Coconut is a commonly used ingredient in a variety of food recipes. The white, fleshy part of coconut fruit is used to prepare various delicious dishes such as coconut ice cream, coconut cake, coconut cookies, coconut pie and several other recipes. It is also used to make gravy for a number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. However, fresh coconut is perishable and may not be available every time, when required. In that case, desiccated coconut is a very good alternative. It is finely grated, dried, unsweetened form of coconut, and is obtained by drying shredded or ground coconut kernel. Desiccated coconut is coconut meat which has been shredded or flaked and then dried to remove as much moisture as possible.
Desiccated coconut is used commonly in various industries like confectionery and bakery products, frozen foods, food service, and consumer products. It is a coconut product that is prepared and preserved by removing the natural moisture in the coconut fruit. Desiccated coconut usually contains about 3% of moisture, and is produced from the white part of fresh, mature coconut kernel. The white part is disintegrated or shredded into desired sizes such as flakes, granules, chips or shreds. Then it is dried in hot air at 50-55 degree centigrade. It is available in toasted, sweetened or sweetened toasted forms. It also comes in two variations such as low fat (maximum 50% fat) and high fat (minimum 60% fat). Full fat Desiccated Coconut has higher monetary value than the reduced fat. In the past, coconut fat or coconut oil has been mistakenly believed for causing heart disease. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, which have been taking the blame for problems caused by trans fats.
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.