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FIJI TIMES ONLINE Luke Rawalai Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Fiji's own ... Jim Bandy shows the copra dryer he designed and built. Picture: Luke Rawalai
IN a bid to help people of the greater Udu Point area, Also Island Limited director Jim Bandy designed and invented a machine to lighten the load of processing virgin coconut oil.
Mr Bandy yesterday held a public exhibition which saw the machine dry scraped coconut in about an hour.
The display included a modern version of the common electric coconut scraper and the virgin oil extractor.
Mr Bandy said the project was successfully completed through funding provided by the New Zealand government.
"Coconut is a natural resource that is available abundantly in our islands and we have been looking for ways in which we could simplify the task of extracting VCO which often takes gruesome hours of hard labour to achieve," he said.
"I had no difficulty in putting together the scraper and the extractor as all I had to do was make small amendments and improvements to the electronic coconut scraper model before I began work with the extractor.
"In order to extract quality oil from the nuts we needed to ensure that the scraped coconuts had a moisture level of 11 per cent and we had to reduce the normal moisture of normal scraped coconuts which is usually 50 per cent to the 11 per cent mark.
"The moisture level is tested with the weight after drying," he said.
Mr Bandy said the modern easy dryer would certainly save time and energy for his workers who stand for hours alongside the hotplates turning over scraped coconuts.