Monday, July 4, 2011

The potential of coconut-based industries in Indonesia

If you walk to the island of Sumatra (Indonesia), surely you will often find coconut trees everywhere. So far the use of coconut in Sumatra is still very limited both by residents and local governments. Generally, coconut is only used as food ingredients (coconut milk) or beverages (coconut ice) which are economically value-added is low. It is not too much different from their use in general in Indonesia, which was still preoccupied with food and beverage products. This is actually very unfortunate. Because of the potential of coconut to enhance the welfare of the community and to expand employment is quite promising.

Actually, various commercial products from coconut bioindustry are highly diverse, not only food and beverage products. These include the utilization of liquid smoke (as an alternative preservative to substitute formalin), Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), biodiesel, adsorbents, cooking oil, soap products, coconut coir fiber, charcoal briquettes (a substitute for coal ), nata de coco, activated carbon, and others. With adequate capitalization of the government or private, all of the products can be a potential bioindustry.
Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)
Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) or pure coconut oil is one of f coconut products that have been known to be very good for health. This oil is produced by squeezing fresh coconuts to get the oil without cooking. The advantage of this process is the oil obtained can hold up to two years without becoming rancid. The VCO contains almost 50% lauric acid (C-12) causes the health effects of the VCO is similar to breast milk. This is due to lauric acid in the human body is converted into monolaurin. Monolaurin itself is as antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoa. Monolaurin could damage the lipid membranes of viruses such as HIV, influenza, hepatitis C, and cytomelagovirus.
Biodiesel Oil
Utilization of coconut which is also not less interesting is as a feedstock for biodiesel. From research by students from Brigham Young University, to get 1 liter of biodiesel needed 10 pieces of coconut and produce glycerin as a by-products. This glycerin is used for the manufacture of soap. In Indonesia, the assessment of biodiesel from coconut has been carried out by the BPPI or Agency for Industrial Research and Development, Ministry of Industry. In the assessment is known that oil can be used as an alternative to diesel (coco diesel). A liter of diesel can be obtained from the processing of six coconuts. The trial coconut diesel has also been tested on Mitsubishi vehicles and reach distances of up to 20 thousand miles nonstop, and passed the test. When endurance test (performance) held the vehicle suffered only 4% power down.
Edible Oil Products
Cooking oil from coconut based on the scientific study of is the safest and most healthy. Medium-chain fatty acid content (middle-chain fatty acids / MCFA), which reaches 92% is high compared to most other vegetable oils. MCFA is directly absorbed in the body by the intestinal wall without going through the process of hydrolysis or enzymatic. And also, when the coconut oil used for frying, its chemical structure will not change at all because 92% of the fatty acid is in the form of the saturated fatty acid Meanwhile, other vegetable oils will be thick, if the oil used for frying, because the process of polymerization (clotting) occurs. Additionally, coconut oil also does not produce trans fatty acids and free radicals that are toxic (poison) and carcinogenic (causing cancer).
Soap Products
Glycerin is a byproduct of the coconut oil industry. Glycerin is a clear liquid, odorless and has a sweet taste. Glycerin used in industry as raw material for making soap. Because of its nature as a humectant, so that the glycerin serves as a skin moisturizer in the soap. In a household scale, soap can be made with ingredients that are affordable and can be obtained in chemicals stores.
Actually there are many other high quality products from coconut that can not be described further in this article due to various limitations. The use of coconut as raw material for cosmetics, white copra, knick-knacks art, the manufacture of shampoo, margarine, activated carbon, the raw material for medicines, and so forth. Because so manifold benefits of this coconut, it is not surprising if the coconut got the nickname as a tree of life.
With a view on the potential development of the coconut in Indonesia, Coconut should get more attention and become a superior commodity in Indonesia. It'd be nice if the producers do not meet the current world market that tends to palm oil, but they creates its own market based on coconut products, so the next few years, along with the quality and quantity of coconut products is increasing, a new trend in the world would be created: the transition of export and import to coconut products and derivatives.

Related archieves:
Processing of copra from coconut
Raw materials for palm oil processing
Sunflower oil
Corn oil
Palm oil products

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