Surfatech - Coconut Oil Technology
Coconut oil is the most abundant oil processed. Coconut oil comes from the seeds of Cocos Nucifera. It is the most common oil raw material used in the cosmetic industry. Geographically, is cultivated principally from Southeast Asia and the Philippines and is the major source of lauric acid (C-12). There are several ways to produce coconut oil, each of which can be processed under two general methods: wet process or dry process.
In the wet process, coconut milk is made first and then the oil is extracted from the milk. Coconut kernel is shredded, mixed with a little water, and then squeezed or pressed to extract the oil. The resulting oil/water mixture produces coconut cream or coconut milk depending on the percentage of oil. The coconut milk is then allowed to separate naturally. Since oil is lighter than water, the oil rises to the surface. This takes 12 to 24 hours. The oil can then be skimmed off. This is the traditional method of making coconut oil from coconut milk and is the way many people make the oil at home. Other methods incorporate heating, fermentation, refrigeration, or centrifugal force to separate the oil from the water. Some minor heating is generally done afterwards (often in a low temperature vacuum chamber) to drive off excess moisture and produce a more purified product and to extend shelf life.
In the dry process the oil is extracted directly from the kernel. The coconut kernel is first shredded and dried in an oven to about 10 to 12% moisture. The dried, shredded coconut is then placed into a press and the virgin oil is expelled.