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High interest for virgin coconut oil-producing equipment

January 31
07:52 2013

The chairman and managing director of Island Virgin Coconut Oil, Jim Bandy, demonstrates to Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama (right) and Asian and Pacific Coconut Community executive director, Romulo Arancon Junior, equipment he has designed to extract virgin coconut oil. The demonstration was done during the opening of the 49th Asian and Pacific Coconut Community Ministerial Meeting in Nadi on Monday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

By RACHNA LAL

Jim Bandy’s Fijian-made equipment designed to ease the production of virgin coconut oil is receiving great interest.
Mr Bandy, who is the chairman and managing director of Island Virgin Coconut Oil, said the interestwas local as well as international.
“The equipment has been demonstrated in Labasa and displayed at the recent Asian and Pacific Coconut Community Ministerial meeting and there has been a great deal of interest,” he said.
“The big interest is from the private enterprises in Fiji but Kiribati is also extremely interested with this equipment and is interested in 10 sets.
“The Coconut Minister from Kiribari is very serious and he wants to know when I can come with the equipment.”
Mr Bandy said he has also received interest from New Caledonia and some other Pacific island countries.
Pricing
The equipment package costs $30,000 and includes a dryer, press, scrapers, stainless steel buckets, filter for filtering process and all things needed for producing virgin coconut oil.
And for another $3000, the equipment will be set up and training and supervision will be provided for the beginning of the process.

Advantage
Mr Bandy said the $30,000 investment can be returned in the first year even if one processed only 350 coconuts a day for 150 days a year.
But the capacity of the stainless steel dryer designed by Mr Bandy is to do twice that.
“At 700 coconuts a day, four days a week, you have a return of $40,000 per year net profit,” he said.
700 coconuts per day can produce 50 litres of very high quality coconut oil daily.

Next phase
For Mr Bandy, this was phase one and now he is working on phase two.
“I will build a machine to process the husk into two commercially-desirable products. It’s called linnet which is the dust and core which is the fibre to make rope out of,” he said.
Mr Bandy said the byproduct of pressing the coconut for oil (cake), was currently being sold as chicken or pig feed.
He, however, has better plans for this.
“I want to turn that into coconut flour. I don’t know if that is possible but that is my next project,” he said.
There is more than one way to make virgin coconut oil which is the fermentation process.
But Mr Bandy said the downside of this fermentation process was that it doesn’t produce a whole lot of virgin coconut oil.

Quick fact file

. Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra.
. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years.
. A spoon of virgin coconut oil in the morning and at night is expected to control blood pressure, cholesterol level, kidney problems, heart diseases and a number of lifestyle diseases.
. It is also good for one’s skin and hair.
. The new equipment means:
* Husking 150 coconuts takes 30 to 45 minutes
* Scraping 100 coconuts in one hour
* 100 – 25 kilograms of scrapped coconut meat
* Dryer will dry 200 coconuts in two hours
* The press will press 150 coconuts in 30 minutes

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