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Processing Manual for Virgin Coconut Oil, its Products and By-products for Pacific Island Countries and Territories by Ms Divina D. Bawalan, a new coconut-processing manual hopes to assist community-based producers in the Pacific to improve the quality of their value-added coconut products to meet international market requirements.
Published by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and funded by the European Union, the manual was launched recently in Fiji.
Launching the manual, Vinay Chand, a leading UK-based consultant on coconut processing and marketing said, “This manual is intended as a primary source of practical knowledge on the proper handling and processing of fresh coconuts to ensure that virgin coconut oil (VCO) and its by-products will be produced to meet and possibly exceed international standards.”
Virgin coconut oil from the Pacific is being exported to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and United States markets. The purest form of coconut oil, VCO has been generating considerable interest in coconut-producing countries and importing nations because of its multi-functional uses and the way it can be produced at different production levels.
VCO production offers an opportunity for the Pacific region’s coconut farmers to increase their income with this alternative to low value copra production. Besides VCO processing technologies suited to Pacific Island countries and territories, the manual covers options for the processing of coconut shell, water from mature coconuts and coconut milk residue, which are by-products of VCO processing.
It also includes the processing of VCO-based downstream products such as herbal soap, aromatherapy oils and herbal lotions, using aromatic plants available in the Pacific.
Copies of the book are available through the EU-funded FACT (Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade) project, based in the Land Resources Division of SPC. Electronic editions can be downloaded at www.spc.int/lrd