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Thursday, May 23, 2024

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Coconut As Cash Cow (1)

Enterprise Issues

With Siaka Momoh

 

A palm tree family product that can compete in the world’s US$10 billion market

 The palm family has over 2500 species with sizes from 12 inches to massive varieties which can reach heights of 150 feet. The vast majority of palm trees grow naturally in tropical areas of the world, with more than half of the known species coming from tropical Asia. Nearly 1,000 species are native to the American tropics, with lesser numbers of species occurring on islands in the Indian Ocean near Africa and in Africa itself. The specie in question here is the coconut tree from which we can obtain coconut water and coconut oil.

The palm, physically and spiritually, is wealth. Every part of the  palm tree – stem, branches, fruits and nuts, etc,  is money. The Holy Bible tells you, ‘You will flourish like the palm tree’.

According to Coconut Research Centre, the coconut provides a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations. It states that in many islands coconut is a staple in the diet and provides the majority of the food eaten and that nearly one third of the world’s population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy. Among these cultures,  the coconut has a long and respected history. Of concern to us today is coconut water, that water in coconut’s hollow space that is often thrown away by consumers of raw coconut.

Coconut water contains the following among many other attributes:

  • Organic compounds possessing healthy growth, promoting properties than have been known to help;
  • Keeps body cool at the proper temperature;
  • Orally rehydrates your body, it is an all natural  isotonic beverage;
  • Raises metabolism;
  • Promotes weight loss;
  •  Cleanses digestive system;
  • Detoxifies and fights viruses;
  •  Controls diabetes;
  •  Treats
  •  kidney and urethral stones;

How do we bottle coconut water for sale? The Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) has done some work on this as follows:

A simple cold preservation process keeps bottled coconut water fresh for up to three weeks…  The traditional method for extracting coconut water is extremely simple: 1) climb a coconut palm; 2) hack an immature coconut from the bunch; 3) trim off the husk and chop a hole in the top; and 4) drink the contents (steps 3 and 4 are best done on terra firma).

Among people in tropical countries with ready access to coconut palms – or to fresh coconuts sold by urban street vendors – coconut water is renowned as a refreshing, highly nourishing drink with a delicate aroma and flavour. But, despite coconut water’s potential as a competitor in the bottled beverage market (see box below), attempts to capture those qualities in a commercial product have been largely unsuccessful. Once exposed to air, coconut water begins to ferment, and rapidly loses most of its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics. To eliminate the risk of bacterial growth, commercial bottlers are forced to sterilize the product using high-temperature/short-time pasteurization (the same technology used in long-life milk), which destroys some of coconut water’s nutrients and almost all of the flavour.

Coconut “sports drink”

Coconut “sports drink”
Coconut water could compete in the world’s US$10 billion market for “sports beverages”. Here’s why: Parameters Coconut water Sports drink in mg/100 ml  Carbohydrates 2 100   5 800    Calcium 60   1    Phosphorus 10   9    Sodium 3.8   45.8    Potassium 2.1   8    Magnesium 10   3  

Now, after more than five years of research and testing, FAO has announced a simple cold preservation technology appropriate for small and medium-sized agro-industries that allows them to produce bottled coconut water which, under refrigeration, stays fresh for from 10 days to three weeks. That is long enough to satisfy domestic retail markets and to allow export to developed countries, where good quality coconut water is in growing demand. FAO is also finalizing publications on a more technologically sophisticated microfiltration technique for cold sterilization (details here), and a low-tech system that can be used by street vendors.

Ctd next week

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