Copra is coconut meat that is processed by drying. Products that can be produced from copra, one of which is coconut oil. The copra that is ready to be processed is then extracted to produce oil. Then, how to make copra, as the basic ingredient for making coconut oil?
How to Make Copra?
The basic ingredient for making copra is coconut which is about 300 days old. The minimum weight required is 3-4 kg per fruit. Copra processed products can be used as coconut oil which has many benefits. How to make copra become quality oil?
Based on references, to make copra into a quality product, there are various techniques. Namely drying by exposure to sunlight, drying by smoking which is carried out over a fire, drying using indirect heat, and drying with a plastic hood.
Dried coconut, hereinafter referred to as copra can be processed into various quality preparations. Some examples of processed copra include coconut oil, mouthwash, cooking oil, nata de coco, coconut soy sauce, and many others.
Copra Drying Technique
Quality copra is successful in drying as well as the perfect shape. How to make copra that has a perfect shape? You can take advantage of drying either in direct sunlight or in the oven. It will affect the shape of the coconut meat.
It is easy to pry the coconut flesh from the shell. But most will spoil the shape of the meat. For that, use solar energy to help the process of removing coconut meat.
Drying with the Help of Sunlight
The weather of each region is not the same, as well as to predict the weather. For that, drying with this technique must be patient, especially if it enters the rainy season. Instead of drying the coconuts, the rain comes suddenly and it will be difficult to shade a lot of coconuts.
The drying process when the weather is sunny only takes 2 days. After that, the coconut meat can be prayed. It takes a second stage of drying which takes 3-5 days to produce quality copra. If the weather is sunny, drying within 8 hours can reduce the water content in coconut up to 1/3 of the total water content.
Drying with the help of sunlight has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that it saves production costs. Because using natural ways by utilizing natural resources. It does not require tools or materials to dry coconut.
By arranging on a concrete floor or using bamboo shelves, the copra produced will be maximized. Although it takes a very long time to produce quality copra.
The disadvantages of this drying technique are related to the weather. In addition to the burden of lifting coconuts when it rains, the drawback is that the drying process will take longer. Not only that, if the copra is not dry but the weather is not good, the potential for mushrooms to grow will be greater.
Drying Technique Using Artificial Heat
This drying technique uses the help of machine operation. So you need a machine to dry the coconuts. The drying process can be carried out indoors. This process is divided into 2 types. Drying by direct method and drying with heat indirectly.
Drying directly will come into contact with gases from the combustion process. The burning that occurs can also be called smoke-dried copra which has a characteristic odor from burning. And the skin color is brownish white. The fuel for drying coconut is dried shell.
The second type of artificial heat drying is indirect drying. Copra drying will not come into direct contact with the gases from the combustion process. The system is drying in a room with heating pipes. How to dry copra with this technique will require a very large capital. So it will affect the cost of production.
The artificial heat drying technique has an indirect advantage. Namely, the color of the resulting copra will be better. Oil from copra with this drying technique will have a quality aroma and taste. If copra is stored for a long period it will also not produce a rancid odor. Storage time in this case is approximately 8 months.
Dried copra will be packaged and then cooled, and ready to be marketed for all kinds of purposes. Mostly, copra is used as a raw material for making oil.
Drying Using a Plastic Hood
The technique of drying coconuts to become this type of copra is better than drying techniques with the help of sunlight. The tool used in this drying is a hood made of plastic. This drying produces quality copra juice, so it will also affect the quality of coconut oil.
How to make copra by drying technique using a plastic hood? You can prepare a room whose walls and roof are made of transparent plastic. Then the sun will shine on the copra which is arranged in a plastic room. Thus, the copra will get heat indirectly from the sun.
The light that enters through the plastic room will be reflected so that the heat will be retained. This causes the temperature in the room to rise. Another advantage of drying with this technique is that copra gets quality heat and is protected from rain.
You do not have to bother to secure the coconut if one day it rains. But the coconuts will still get heat from the sun if the weather is good, even when the sky is cloudy.
That’s an explanation of how to make copra, as the main ingredient in making coconut oil. All of the described techniques have their respective advantages and disadvantages. You need to choose one, to produce the desired copra, also according to your financial condition.
Coconut drying methods will always produce different quality copra. However, the desire to get quality copra must be adjusted to the capital owned, the availability of land, and also the required manpower. The choice of drying technique is also based on the timing of meeting customer needs.