Copra is the dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut. The name copra is derived from the Malayalam word kopra for dried coconut. Copra is not to be mistaken as the scientific name for coconut (Cocos nucifera L., Arecaceae or palm family).
Coconut oil is extracted traditionally by grating or grinding copra, then boiling it in water. It was developed as a commercial product by merchants in the South Seas and South Asia in the 1860s. Nowadays, the process of coconut oil extraction is done by crushing copra to produce coconut oil, and the by-product is known as cake.
Making copra — removing the shell, breaking up, drying — usually is done where the palms grow. Today, large plantations with integrated operations have appeared, but in former years copra was collected by traders going from island to island and port to port in the Pacific Ocean