What is DME Coconut Oil?
To start, let’s explain the term DME, which stands for Direct Micro Expelling
- Direct — quick (oil produced within 1 hour of opening the nut) and efficient (oil extraction efficiency of 85%)
- Micro — small scale business (family farm size)
- Expelling — extraction of virgin oil and meal
There is a whole story to this which is incredibly uplifting – here is the short version:
Introducing Dr Dan Etherington who holds a PhD from Stanford University in Agricultural Economics. In response to the needs of remote island communities he invented DME in the early 1990’s and founded Kokonut Pacific to support producers and bring this superior oil to market
With DME, small-scale processing is taken to the nuts rather than taking the nuts, in debased form (copra), to a large-scale processing plant
This Australian technology is the quickest process in the world and along with strict quality controls locks in all the flavour and goodness. For quality assurance Kokonut Pacific set the DME Standard for your protection and the empowering and advancement of the islanders they work with. Furthermore, the DME process extracts coconut oil without the use of any chemicals and as such it is Hexane-free (Hexane = chemical solvent used by some to extract oil)
After DME coconut oil is extracted, the residual meal is de-fatted grated coconut and is excellent for baking biscuits and cakes and as stock feed. The DME equipment can also produce excellent coconut cream for local domestic use. Where the oil is packaged locally or used by local cosmetic, soap and detergent producers there is significant value added
A single DME coconut press gives regular meaningful employment to teams of 3 to 7 people. Production can take place all year round and in virtually any weather. DME uses a totally different approach to coconut compared to that of the existing copra industry, which has been termed as “modern slavery”
In general, the net return from the DME process is about 4 times that of copra production. In dollar terms, Jack Chottu, owner of Chottu’s Coconut Products in the Solomon Islands states that from 800 coconuts, he used to produce 1 bag of copra which earned him $220-. Now by using DME technology to produce virgin coconut oil, he earns $1,400- from 800 coconuts. This takes him out of survival mode and allows him to build a home for his family, buy a car, pay school fees, employ other locals and much more
The DME process is fully sustainable and, as such, does not use any fuel other than the coconuts used to produce the oil. Also it does not intrude on the timber resources or other non-renewable fuels.
The DME technology is indeed well described in the company motto of “Empowering and bringing hope” – helping thousands of people in developing countries achieve a better standard of living.
DME is a four-fold “bottom line” production process
- It cares for people
- It looks after the planet
- It is profitable for all
- It seeks to be sensitive to culture and spirituality