How to Extract Edible Oil at Home (palm oil, palm kennel oil, and coconut oil)


Palm oil extraction.

Steps used in extracting palm oil

  • Bunches of the matured ripe palm fruit are harvested and then cut into chunks of nuts.
  • The chunks are sprinkled with water to enhance detachment from their stalks.
  • They are then kept for 4-5 days to ferment.
  • Fruits or nuts are removed from chunks and may be dried in the sun to prevent the formation of moulds.
  • Fruits are then washed and boiled in pots/drums for a few hours.
  • The boiled nuts are then pounded in a mortar with a pestle to grind or mash to separate the fibrous part from the hard palm kernel.
  • The pounded or mashed mixture is put into a basin and water is added.

There are two methods used in extracting the oil.

Hot method

  • Hot water is poured or added to the mashed mixture and stirred well.
  • The mixture is then sieved into another container to get slurry which is made up of palm oil, water and other particles.
  • The slurry is then boiled until red palm oil appears and collects on top of the mixture due to its lower density.
  • The palm oil is then skimmed off, heated to boil and then collected into a suitable container.

Cold method

  • Cold water is added to the pounded mixture.
  • The mixture is hand-rubbed well in an open pan or container until palm oil collects at the top.
  • Palm oil is skimmed off, heated to boil and collected into suitable containers.

It should be noted that

Boiling in both methods removes water and enhances the taste and shelf life of the oil.

Further heating with selected additives produces dzomi, a tastier and longer shelf-life palm oil.

The main disadvantages of the traditional extraction of palm oil are;

  • The small quantity of palm fruit that a mortar can hold and pound.
  • Tiresome pounding processes.
  • The inefficient squeezing of the fibre containing the oil, and the sieving of the slurry; these are done without any applied pressure, which would increase the efficiency of the oil extraction.
These disadvantages have been greatly addressed by the intermediate technologies to improve traditional methods.
  • Large-capacity palm fruit boiling tank:

This has a capacity of 5% times that of the traditional container. It steams the palm fruits in a separate container, ready for pounding.

  • Motor-driven pounding machine:

This takes the place of the tiresome mechanical labour in the traditional methods. The pounding by the machine is more thorough, and virtually no human energy is used.

  • Screw-turn oil press:

This is operated manually to squeeze out the oil from the boiling (steamed) palm fruit and fibre. The pressing technology reduces the time taken for the extraction process and saves fuel for heating in the hot method.

  • Clarifying tank:

This uses a valve system and heating to reduce the water content of the pressed oil.

Palm kernel oil extraction.

  • Palm kernel, the by-products of the extraction of palm oil serves as the raw material in the production of palm kernel oil.
  • The dried kernel shell is cracked with stones or metal hammers.
  • The freed kernel is put in a container and water is added.
  • The mixture is boiled with continuous stirring and then poured into a basket to collect the pebbles of the kernel and drain off water.
  • There are two methods used in extracting the kernel oil


  • The boiled kernel is fried with a small quantity of oil to induce oil.
  • The fried and oily kernel is then milled in a Corn mill.
  • The milled or ground kernel is mixed with water and then boiled thoroughly.
  • The palm kernel oil collects at the top of the mixture.
  • The kernel oil is then skimmed off into a suitable container.


  • The boiled kernel is not fried but milled directly to follow the same process as in,
  • The milled or ground kernel is mixed with water and then boiled thoroughly.
  • The palm kernel oil collects at the top of the mixture.
  • The kernel oil is then skimmed off into a suitable container.

Note that there are other by-products from the extraction of palm oil.

  • Hard shell, when cracked is used as fuel for firing and domestic heating.
  • Fibre, which is also used as fuel for firing.

Coconut oil extraction.

Steps used in extracting coconut oil

  • Matured harvested dry coconut is dehusked.
  • The dehusked coconut is then cracked open by breaking the shell.
  • Coconut kernel or copra is scooped out of the shell. Copra is the white pith or the endosperm of the coconut, from which the coconut oil is then extracted.
  • The free copra is rubbed on a grater to give fine flakes or is milled in a corn mill.
  • Water is added to flaked or milled copra to form a slurry.
  • The slurry is put in a piece of white cotton cloth.
  • The juice is then squeezed out of a white cotton cloth and squeezed mixture collected into a container.
  • The squeezed liquid is allowed to stand in the sun until a layer of oil foam collects at the top.
  • The oil foam is then skimmed off into another container and boiled until coconut oil collects at the top.
  • The oil is then scooped out into suitable containers.

By-products of extraction of coconut oil

  • Sludge which remains at the bottom oil is used to make animal feed.
  • Husk is used;

for firing and heating.

for making brushes and doormats

for making mosquito coils and repellants.

  • The hard shell is used as fuel for firing and heating.
  • Fibre is used as fuel for firing and also used to produce doormats.

How technology has improve the extraction of coconut oil.

Hand-operated / machine-operated grater which increases the rate of production.

Coconut mills produce finer-grade dough which gives a high oil yield.

The screw press is used to squeeze copra juice and exerts higher pressure to give a higher yield of the juice.

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