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The Right Technology To Process Quality Virgin Coconut Oil For The Global Market

While the copra based coconut oil has been in existence for more than a century now, its high quality version, virgin coconut oil (VCO) was only introduced in the world market at the start of 21st century. From the time it entered the commercial market up to the present, VCO is one of the highest valued products derived from the fresh coconut kernel. With its known nutraceutical and functional food properties which are extolled in numerous publications and acknowledged by international experts on nutrition and health professionals, VCO is qualified to enter the health and wellness global market which was reported to have already reached US $ 3.4 trillion in value ( As such choosing the right technology that can produce VCO with the highest quality at a competitive price is a must to gain a foothold in the said market.


VCO processing technologies can be generally classified into the fresh-dry and the fresh-wet processes. Under each of these categories are different processing methods which are applicable at different scales of operation. However, this paper will just focus on the two (2) methods which are generally adopted for commercial production of VCO and applicable for medium to large scale operation. It will present the processing steps for the fresh-dry high pressure expeller method and the fresh-wet centrifuge method. Likewise, it will dissect and compare the advantages and disadvantages of both methods to determine the appropriate technology to adopt. The paper will also discuss the misconceptions in VCO processing which can be surmised to be the reason why would-be entrepreneurs generally prefer to adopt the fresh-wet centrifuge method. Lastly, it will suggest some options to enhance profitability in VCO processing plants by looking at the by-products generated from each of the two processing methods.


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