Standard Article

Coconut Oil

  1. Elias C. Canapi,
  2. Yvonne T. V. Agustin,
  3. Evangekube A. Moro,
  4. Economico Pedrosa Jr.,
  5. María Luz J. Bendaño

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047167849X.bio054

Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products

Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products

How to Cite

Canapi, E. C., Agustin, Y. T. V., Moro, E. A., Pedrosa, E. and Bendaño, M. L. J. 2005. Coconut Oil. Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products. 2:3.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


In the tropics, the coconut palm is one of the most useful trees. As a perennial provider of food, beverage, shelter, animal feed, and feedstock for the oloechemical industries, the palm is reverently described as the Tree of Life, Tree of Heaven, and other metaphors by people of coconut-producing countries. Coconut palms grow with a minimum of attention, but for commercial farms the trees must be tended and maintained in order to improve productivity.

This article gives information on the agronomy of coconut palms, propagation, and the varieties of coconut. The various parts of the fruit are the kernel, coconut water, testa (the brown layer between the kernel and the shell), shell, and husk. Copra is the dried kernel of coconuts. The conversion of kernel to copra is an essential step if the oil is to be drawn by the conventional mechanical extraction method. The dry process is the traditional method of extracting the oil. Feedstock in the wet process is the fresh kernel. Refining of crude fats and oils involves a series of steps for removal of impurities to make the product suitable for human consumption.

Coconut oil belongs to a unique group of vegetable oils called lauric oils. More than 90% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated. Physical and chemical properties are detailed. Coconut products are used in edible products, medical and infant formulations, and nonfood products, such as soap. The fatty acids from coconut oil are used as a feedstock in the oleochemical industries. Storage of the product and some economic information are also discussed.


  • coconut;
  • oil;
  • copra;
  • agronomy;
  • extraction;
  • refining;
  • lauric oils;
  • feedstocks;
  • oleochemicals;
  • composition;
  • storage