The nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrans) is native to the Moluccas (known as the Spice Islands) in East Indonesia. Nutmeg and mace are both products of the fruit of this tree. The fruit is soft and fleshy and similar to an apricot.
Nutmeg is the kernel of the seed, and mace is the net-like crimson coloured leathery outer growth (aril) that covers the shell of the seed. The main countries of production are Indonesia, Grenada, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, China and India.
There are two types of mace and nutmeg, West Indian (from Grenada) and East Indian (from Indonesia). The flavour of mace is similar to that of nutmeg, but is more refined. Mace is much more expensive than nutmeg. Inferior quality mace has very little aroma and is brittle. Both spices are used for flavouring savoury and sweet foods and as a medicine.
As a tropical country, Indonesia is a fertile land for coconut palms. The low lands of its coastal areas from Sumatra in the west and Papua in the east are lined with the swaying slim tall plants. However, the potential has not attracted enough big investors to produce major export commodity from coconut palms like crude palm oil, coffee and cocoa.
Coconut also famous with its Scientific Name: Cocos nucifera, is very useful tree in our life. Almost parts of coconut palms have commercial value – its trees, fruit meat, fibrous husk, the shells and the coconut milk.
Among the products from coconut fruits having high commercial value are Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), activated carbon (AC), coconut fiber (CF), coconut charcoal (CCL), and oleo-chemicals in the form of fatty acid, metal ester, fatty alcohol, fatty amine, fatty nitrogen, glycerin, etc.
Coconut meat: Fresh, Dry and Flour
In our daily life, the most consumed part of coconut is the meat. its meat. In fact, many of use coconut meat in many form like fresh meat, dry meat, and also flour for our food. Fresh meat usually use for making coconut milk, and also for making virgin coconut oil (VCO) with cold process.
Dried meat of Coconut mostly known as copra. The production of copra – removing the shell, breaking it up, drying – is usually done where the coconut palms grow. Copra can be made by smoke drying, sun drying, or kiln drying. Nowadays, the process of coconut oil extraction is performed by crushing copra to produce coconut oil (70%); the by-product is known as copra cake or copra meal (30%). Once the oil is extracted, the remaining coconut cake is 18–25% protein but contains so much dietary fiber it cannot be eaten in large quantities by humans. Instead, it is normally fed to ruminants.
Desiccated Coconut is a grated, dried (3% moisture content max.), and unsweetened fresh meat or kernel of a mature fruit of coconut. Dessicated Coconuts are graded by its cutting size, for example, fine grade and medium grade where fine grade is smaller particle size than the medium grade. Fine grade of Dessicated coconut is also famous as coconut fluor.
A good quality Desiccated Coconut should be white in colour, reasonably free from yellow specks, black spots and other discolourations. It should have sweet aroma of coconut, mild characteristic of coconut without rancid and even particle size distribution.
Palm sugar is often labelled under various other names reflecting the several different species of palm utilised and its wide production area across Africa and Asia, i.e. coconut sugar, arenga sugar, nipa sugar.
Researchers analyzed 14 different cane and palm sugars and found that unrefined palm sugar is higher in antioxidants than refined cane sugars, according to a February 2010 study in Food Chemistry.
However, coconut sugar does retain quite a bit of the nutrients found in the coconut palm. There isn’t a lot of data on this, but according to the Phillipine Department of Agriculture, coconut sugar contains several nutrients. Most notable of these are the minerals Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants that may also provide some health benefits.
Then it contains a fiber called Inulin, which may slow glucose absorption and explain why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar. Much has been made about palm sugar’s low glycemic index (GI, a ranking of how carbohydrates impact blood glucose levels). palm sugar makers report that its GI is 35, compared with honey at 55 and table sugar at 68.
Coconut Tree, husk, and shell
Coconut trees are used as raw material for furniture. Derivatives of coconut shells having commercial value are AC, CCL, shell flour (CP). Activated carbon could be used in oil and gas industry, water distillation, pulp processing, fertilizer industry and gold mine. The fibrous husk could be used as material for furniture, like luxurious car seats, spring beds and geo-textile (GT).