Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker




















































 -   The kernel thus dried
is known as copperah. This is then pressed in a mill, and the
oil flows into - Page 240
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The Kernel Thus Dried Is Known As "Copperah." This Is Then Pressed In A Mill, And The Oil Flows Into A Reservoir.

This oil, although clear and limpid in the tropics, hardens to the consistence of lard at any temperature below 72 Fahrenheit.

Thus it requires a second preparation on its arrival in England. There it is spread upon mats (formed of coir) to the thickness of an inch, and then covered by a similar protection. These fat sandwiches are two feet square, and being piled one upon the other to a height of about six feet in an hydraulic press, are subjected to a pressure of some hundred tons. This disengages the pure oleaginous parts from the more insoluble portions, and the fat residue, being increased in hardness by its extra density, is mixed with stearine, and by a variety of preparations is converted into candles. The pure oil thus expressed is that known in the shops as cocoa-nut oil.

The cultivation of the cocoa-nut tree is now carried to a great extent, both by natives and Europeans; by the former it is grown for a variety of purposes, but by the latter its profits are confined to oil, coir and poonac. The latter is the refuse Of the nut after the oil has been expressed, and corresponds in its uses to the linseed-oil cake of England, being chiefly employed for fattening cattle, pigs and poultry.

The preparation of coir is a dirty and offensive occupation.

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