Virgin coconut oil is used in beauty products, baking, and even in the medical realm. But despite its many uses, not everyone knows how it is extracted and processed.
Though this miracle oil can be extracted in many ways, the most popular technique is called the expeller. In this method, dried copra is passed through a custom and specialized screw press that squeezes the oil from the meat of the coconut.
Obviously, the whole extraction process seems to be vague. So below, we’ll tackle the steps one-by-one.
Preparing the Coconuts
Preparing the coconuts is technically the first step. Fresh coconuts are cracked open. And then, using a knife, the meat is taken away from the shell to obtain the copra. After that, the copra is cut into small pieces and allowed to dry completely to get rid of the moisture.
Preparing the Press
Before extracting the oil, the press must be carefully cleaned to ensure there are no residues left from the prior pressing. Once through, the machine must be assembled according to the specifications provided by the manufacturer. The container that is designed to catch the coconut oil must be positioned properly.
Operating the Press
Because the press is now good to go, it’s time to operate it and let the machine do the work. Put the dried copra into the hopper, which is located in the topmost part of the press. Next, turn the handle and start the motor. As the machine runs, coconut oil is slowly extracted from the copra. To push the copra deeper into the press, you might want to use a wooden plunger. If the containers become full, replace them and repeat the process.
Once you have the extracted oil, you can put the lid of the container. Next, put them in a warm place and leave them to settle for at least a day. As soon as the oil has separated from the solid parts, separate the oil into containers of your choice for proper storage. Lastly, put resealable caps and make sure to seal it properly. Make sure you don’t expose them to direct sunlight to prevent coco oil from turning rancid.
Even if you don’t have a press, you can still extract virgin coconut oil in so many ways. Make use of what you have at home and for sure, you’ll be able to think of other better coconut oil extraction methods.