A New Era in Coconut Processing


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An article featuring new processing technology of coconut products and future trends in the coconut industry

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A New Era in Coconut Processing

  1. 1. A New Era for Coconut Processing Expanding Milk Production ABL De-shelling and paring of the fresh coconut kernelLLING COCONUT LING remain the two most labor intensive processes for milk and coconut processing. Traditional methodsMACHINE utilize machetes or abrasive machinery that breaks the shell into non-uniform pieces. The result is the fresh kernel being broken into several pieces making hand paring of testa more difficult and time consuming. A faster de-shelling process that results in uniform waste production would be highly desirable. What would the advantages be for de-shelling the coconut to expose the coconut kernel ball in one piece? 2 One of the advantages is the ability to remove the testa from the fresh coconut kernel ball using a high speed fruit peeling machine. This eliminates Coconut De-Shelling Machine PEELER COCONUT PEELER COCONUT the strenuous task of hand paring broken pieces of coconut kernel on a sorting table. Imagine a machine coconut kernel shredding production would improve MACHINE having the capability to remove testa from 30 fresh coconut kernel balls per minute. product availability for an ever-growing nutritionally- conscience consumer base. Demand for fresh, dairy Coconut Kernel Peeling Machine free, casein free, and lactose free milk products is also on the rise. Coconut producers would have 1 more marketing options if sustainable levels of fresh coconut milk could be maintained. Freshly peeled Mobile Processing coconut kernel In various parts of the world, existing fixed building4 facilities are generally used at a fraction of their designed capacity. Some operate under extremely 2 poor hygienic conditions. A definite need exists for hygienic processing facilities both for public health reasons and to replace expensive fixed building The extensive workforce necessary to hand pare projects. thousands of coconuts is now removed, providing 3 workers with a less physically demanding job. Workers The MMF Truck Trailer© is a self-contained (water, could be reassigned upstream for processing shells, or power, fuel) unit and travels to farms for on-site operating kernel peeling machines. processing. The Truck Trailer can remain on site for the duration of the factory process. This enabling technology would improve production speeds—possibly to enable some large factories Site facility requirements supplied by the land to operate 16 hours per day instead of 24. When owner are limited to fruit transport trailers. Bins factory workers are re-assigned to operate peeling and micro trailers used to gather the harvest are machinery, the production output could be increased filled and parked adjacent to the mobile factory to exponentially. Doubling or potentially tripling initiate processing. Fruit transport costs associated Bio-Waste Container Shells De-Shell Trailer Tank Press Shred Crush Peel Waste Wash Standardize Pasteurize Fill MMF March 2012 A New Era for Coconut Processing Intermodal Farms
  2. 2. with centralized processing facilities would also be Short Path Distillationreduced. For customers where extended production Evaporator Elementsis assured, the trailer can be converted to a modularpod.High-Speed Coconut Processing Feed Tank withMidstream processing speed is determined by Wiper Basket Motor Heating Jacketupstream output. Engineers have been searching fora mechanized upstream solution, but to date, havenot discovered a scalable system for de-shelling andpeeling. When semi-automated de-shelling becomes Feed Inlet &available, factory system design could change Distribution Platedramatically. Evaporator Evaporator Wiper BasketA high but steady volume of freshly peeled coconut Heating Jacket Evaporator Internalkernel would demand a high speed shredding line. A Jacketed Condenser Coilsemi-automated coconut shredding line would sustain Residue Section Vacuum Outlet to Vacuum Pumpproduction momentum and provide a consistent Cold Trapquality of freshly pressed coconut kernel milk. In thisscenario, factory output would ultimately be dictatedby the speed of the de-shelling and kernel peeling Residue Receiver Flaskmachinery. Distillate Receiver FlaskProduction speeds of 500,000 nuts per day wouldnow be achievable with proper factory design and Cold Trap Receiver Flaskavailable investment. Production volumes would beless dependent on strenuous repetitive tasks. Workerstress would be reduced and factory workers would Coconut Water Extraction Automationenjoy an improved quality of work life. A newer The demand for immature coconut waterand simplified production process would benefit beverages is expanding globally. Some producersmanagement and factory workers for sustainable are importing coconuts from other nations to keepproduction of coconut products. up with production demand. Some factories have implemented water extraction machines but none areExtra Virgin Coconut Oil Production widely available on the open market. The demand forQuality of virgin coconut oil