad manufacturing practices and unhygienic process, green and yellow bacterial fungus which is health hazardous forms up.
“During ten years of research we did with the active involvement of academics including Professors, we were able to scientifically establish these factors. Our company is equipped with a modern, state-of-the-art laboratory to ensure safety, hygiene and the overall health of the nation”.
In the traditional system of extracting coconut oil, the coconut kernels are placed on the copra kiln and smoke induced from coconut shell is used to convert it into copra. The smoke emanating from coconut shells contain chemicals such as hydro carbons in the nature of Polycyclit Aromatic Hydrocarbon – PAH, which are harmful to humans. It is these chemicals which act on the kernels and changes its color from white to brown. This process also destroys the natural goodness of coconuts.
“Afterwards, it is common to dump the copra in insecure places infested with cockroaches, rats and other rodents. This results in the waste of these creatures also mixing with the copra. Another threat is contamination with active germs and harmful strains of bacteria stemming from yellow and green fungus due to high moisture contain as these stocks of copra are stored for long periods of time”, he noted.
When these stocks of copra are ultimately taken to the oil mill, the milling is done by a screw-type expeller which does not separate the impurities as well as milling and simple filteration can not remove microbes, free radicals, Free Fatty Acid and Peroxide value without refining. Therefore, most of the coconut oil sold in the marketplaces is of this inferior quality which has been extracted without even a semblance of quality and hygienic standards.
“Many people use caustic soda for refining, which is also harmful to the health, and to make the coconut oil white & clear; but, NMK manufacture Marina Refined Coconut Oil using new technology of physical refining with only steam & vacuum with the international standard of ISO 22000, HACCP and Halal. Further, Marina produced Virgin Coconut Oil using Cold Process for export to the international markets and now it is available in the local market as well. The Virgin Coconut Oil has immense health benefits and you can visit company web site for details.
Related Info :
• Sri Lanka Coir Fibre Exports Increased Sharply in 2009 due to Demand from China