Source, Etc

The fat obtained by expression from the kernels of the coco nut, Cocos nucifera, Linne, and C. butyracea (N.O. Palmoe), cultivated in southern India, Ceylon, South America and other tropica] regions. The coco nuts are collected, broken open, the kernels removed and dried (= coprah); they are then ground and the fat pressed out of the warmed powder by hydraulic presses; on cooling it sets to a white solid. The press-cake is used as cattle food or manure. The fibrous outer part of the nut yields coir fibre which is extensively used for mats, etc.

Description, Etc

A soft white fat of characteristic odour and bland taste but readily becoming rancid. Specific gravity about 0.903 at 100°; melting-point 21° to 25°; iodine value 8 to 95; saponification value about 258. Consists of the glycerides of lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, oleic, caproic, caprylic and capric acids.

Uses

As a lubricant and for soap-making. Cooled and pressed it yields a liquid oil and solid stearin (coco nut stearin, melting-point about 29°) which has been used as a suppository base.