Coconut water is the clear liquid inside mature coconuts. It contains all five of the essential electrolytes (calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and sodium) needed for effective rehydration. Coconut water is especially rich in potassium — 5 times the amount of potassium found in leading sports and energy drinks — thus delivering faster rehydration. It has no sugar added, no artificial preservatives, color, and flavors.
The coconut water extracted from mature coconuts is mechanically filtered to remove any solid coconut meat particles. The coconut water is centrifuged to separate the water and the residual oil. The purified coconut water is pasteurized to kill any pathogens. The water then undergoes a proprietary multi-stage evaporation process that preserves its taste and natural nutrients, and is concentrated to 600 Brix.
Coconut Water Concentrate is then packed in the 265 Kg Bag-in-steel drum. The product will be shipped frozen to customers.
Coconut water may not look like much, but it’s a highly nutritious beverage on its own. One cup (240 grams) of coconut water contains 9 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of natural sugars, 3 grams of fiber, and about 2 grams of protein; it also contains 252 milligrams of sodium, as well as 15 percent of the RDI for magnesium, 9 percent of the RDI for vitamin C, and 5 percent of the RDI for vitamin B6. Most importantly, drinking just one cup of coconut water will give your 600 milligrams of potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte, which helps maintain a healthy balance of fluid in the body; it also plays a key role in muscle function especially the cardiac muscles. Indeed, potassium is critical in maintaining a stable, healthy heartbeat.
Other nutrients in coconut water include calcium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. The best thing about all of this is that these nutrients come with only 45 calories.
Coconut water offers several health and beauty benefits. These include the following:
Coconut water is the liquid inside sufficiently mature but still green coconuts. It serves as “food” for the coconut fruit as it grows. Just think of the egg white serving as nutrition for the yolk as it develops into an embryo. The older the coconut fruit is, the less water it will have because the water eventually becomes part of the coconut meat. Moreover, as the coconut ages, the flavor of the water will become less sweet and the texture will become thicker and oilier due to the development of natural fats. This is why coconuts should be picked at the right time to get the best-tasting coconut water.
Coconut water is also one of the cleanest edible substances because it is naturally filtered. As the water travels up from the roots toward the fruits, it is purified in the fibers of the tree and then stored inside the sterile environment of the coconut shell. As long as the proper processing methods are followed, coconut water can be stored for a long time without losing its natural purity and quality.
Through fermentation, coconut water can be turned into coconut vinegar and nata de coco or coconut gel. Coconut vinegar is an ideal choice for diabetics due to its low glycemic index. It is an excellent source of potassium, with just one teaspoon containing a little over 190 milligrams of the mineral. Coconut vinegar is also rich in amino acids, iron, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium, among a host of other micronutrients.
Meanwhile, nata de coco is a translucent and jelly-like food, although it is firmer and chewier than traditional Jello. It is usually sweetened, cut into small cubes, and sold in jars. It is a popular add-on in drinks, ice creams, fruit salads, and other desserts. Nata de coco originated in the Philippines, although it has also since become popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Coconut water may sometimes be confused with coconut milk, and coconut milk with coconut cream. In truth, all three products are different. Coconut water, as previously mentioned, is the liquid that you will get directly from the coconut fruit when you cut or crack it open. While it is most popularly consumed as a beverage, coconut water can also be used in cooking, especially for dishes that require or do well with a slightly sweet flavor.
Coconut milk, on the other hand, is derived from the grated meat of a mature coconut (about 11 to 12 months). When crushed or pressed, this mature coconut meat will yield coconut milk. Unlike coconut water, which can be translucent white to almost clear depending on how young the coconut is, coconut milk has an opaque white color and a thicker consistency, almost like cow’s milk. It can be consumed as a drink as is, although some may find the rather oily texture and taste difficult to get used to; most will find it more palatable to mix coconut milk in other beverages like fruit smoothies or desserts like homemade ice cream. Coconut milk is a popular ingredient in many South Asian and Southeast Asian dishes, as well as in Caribbean and South American cuisine.
Meanwhile, coconut cream is derived by either boiling grated coconut meat with a mixture of coconut water and milk, or refrigerating coconut milk for about eight hours. If you choose to refrigerate coconut milk, the cream will separate and rise to the top after it sets. Coconut cream can be used for various dishes and desserts like curries, smoothies, and yogurts, or as a thickening agent for soups. It can also be whipped to make coconut whipped cream.
