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Strength of Indian Coconut Industry

  •  One of the leading producers of coconuts in the world producing 13 billion nuts per annum.
  •  Coconut area distributed in 18 states and three Union Territories under different agro-climatic conditions.
  •  3000 years' tradition in coconut cultivation.
  •  Premier coir manufacturing country in the world.
  •  Producer of best grade milling copra in the world yielding high grade coconut oil known for its aroma and flavour.
  •  Large number of farmer's co-operative societies in primary processing and marketing.
  •  Government agencies such as Kerafed, State Trading Corporation, Kerala State Marketing Federation and Karnataka State Marketing Federation in manufacturing and marketing of branded coconut oil in small packs.
  •  Hundreds of reputed and established private firms in manufacturing and marketing of various coconut products including branded coconut oil in small packs.
  •  Wide range of coconut products both edible and non-edible available for export.
  •  Technical know-how and trained manpower for the manufacture of various coconut based products.
  •  Availability of research support by reputed research organizations such as CSIR, ICAR and DRDO.
  •  Good number of cultivars / varieties having specific nut characteristics.

Coconut Products of India

A large number of coconut products are manufactured in the country which have both domestic and export market.

Convenience products from tender and mature coconut water - Packed tender coconut water, packed coconut water, tender coconut water concentrate, coconut vinegar, canned tender coconut water

Vinegar and soft drink are manufactured in the country from coconut water. Tender coconut water concentrate is another product which is manufactured and marketed successfully. Know-how for the preservation and packing of tender coconut water has been transferred to six firms in the country. Nata-de-coco is a gelatinous delicacy formed by the action of a micro-organism Acetobactor xylinium in a culture medium of coconut water. The know-how for its manufacture is available with the Board.

Tender Coconut Water Back to Top



Coconut water refers to the liquid endosperm of a tender coconut at an age of approximately 9 months from time of pollination, the period before the solid endosperm or white meat forms. It is a pure and nutritious beverage in the natural state. The coconut husk is an excellent package for the water which contains sugars, minerals, amino acids and vitamins.

Tender coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes, minerals, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, Amino acids and other nutrients. The natural carbohydrate content is between 4-5% of the liquid solution. This make coconut water particularly suitable for the burgeoning sports drink market. According to Sports Science Institute (USA), sports drinks containing under 5% carbohydrates are likely to provide benefits, while those exceeding 10% carbohydrate content, like most soft drinks are associated with abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhea.

Isotonic and bacetriologically sterile properties of fresh coconut water, straight out of the nut, promoted its use as a direct plasma replacement by military forces in the Asian theatre of combat during World War II.

It has caloric value of 17.4 per 100gm. "It is unctuous, sweet, increasing semen, promoting digestion and clearing the urinary path," says Ayurveda on tender coconut water (TWC).

Numerous medicinal properties of tender coconut water reported are:-

  1. Good for feeding infants suffering from intestinal disturbances.
  2. Oral rehydration medium
  3. Contains organic compounds possessing growth promoting properties
  4. Keeps the body cool
  5. Application on the body prevents prickly heat and summer boils and subsides the rashes caused by small pox, chicken pox, measles, etc.
  6. Kills intestinal worms
  7. Presence of saline and albumen makes it a good drink in cholera cases
  8. Checks urinary infections.
  9. Excellent tonic for the old and sick
  10. Cures malnourishment.
  11. Diuretic
  12. Effective in the treatment of kidney and urethral stones
  13. Can be injected intravenously in emergency case.
  14. Found as blood plasma substitute because it is sterile, does not produce heat, does not destroy red blood cells and is readily accepted by the body.
  15. Aids the quick absorption of the drugs and makes their peak concentration in the blood easier by its electrolytic effect.
  16. Urinary antiseptic and eliminates poisons in case of mineral poisoning.

"It’s a natural isotonic beverage with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It’s the fluid of life, so to speak," says Mr. Morton Satin, Chief of FAO’s Agricultural Industries and Post Harvest Management Service.

The major chemical constituents of coconut water are sugars and minerals and minor ones are fat and nitrogenous substances.

