Musim Mas
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By Devane Sharma

Photo by MarcTutorials


In addition to being a vertically integrated palm oil major, Musim Mas also produces coconut oil and derivatives that go into a broad range of food and industrial applications. Coconut oil is extracted from copra, which is the dried white flesh of coconuts. All of the copra sourced by Musim Mas originates from smallholder farmers. How does Musim Mas source copra and process it into coconut oil and derivatives, such as coconut-based surfactants that go into shampoos we find on supermarket shelves?

Sourcing from Coconut Smallholder Farmers

 All of Musim Mas’ copra supply originates from small farms in Indonesia. Most of these smallholders work independently.

Once the coconuts reach maturity, the farmers harvest them. After that, they’re de-husked manually using spear-like tools.

After de-husking, the fruits are split open. This exposes the white flesh of the fruit. The white flesh is then dried either in the sun or using mechanical dryers, thus producing copra. Drying is necessary to reduce the moisture content, making it suitable for storage and transportation. The copra is then packed and sent to copra crushing plants for further processing. Proper storage is critical to maintain quality and prevent spoilage.

Musim Mas Group Copra Crushing Plant

From a multitude of suppliers in the Eastern regions of Indonesia, Musim Mas sources copra, which it crushes at its plant located in Sulawesi.

Once the copra arrives at the plant, it is first sorted to remove impurities and any contaminants, ensuring that the oil and derivatives produced are of the highest quality. After that, the copra is examined for moisture content. Further drying might be necessary to prevent the build-up of mold or bacteria.

The copra is then crushed using mechanized crushers at the plant. This process increases their surface material, making it easier to extract oil in the next stage. The oil is extracted by the expeller pressing method. This method involves using an expeller press or screw press to extract the oil from the crushed copra mechanically. The copra is placed in the press, and pressure is applied to squeeze out the oil. The extracted oil is then collected and separated from the remaining solids.


Further Processing into Oleochemicals and Specialty Fats

Musim Mas’ plant also features facilities to filter, bleach, and deodorize the oil based on the needs of our customers. The various forms of the oil are then packed and transported to customers through Musim Mas’ integrated logistics network.

Coconut oil can also be further refined into oleochemicals and specialty fats to produce a broad range of products. This includes coconut-based surfactants for use in shampoos, and MCT oils, a health food most commonly taken as a supplement. These are processed at Musim Mas’ refineries in Sumatra and Surabaya.

At this plant, the oil is fractionated into stearin, which has a higher melting point and is solid at room temperature, and olein which has a lower melting point and is a liquid at room temperature. With additional processing, stearin and olein have a broad range of applications, including food applications, surfactants for soaps and shampoos, personal care, and lubricants. One example of such a derivative is Musim Mas’ all-natural 100% coconut-based surfactant that can be used in shampoos, body wash, and other personal care products.