Coconut Sweetening Process
Elizabeth Casey, Justin Dilingham, Mohd Hussain, Brady Stewart
Sweetened coconut flakes are a popular confectionery product used in a broad array of foods. Coconut flakes enhance various food properties such as texture, flavor, and visual appeal. Griffin Foods is one of many companies that sweeten and package desiccated coconut flakes for placement into the retail marketplace.
After learning that many consumers demand the longest length of coconut flakes possible, Griffin Foods examined their coconut product. They noted a decrease in flake length after processing. When compared to competitors such as Baker’s and Mounds, the coconut Griffin’s produces is noticeably shorter. To remedy this, Griffin’s contacted the Palm Tree Processing Group. In an initial meeting, the team learned that the major distributor of Griffin’s coconut flakes prefers the sweet flavor of Griffin’s but desires the length of the leading competitors. The Palm Tree Processing Consulting Group worked with Griffin’s to improve the length of their coconut flakes.
Scope of Work
Griffin Foods, a family owned and operated business, looks to provide consumers with the highest quality food products available. During sweetening of their coconut product, Griffin’s notes a decrease in flake length. This length degradation may occur during any of five process steps: delumping, conveyance to cooker, cooking and agitating, overnight tempering and packaging, see Figure 3. Palm Tree Processing examined each of these process steps to determine where and to what extent flake length degradation occurs. After visiting with various Griffin Foods employees, the team better understood the objectives and limitations of the project. At the completion of the project, the team made recommendations on alternative process equipment and methods. These recommendations should increase final product length, increase processing capacity, and improve the quality of work for employees.