using the wet process is water extraction machinery has increased in the lasthighly dependent on testa removal before shredding 24 months. Farmers, small beverage producers, andthe fresh coconut kernel. VCO could be processed new startups desire to offer fresh coconut water atwith less heat, reduced color, and efficient removal of vacation resorts.water and moisture. A coconut water extraction machine that can pierceA simple, affordable technology, with reduced the husk and hard shell is needed. Mechanizationprocess time and efficiency is needed. Certified VCO would improve the supply chain for offering coconutand approved food science offers verifiable quality water as a stock beverage base. Food safe, HACCP,of coconut oil. New VCO processing standards and all stainless steel construction is necessary forwould create higher quality products importers and consistent product quality and product availability.consumers are demanding. Bulk packaging of coconutoil could offer improved product appeal similar to Reliable and easily maintainable equipment wouldhigh quality olive oil. invite more beverage competition. Processors could focus more time on new methods for sterilization, blending, and new product formulation. Beverage producers are seeking the most authentic and natural taste similar to freshly extracted coconut water. Micro or transportable sterilization technology could enable processing and de-watering of green coconuts in the field.Intermodal Farms A New Era for Coconut Processing March 2012
  3. 3. One machine running eight hours per day could via online auctioning of virgin coconut oil, desiccatedproduce 3,600 liters of fresh coconut water. Factories coconut and whole fruit for export.would only be limited by the supply of coconuts. Thiswould increase the demand for mechanical assisted A New Coconut Nationcoconut harvesting. So what would the new coconut nation be? • A highly efficient harvest community • Small and largeCoconut Palm Harvester farmers alike having equal access to growth andHeight of trees, worker stress, and the potential of prosperity • Improved empowerment for producersserious tree climbing injuries, has resulted in less and farmers equal access to capital • Affordableworkers returning to this demanding job. Consistent mobile factory technology for commerce expansion •harvest production rates remain a challenge. A variety Better management of coconut palms and confidentof climbing machines are being developed, but none delivery of premium fruit the market demands •have been widely adopted. Utilizing remote process factories for higher quality beverage and milk products • An ever growingWhat would the ideal harvester be? What would be product selection for beverage and food products.its performance attributes? Imagine a harvester to • Improved quality of life for all workers in thehave full palm crown access, climb trees 30-45 feet in supply chain • Better working hours • Improved and40 seconds, include safety harnesses, and have a daily organized export capability • Recognized products forpotential of 70 palm trees per day. the purpose of improved health • Improved consumerConsistent harvest levels could be maintained, and perception that the coconut is an amazing source ofworker confidence and safety would be improved. nutrition • The Tree of Life should be known to moreHarvest levels could be achieved even when the people on this planet —thus providing all the benefitsavailability of trained coconut tree climbers is limited. to man and woman, for more abundant life andWith several harvesters, harvest areas could be health.expanded and workforce levels maintained due to asafer work environment. Where frequent harvestingis required, easier daily toddy collection from coconut Intermodal Farms provides engineering and systempalms could improve harvest volumes, and coconut integration of complete end-to-end solutions for fixedsugar production. and mobile coconut processing factories—including harvesting, de-shelling, peeling, green coconut waterCoconut Online Community extraction systems, coconut milk and virgin coconutHow can the coconut industry community oil processing systems. For more information contactprofessionals and farmers collaborate on future us at info@intermodalfarms.com.projects? The APCC and other organizations couldbenefit from an organizational intranet specifically foruse by professionals.This would provide wider online collaboration forestablishing project rooms, where professionals canwork from abroad regarding projects. Peer-to-peerconference calls, webinars, and news feeds are just afew ways professionals can be connected in the digitalworld.International professional directories, eventcalendars, and new technology press releasescould be hosted from a single digital presence. Ainternational commercial producer directory of everynation in Asia Pacific would be widely accepted.This would benefit exporters, importers, andconsumers for searching, selling and promoting newcoconut products. If a product directory was offered,nutritionally focused consumers would easily promoteand spread the word via Facebook and Twitter. Livecommodity posted prices would also benefit farmersMarch 2012 A New Era for Coconut Processing Intermodal Farms