I had been to Kalasa, Chikkamagaluru for developing our business there. While I was talking to a famous coffee maker Varamahalakshmi Coffee Works, he asked me how is that your coconut oil last much longer compared to other coconut oils? It was a great opportunity for me to highlight how different and superior Cocoguru coconut oil is compared to other coconut oils. Since he was curious, he listened carefully. Normally retailers don’t care, we rarely get to explain, if at all we get, they hardly listen. These are the factors which I explained
1. Copra making method
Copra is made from coconuts in 2 methods.
a. Fresh copra
Here fresh coconut is cut into two and immediately sun dried to get copra. This method is followed in coastal Karnataka and Kerala during summer and Tamil Nadu. Because of its freshness it would have undergone minimal deterioration.
b. Ball copra
Coconut with shell and husk is kept in attic for a long time to let coconut water in it slowly dry. After 6 months, moisture would have evaporated and kernel inside would become like a ball and separated from the shell. This type of copra popularly called as Tiptur edible ball copra is used for direct consumption. This method is used in Deccan platue regions of Karnataka. Those that are not in regular shape and size is used for oil milling purpose. Since the copra has become old, it would have undergone some deterioration. Milling copra is selected after selecting edible copra.
To make Cocoguru coconut oil only copra made from sun drying of fresh coconuts are used.
2. Copra Segregation
Copra is segregated to select only good quality ones and bad quality ones are separated. Only good quality copra gives good quality oil despite the best of processes further.
3. Copra drying
Moisture causes rancidity in cooking oil. So, moisture is removed by drying copra using hot air before oil extraction.
4. Copra roasting
Copra roasting further removes moisture and sterilises copra.
5. Oil Extraction
Coconut oil is normally extracted from copra in 2 types of machines, rotary and expeller.
In rotary machine, copra with 8% moisture is crushed in a rotary machine, oil is then filtered by sedimentation in barrels for 7 days.
In expeller, copra with 2.5% moisture is crushed in an expeller, oil is then filtered online through filter press.
Cocoguru coconut oil is extracted from dried copra using expeller and filtered through filter press. Popular perception is that oil that is cold pressed/wood pressed/rotary crushed is natural and superior, also it looks white/colourless. It is suitable only for immediate consumption and yet very ineffecient. Oil yield is low, moisture causes rancidity. Roasted coconut oil extracted through expeller is long lasting, safe, aromatic and tasty yet retains natural properties.
6. Fine filtering
Filtering removes solid particles and moisture, when done finely and thoroughly, it improves oil appearance and shelf life. At Cocoguru, coconut oil is double filtered.
7. Tight packaging
Packing is a way to hold, protect, carry and exhibit the oil. When done well, it goes a long way in ensuring shelf life and convenience of use. In our case shelf life increases from 6 months in PET bottles to 12 months in Jerry Cans.
8. Inventory management
We carefully manage stocks at manufacturing, distribution and retailer points to ensure the stocks are fresh and in good condition, so that consumers get fresh stock.
Overall, it is about careful taking care of each aspect of manufacturing and business process, not about chemicals and preservatives. For many manufacturers their scope ends when their products reach the wholesalers, for us it is about consumer experience.