1. Desiccated coconut powder processing technology:
- Desiccated Coconut: Desiccated coconut, the edible dried-out shredded coconut meat was prepared from fresh kernel of fully matured coconut and it is available in coarse, medium and fine grades and also in special grades such as threads, strips, granules etc. Good desiccated coconut is crisp, snow white in colour with a sweet, pleasant and fresh taste of coconut kernel. Desiccated coconut, a commercial product was manufactured from the white part of the meat after removing the brown parings. The meat is shredded or disintegrated and dried in hot air driers at 140-170oF to 2 per cent moisture content (fat 65-68 % and Solids nonfat 30-32%) and used in the manufacture of cakes, pastries and chocolates. Desiccated coconut is the disintegrated, white kernel of coconut processed under strict hygienic conditions and dried to a moisture content of below 3.0 per cent. It is a food product which is ready and fit for direct human consumption.
- Products from desiccated coconut: The matured coconut kernels were steam blanched and soaked in sugar syrup of 30o brix for a period of 48hrs.The drained pieces were sulphited for 20 min and dried in the cabinet drier at a temperature of 60oC for 8 h. Storage studies proved that sugar acts as an osmotic agent for the preservation of coconut. Osmotically dehydrated coconut was well suited for the preparation of products in the homes as well in commercial units.
- The desiccated coconut powder (2%) or soy protein concentrate (SCP) (4.5%) was used in the preparation of mango bar, which increased the percentage of protein. The total soluble solids of pulp was raised to 30o brix with powdered cane sugar adding 0.6% citric acid and drying in an air cabinet drier at 63 + 2oC for 14h.
- Coconut powder was used in the preparation of ragi based convenience mixes viz., sweetened and spiced mix. The other ingredients for sweetened mix were puffed ragi flour, sugar, beaten rice flakes, cardamom, coconut powder and puffed ragi flour, sugar, dehydrated coriander leaves, hydrogenated fat, coconut powder and groundnut for spiced mix. In sweetened mix, addition of beaten rice improved the colour but increased the rate of lipid oxidation while incorporation of coconut powder lowered the lipid oxidation.
- The value added products from coconut, such as dehydrated coconut (both savoury and sweet), ready-to-use coconut chutney mix, coconut kuruma mix, coconut rice mix and coconut burfi mix was developed. Acidified salt solution and sugar syrup were used as osmotic agents for the preparation of dehydrated coconut for savoury and sweet dishes. The dehydrated coconut (savoury) was prepared by soaking the blanched coconut scrapings in the soak solution containing 1.0 per cent salt, 1.0 per cent acetic acid and 250 ppm of SO2 without antioxidant (T1) and with antioxidant (T2) for 24 hr and dried in the cabinet drier at 60° C for 4 to 5 hr (upto 4.0 % moisture). The treated and dehydrated coconut samples were packed in 300 gauge polyethylene bag without vacuum and with vacuum and stored at room temperature to observe the storage behaviour.
Desiccated coconut powder process
It is simple and well-established. Fully grown and matured coconuts of around 1 year are stored with husk for about a month to facilitate absorption of water and separation of coconut kernels from shell walls. After de-husking, their shells are removed and brown portion (also known as Tasta) is removed by scrapping it off and in this process around 12-15% of the kernel goes as paring which is further processed to obtain oil, and thus there is a ready market for this by-product. Subsequently, de-shelled coconuts are broken into pieces, washed and disintegrated in powder form. This powder is then dried in Vibration fuild frier at about 70-80 OC and powder is stirred occasionally to ensure uniform drying. On cooling, it is passed through vibratory screen with different mesh sizes to segregate the powder according to mesh size.
Finally, it is packed in moisture and oil-proof polythene-lined plywood boxes of 10, 25 or 50 kgs. Retail sales is not much but for that packing of 200 or 400 gms. is advisable. Recovery of desiccated coconut largely depends upon quality of coconuts. But on an average processing of 100 coconuts gives around 12-13 kgs. of coconut powder. By-products like parings and shell can be sold in the market. The process flow chart is as under: