COCOS NUCIFERA


PLANT
The Cocos nucifera, more commonly known as the coconut palm can grow up to 30m tall. Coconut palms have crown-like leaves at the top of the tree which are a yellowish green colour. (Jessica F, 2001) These trees have a tall trunk holding it up which can be either straight or slightly curved. From the base of the tree, roots are grown which are strong enough to keep the tree from falling down during tropical storms. The Cocos Nucifera is grown in tropical climates, like rainforests or frost free areas. (Jessica F, 2001) This plant is commonly found in places around the world such as; Africa, Asia, Latin America, Hawaii, the Southern tip of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. (Jessica F, 2001)
PRODUCT
A product that is made from coconuts is coconut oil. Coconut oil is produced by making coconut milk first. We get coconut milk by crushing the shredded fleshy white part of the inside of the coconut with hot water, which gives you a white liquid called coconut milk. (Coconut Connections, n.a). The fleshy white part of the coconut where the milk is made from is on the inside of the shell. (Figure 1). You then leave the coconut milk to sit and the oil will extract from the milk on its own, this takes twelve to twenty-four hours. (Wikipedia, n.d). After this step, you scrape the oil that has floated to the top of the milk off and you have pure coconut oil.
coconut.jpg
Figure 1- Shows the inside of the coconut and the fleshy white part used to make coconut milk


This video shows the production of coconut oil.


MAKING THE PRODUCT





BENEFICIAL IMPACTS
Coconut oil has a lot of lauric acid, which is an antibacterial. It is helpful to thyroid sufferers to help increase their metabolism and to lose body weight. Coconut oil is one of the best things people can use on their skin. (Mt. Banahaw Health Products Corp, 2003-2006). This product is also beneficial because it can be used as a tool against immune disease. (Mt. Banahaw Health Products Corp, 2003-2006). Coconut oil helps to absorb and preserve calcium, which also helps your bones get stronger. (Emily C, July 2010)
HARMFUL IMPACTS
Coconut oil contains a high amount of saturated fat. The percentage of saturated fat it contains is 90%.(Dietriffic, n.d) Studies haven’t proven wheather or not Coconut oil is good or bad for you but it does depend on your genetics, your diet etc. (Dietriffic, n.d). A study has shown that this oil may be involved with forming plaques in the coronary arteries, which makes your risk of getting heart disease a lot higher.(Dietriffic, n.d). An alternative to coconut oil is virgin Coconut oil. The only difference is that they are made differently. (Live the organic life, n.a). Virgin coconut oil is natural, and isn’t filtered or pressed like regular coconut oil. (Live the organic life, n.a)
CONCLUSION
A coconut is a round, brown item that grows on a tree, it is also known as cocos nucifera. The Cocos Nucifera is grown in tropical climates, like rainforests or frost free areas. (Jessica F, 2001). Something that is made from this fruit is coconut oil. To make coconut oil, you first have to make coconut milk. When you have your coconut milk, you let it sit for 12 to 24 hours until the oil is seperated from the milk then you scrape it off. This particular type of oil is the best oil you can use on your skin and it doesn't clog your pours like other oils would. It can also help to cure and fight off diseases.

REFERENCES


Agro Forestry (April 2006). Cocos Nucifera. Retrieved December 13, 2010 from <<http://www.agroforestry.net/tti/Cocos-coconut.pdf>>
C, Emily (July 2010). Coconut Oil. Retrieved December 13, 2010 from <<http://www.nutrition.org/asn-blog/2009/07/coconut-oil/>>
Coconut Connections (n.d). Coconut Milk- How To Make It. Retrieved December 12, 2010 from <<http://www.coconut-connections.com/coconut_milk.htm>>
Duke, James (n.d). Cocos Nucifera L. Retrieved December 12, 2010 from <<http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Cocos_nucifera.html>>
F, Jessica (2001). Coconut Tree. Retrieved December 12, 2010 from <<http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/coconut.htm>>
Live the organic life (2006) Virgin Coconut Oil Vs. Coconut Oil. Retrieved December 12, 2010 from <<http://www.live-the-organic-life.com/virgin-coconut-oil.html>>
Mt. Banahaw Health Products Corp. (2003-2006) Coconut info. Retrieved December 13, 2010 from <http://coconut-info.com>