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The copra problem

Conventional coconut oil comes from dried coconut flesh, called copra. Copra is dried in a wood-fuelled kiln,
or in the sun, over a period of a few days. It is time-consuming, dirty, lonely, arduous, fuel-intensive and lowpaying work. Many farmers consider it a form of slavery.
Copra is bulked
up at an export
port and shipped
to a large
industrial oil mill
often in
Europe or Asia.
Unhygienic
drying, humid
tropical
conditions, bulk
shipping and
long distances,
result in lengthy
delays and the
growth of
moulds on the
copra.
Sometimes this leads to aflatoxin contamination.
Copra oil extraction requires large-scale, high-pressure, expensive, energy-intensive equipment. Unhygienic
copra means that the resultant oil is normally of low quality with a Free Fatty Acid (FFA) level of 3% or more.
(FFA is one measure of rancidity of oil).
Thus copra oil requires refining, bleaching and deodorising (RBD) to create a commercially acceptable
product. The refining process uses hydrochloric acid, solvents and steam to strip out the contamination.
Some residual solvents remain in the oil. The process also removes the natural volatiles and anti-oxidants
that give pure coconut oil its unique flavour and aroma. The total process from farm to refined oil can take
many months. The residual copra-meal is only suitable as animal feed but, even here, care is required
because it can be contaminated with carcinogenic aflatoxin.

Copra linked to cancer-causing agent


April 16, 2007

Fonterra has ordered its farmers to stop feeding copra meal to milking cows because of the risk of aflatoxins
entering the human food chain.
Aflatoxins are a risk to human health, being a known cancer-causing agent, and cannot be destroyed
through processing, including pasteurisation.
The dairy giant has told farmers to step feeding it until a code of practice is in place to ensure that the copra
meal supplied to dairy farmers contains fewer than five parts per billion of aflatoxins.
Fonterra said farmers intending to use compounded feeds that contain copra should ensure that the meal
does not make up more than 15 per cent of the product, and that they request the supplier provide laboratory
results showing levels of aflatoxins below five parts per billion.
Contamination by aflatoxins usually results from excessive moisture levels at some stage during harvest or
storage, causing the growth of moulds that release the toxins.
Copra meal is made from coconut kernels and is a good source of oils and protein. Its use by dairy farmers
has declined in recent years, with processed palm kernel now far more popular. This is unaffected by the
ban.
Is Copra potentially a horse killer?
May 31, 2007 by Neil Clarkson

Concerns have been voiced over the safety of feeding copra to horses.
Two horses died recently near Picton, with suspicion falling on the contents of a meal given to the horses
before their deaths. A circulating email blames copra, and predicts more horses will die from eating this
common ingredient in horse-feed preparations.
Tests are being conducted in the wake of the Picton deaths to determine what, if anything, in the feed in
question might have caused the fatalities. Whether copra is to blame has yet to be determined, but the case
highlights the potential danger of pretty much all conserved feeds. By conserved feeds, we mean grains,
silage, baleage, copra, and hay, to name but a few.
Copra is coconut meal and is considered an excellent cool-feed for horses, being a good source of oils and
protein.
However, like all conserved feeds, there is a risk of contamination by tiny organisms that can release
dangerous toxins.
Copra was recently in the news, when dairy giant Fonterra ordered farmers to stop feeding it to milking cows
because of the risk of aflatoxins entering the human food chain. Aflatoxins are a risk to human health, being
a known cancer-causing agent, and cannot be destroyed through processing, including pasteurisation.
The dairy giant has told farmers to stop feeding it until a code of practice is in place to ensure that the copra
meal supplied to dairy farmers contains fewer than five parts per billion of aflatoxins.
Contamination by aflatoxins usually results from excessive moisture levels at some stage during harvest or
storage, causing the growth of moulds that release the toxins.
Excessive moisture at baling can have a similar effect on hay, creating a perfect environment for the growth
of dangerous moulds and the toxins they produce. Again, excess moisture at the time of harvest can
encourage the growth of organisms that can contaminate grains with high levels of mycotoxins.
Ensiled grass (silage, haylage or baleage) involves a more complex method of conservation which is
affected by sugar levels, acidity, heat, and oxygen levels. However, poor ensiling can encourage
multiplication of dangerous organisims, which can result in stock being affected by botulism or listeria
poisoning.
The problem for horse owners is knowing whether feed is contaminated. A person with even moderate
experience can identify poor hay, silage or baleage.
The problem becomes much harder with grains and the likes of copra, where such quality control will
generally have to be left to manufacturers and suppliers.
While horse owners may have some current concerns over copra, the issue is less to do with the copra,
which is acknowledged as an excellent feed for horses, and much more to do with ensuring proper
harvesting, storage, and transporting, and - just as importantly - testing by suppliers and manufacturers to
ensure toxins are not at dangerous levels.

Hvis kokosolie ikke er produceret p basis af kologisk, jomfru/virgin hvidt kokoskd og dermed klassificeret
som et kologisk rent naturprodukt, der altid skal dufte af kokos og vre hvidt og cremet ved 15O-20OC, er
det et industriprodukt der har gennemget flgende industrielle forarbejdninger: raffinering blegning
deodorisering, og har dermed helt eller delvist tabt de naturlige og sundheds skabende ingredienser og
fedtsyrer.
Husk vlg altid rene, kologiske naturprodukter.
DinSundheds kologiske kokosolie er markedets mest konkurrencedygtige produkt, bde p kvalitet og pris.

Brug altid DinSundheds produkter nr kun det bedste er godt nok!