The Philippines is a conducive environment for cultivating quality coconuts. The tropical climate, with its humid air, sufficient annual rainfall, and many coastlines with sandy soil, is the perfect condition in which all varieties of coconuts thrive. This is why Roxas Sigma Agriventures, Inc. (RSAI) chose to establish its Integrated Coconut Processing Plant in the Philippines, specifically in Tupi, South Cotabato.
The SOCCSKSARGEN region, to which South Cotabato belongs, is one of the biggest producers of coconuts in the Philippines, with an estimated 250,000 hectares of land dedicated to this crop. The entire region produced close to 1.8 million metric tons of coconuts in 2015, which is 20 times more than RSAI’s projected total annual requirement at full capacity.
RSAI’s coconut water is extracted from these high-quality coconuts that are about 9 months old for the right amount of sweetness and refreshing taste. This water is mechanically filtered to remove any coconut meat and then centrifuged to separate the residual oil from the water. The resulting purified coconut water is pasteurized to kill any pathogens, after which it undergoes RSAI’s proprietary multi-stage evaporation process to preserve its taste and natural nutrients and is then concentrated to 60°Br and frozen in 265 kg bag-in-steel drums.
RSAI’s frozen Coconut Water Concentrate is shipped frozen to customers. It has no added sugars, artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors — only pure coconut water goodness.
In Asia and the Pacific, coconut water is hardly a novelty. In fact, it can even be considered as a common or even a daily beverage due mainly to how easy it is to procure. In the West, however, coconut water is a relatively new thing. So new, in fact, that its popularity exploded in the United States (and shortly thereafter, the majority of the West) only during the mid-2000s, when the company and brand Vita Coco was officially launched in 2004.
From there, it took only five years for coconut water to become a multi-million dollar industry. In 2007, Vita Coco’s sales figures were at $4 million; two years later, their sales figure skyrocketed to $20 million. Since then, more and more brands have cropped up and more and more people have begun to consume the beverage. Celebrities like Rihanna, Madonna, Padma Lakshmi, Anna Paquin, Karolina Kurkova, Anne Hathaway, and even Kim Kardashian were seen in the streets drinking or carrying a bottle of coconut water, which helped fuel the popularity of the beverage even more. Athletes have also begun drinking coconut water in place of sports drinks, further validating the legitimacy, so to speak, of coconut water as a superior beverage.
The hype has died down considerably in recent years, although it still has a significant share in the market. In 2016, coconut water sold about 700 million liters globally and the industry is valued at about $2.2 billion dollars. In the United States, the coconut water industry continues to grow. The market is expected to grow its revenue from the recorded value of $612.5 million in 2015 to about $1.98 billion in 2019, which is more than a 220 percent increase.
Depending on the age of the coconut, the coconut water will change in texture and flavor. It will still taste relatively the same, but the intensity of the flavor as well as the amount and the viscosity of the coconut water changes continuously as the coconut matures. Coconuts aged 6 to 10 months have the most suitable water for drinking; 6-month old coconuts don’t have any meat yet, so the water is not as flavorful, while 11- to 12-month-old coconuts are primarily harvested for their meat to produce coconut milk and oil; the meat of 13- to 14-month old coconuts (brown coconuts) can also be used for coconut milk and oil, although they are often allowed to mature up to about 18 to 20 months so that they can sprout into new coconut trees.
Depending on the maturity of the coconuts as well as their variety, the amount of coconut water also differs. Vietnam and Thailand usually cultivate smaller varieties, which yield anywhere around 300 to 400 milliliters of coconut water. In the Philippines, where the varieties are on the bigger side, coconuts yield about 600 to 700 milliliters of coconut water; some younger coconuts may even produce 800 to 900 milliliters.
Below, we take a quick look at different stages of the coconut fruit and how the coconut water and meat that they yield vary.
Coconut water is perhaps the simplest of all the products that can be derived from coconuts — after all, all you have to do to get it is to open a coconut and you don’t have to process it in order to drink it safely. But behind this simplicity is a versatility that’s quite unparalleled. Indeed, it’s considered one of the most important trends in the refreshment industry. Sweet yet healthy, nutritious yet pleasant-tasting, coconut water is a beverage that caters both to enthusiasts who are interested in health and wellness, and foodies who are always on the lookout for for tasty dishes and drinks.
It’s been around for thousands of years, but with how it has experienced a resurgence in recent years and how more people have discovered its benefits, coconut water is definitely here to stay.