General and long term objectives
(1) To enhance foreign exchange earnings of the coconut sector through export of higher value products.
(2) To reduce qualitative and quantitative losses in the copra manufacturing and processing industries.
(3) To sustain and increase the income of coconut small holders through the introduction of efficient processing methods.
(4) To improve the nutritional value of coconut oil and copra cake for human and animal feeding purposes respectively.
(5) To develop environmental and energy awareness of populations involved with coconut processing.
(1) The training of young scientists and engineers from the developing world in appropriate methods for research, quality control, and engineering design of copra production processes.
(2) A rigourous scientific appraisal of the extent, variation and importance of PAH content in copra and derived products according to manufacturing practices.
(3) The development of rapid, low-cost analytical methods for (a) determining and characterising PAHs, and (b) in-vitro screening of toxic PAHs, in copra and derived products.
(4) Elucidation of factors inhibiting growth of A. Flavus, and subsequent production of aflatoxin, which may be attributable to the presence of PAHs, or other chemical constituents present during smokedrying of copra.
(5) New knowledge about traditional practices which will enable the design and development of improved methods for processing coconut.
Copra is of major socio-economic importance to the 84 coconut growing countries throughout the developing world.
The commodity provides, a source of income for smallholders, valuable foreign exchange through its export, edible oil and animal feed when processed locally.
The future of the industry is threatened by increasingly stringent legislation of importing nations; and it is apparent that radical changes to traditional smoke-drying practices will be required for the industry to survive.
Necessarily these changes will need to take account of adverse, environmental, energy, product-quality, and health aspects associated with traditional manufacturing practices.
Of major concern are the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) produced during manufacture of copra.
Preliminary studies have already demonstrated the presence of carcinogenic PAHS in copra and its derivec products, coconut oil and copra-cake. This interdisciplinary proposal through (a) systematic field evaluation and (b) allied laboratory research studies, endeavours to provide the requisite information for both legislative and development change which will assure the future oi the industry.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6708 PD Wageningen
4031 Los Banos