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Coconut Sweetening Process. Elizabeth Casey Justin Dillingham Mohd Hussain Brady Stewart. BAE 4012 – Fall 2005. Mission Statement. Palm Tree Processing is a consulting group that strives to help family owned and operated food businesses achieve the highest quality food products available.

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Coconut sweetening process

Coconut Sweetening Process

Elizabeth Casey

Justin Dillingham

Mohd Hussain

Brady Stewart

BAE 4012 – Fall 2005

Mission statement
Mission Statement

  • Palm Tree Processing is a consulting group that strives to help family owned and operated food businesses achieve the highest quality food products available.

About griffin food company
About Griffin Food Company

  • Founded in Muskogee, OK in 1908 by John T. Griffin

  • Major products available

    • Syrups

    • Jellies and preserves

    • Mustards

    • Coconut flakes

Coconut flakes
Coconut Flakes

  • Popular confectionary product

  • Enhances food properties

    • Texture

    • Flavor

    • Visual appeal

Problem definition



Problem Definition

  • Consumers demand the longest length of coconut flakes possible

  • Flake length of Griffin’s coconut degrades during processing

Project goals
Project Goals

  • Pinpoint and quantify degradation

  • Make recommendations to:

    • Prevent flake length degradation

    • Increase processing capacity

    • Improve quality of work for employees

Process steps
Process Steps

  • Delumping

  • Conveyance to cooker

  • Cooking and blending

  • Tempering

  • Packaging


  • Clumps of coconut form during storage

  • Delumper used to separate clumps

    • Rotating spikes

  • Employee designed and built

Conveyance to cooker
Conveyance to Cooker

  • Auger transports coconut from delumper to cooker

    • Contained within PVC pipe

  • Frequently clogs

  • Limits processing speed

Cooking and blending
Cooking and Blending

  • Double ribbon agitation cooker

  • Blends slurry, sugar and coconut

  • Runs continuously during delumping and conveying


  • Barrels store coconut overnight

  • Allows for uniform moisture distribution

  • Large clumps often form


  • Barrels unloaded

    • Extensive manual labor required

  • Auger conveys coconut to packaging machine

    • Frequently clogs

Design criteria
Design Criteria

  • Recipe may not change

  • Production capacity must not decrease

  • Simple transition from existing to improved process line

  • Minimal cost

Concept development
Concept Development

  • Quantifying coconut flake length

    • Modified ASAE Standard S424

    • Image Analysis with MatLab

  • Potential Solutions

    • Proposal A – Steam Injection

    • Proposal B – Replacement of Auger Conveyor

    • Proposal C – Replacement of Cooker

Modified asae standard s424
Modified ASAE Standard S424

  • Sieves separate coconut flakes

  • Average geometric mean length calculated using:



geometric mean length



geometric mean length of particles on ith screen



mass on ith screen

Image analysis with matlab

Picture taken of coconut flake sample

Average flake length calculated with MatLab

Morphological Operations in Image Processing Package

Image Analysis with MatLab

Proposal a steam injection
Proposal A – Steam Injection

  • Steam injected into bags of coconut to break up clumps

  • Replaces delumping and conveying process steps

  • Pros

    • Less handling of coconut

  • Cons

    • May change coconut properties

Proposal b replacement of auger conveyor

Pneumatic Conveyor

Pressurized air moves coconut flakes


High capacity

Minimal stress on product


High power requirement

Bucket Conveyor

Buckets carry coconut flakes


High capacity

Gentle on product



Proposal B – Replacement of Auger Conveyor

Proposal c replacement of cooker
Proposal C – Replacement of Cooker

  • Replaces cooker with tumble blender

    • Rotating chamber mixes ingredients

  • Types of tumble blenders

    • Slant-Cone

    • V-Shaped

    • Double-Cone

Proposal c tumble blenders
Proposal C – Tumble Blenders


  • Pros: Fast and uniform blending

  • Cons: Requires large headspace


  • Pros: Efficient blending

  • Cons: Difficult to clean


  • Pros: Minimal space requirements

  • Cons: Longer blending time

Spring schedule
Spring Schedule

  • Continued development of flake length measurement methods

  • Further investigation of proposals

  • Evaluation and testing of proposals

  • Final recommendations


We would like to thank the following people

for their help and support:

Griffin Food Company

  • Richard Hall

  • Craig Duncan

  • David Clary

  • John Trammel

BAE Faculty and Staff

  • Dr. Paul Weckler

  • Dr. Gerald Brusewitz

  • Dr. Tim Bowser

  • Dr. Glenn Brown

  • Roshani Jayasekara