Agri Business

CPCRI launches portable coconut sap chiller

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on January 20, 2021

The Kasaragod-based Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) has launched a portable coconut sap chiller for the collection of hygienic and unfermented sap (‘Kalparasa’) from the coconut spadix.

KB Hebbar, Head of Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Post-Harvest Technology of CPCRI, told BusinessLine that though the institute had earlier developed a coconut sap chiller, manufacturing of it was a time-consuming process as it had to be assembled manually. With the increase in demand from the coconut-growing States for the chiller, the timely supply of the unit was a bit difficult.

He said now the institute, with the financial assistance from the Kochi-based Coconut Development Board (CDB), has designed and fabricated moulds required for the large-scale production of coconut sap chiller. The moulds have already been commissioned for the commercial production of the coconut sap chiller.

The new portable coconut sap chiller is a double jacketed box made of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), insulated by polyurethane foam in between the jackets. The unit has provision for placing ice, a ‘Kalparasa’ collection container, a spadix holder, top lid, a funnel and provision to connect the box on the tree top. It has a collection capacity of three litres of ‘Kalparasa’.

The coconut sap chiller is lighter in weight, water proof, easy to connect to the spadix, requires less ice, and retains low temperature for a longer period as compared to commercially available ice boxes, he said.

Energy efficiency

On the performance evaluation carried out on coconut sap chiller at CPCRI and other locations, he said the new HDPE chiller is highly energy efficient and the ice cubes last nearly 24 hours as against 10-12 hours of the existing boxes. It is highly cost effective, as the production is done in factories using the moulds. The production cost has now come down to around ₹850 per piece. This excludes packing, transport and GST. The previous model was costing more than ₹2000 per piece, he said.

Though there was a setback on coconut sap tapping owing to Covid, still nearly 3,000 pieces of the chillers were purchased by Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and West Bengal in the last few months, he said.

Many farmers and coconut producer companies have expressed their interest to procure the chiller not only for tapping coconut but also for palmyra and date palm.

Designed and developed by Hebbar and AC Mathew, Principal Scientist at CPCRI, the institute has given licence to the Mangaluru-based Kalyaniram Polyplast Pvt Ltd to manufacture, pack and supply the requisite numbers of chillers to end users on behalf of CPCRI for those who sign technology transfer with the institute.

He said the sap collected by coco-sap chilller at low temperature is entirely different from the ‘neera’ collected by traditional method with or without preservatives, and hence it was named as ‘Kalparasa’. He said that ‘Kalparasa’ has been granted trade mark by Intellectual Property India. Sap collected using the coco-sap chiller is golden brown in colour, delicious and free from contaminants such as insects, ants, and pollen and dust particles. It contained numerous health promoting substances like polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids and minerals, he added.

Published on January 20, 2021

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