Average composition of tender coconut (per nut) (6-8 months old)
Variety Age
(months)
Total
weight
g
Water
g
Jelly
g
Husk
g
Husk
g
Total
acidity
Total
solids %
Tall 6/8 2,933 349.3 92 2,501 5.2 0.06 4.6
Yellow Dwarf 7/8 2,443 327.5 62.1 2,056 4.8 0.10 5.0
Orange Dwarf 7/8 2,753 319.2 92.3 2,350 4.8 0.06 6.4
Green Dwarf 6/8 2,360 435.3 33.2 2,176 4.8 0.09 5.6
Analysis of Mature and Tender Coconut Water
  Mature Coconut Water Tender Coconut Water
Total solids% 5.4 6.5
Reducing sugars % 0.2 4.4
Minerals % 0.5 0.6
Protein % 0.1   0.01
Fat % 0.1   0.01
Acidity mg % 60.0   120.0    
pH 5.2 4.5
Potassium mg% 247.0     290.0    
Sodium mg% 48.0    42.0  
Calcium mg% 40.0    44.0  
Magnesium mg % 15.0    10.0  
Phosphorous mg% 6.3  9.2
Iron mg% 79.0    106.0    
Copper mg% 26.0    26.0  
Source: Satyavati Krishnankutty (1987)
Sugars

Sugars in the forms of glucose and fructose form an important constituent of the tender nut water. The concentration of sugars in the nut water steadily increases from about 1.5 per cent to about 5 - 5.5 per cent in the early months of maturation and then slowly falls reaching about 2 per cent at the stage of the full maturity of the nut. In the early stages of maturity sugars are in the form of glucose and fructose (reducing sugars) and sucrose (non-reducing sugar) appears only in later stages which increases with the maturity while the reducing sugars fall. In the fully mature nut approximately 90 per cent of the total sugars is sucrose.

Minerals

Tender coconut water contains most of the minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper, sulphur and chlorides. Among the minerals more than half is potassium the concentration of which is markedly influenced by potash manuring. Tender coconut water being rich in potassium and other minerals plays a major role to increase the urinary output.

Protein

Coconut water contains small amounts of protein. The percentage of arginine, alanine, cystine and serene in the protein of tender coconut water are higher than those in cow’s milk. Since it does not contain any complex protein the danger of producing shock to the patients is minimised.

Amino Acid Composition of Coconut Water 
(% of total protein)

Alanine 2.41
Arginine 10.75
Aspartic acid 3.60
Cystine 0.97 - 1.17
Glutamic acid 9.76 - 14.5
Histidine 1.95 - 2.05
Leucine 1.95 - 4.18
Lysine 1.95 - 4.57
Proline 1.21 - 4.12
Phenylalanine 1.23
Serine 0.59 - 0.91
Tyrosine 2.83 - 3.00
Source: Pradera et al, 1942
Vitamins

Tender coconut water contains both ascorbic acid and vitamins of B group. The concentration of ascorbic acid ranges from 2.2 to 3.7mg per ml, which gradually diminishes as the kernel surrounding the water begins to harden.

Vitamins of B Group in Coconut Water
Nicotinic acid 0.64 microgram / ml
Pantothenic acid 0.52 ,,
Biotin 0.02 ,,
Riboflavin < 0.01 ,,
Folic acid 0.003 ,,
Thiamine Trace ,,
Pyridoxine Trace ,,
Source: The Wealth of India (1950)
Minimal Processing of Tender coconut water

Perishability of tender coconut is relatively high and once the tender coconuts are detached from the bunches its natural freshness will get lost within 24 to 36 hours even under refrigerated conditions unless treated scientifically. The bulkiness of tender coconut is due to the husk which accounts for two-third of the volume of tender nut.

Handling of tender coconuts will be easy if a major part of the husk is removed. But, when partial removal of husk is done the colour of the nut will be changed to brown thereby reducing the attractiveness of the nut. Technologies for minimal processing of tender coconut have been developed for retaining the flavour and to prevent discolouration. The technology for minimal processing of tender coconut developed by Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) involves dipping partially dehusked tender coconut in a solution of 0.50% citric acid and 0.50% potassium metabisulphate for three minutes. The product can be stored up to 24 days in refrigerated condition at 5-7 degree centigrade. By using this process, tender coconut can be transported to distant place served chilled like any other soft drink. Optimized uniform size facilitates using of plastic crates and insulated chill boxes for transporting and storage.

Preservation and Packing Tender coconut water in pouches/ aluminium cans

The Coconut Development Board in collaboration with Defence Food Research Laboratory, Mysore has developed the technology for packing tender coconut water in pouches/ aluminium cans with shelf life of more than six months under normal ambience condition and 12 months under refrigerated condition. The process involves collection of tender coconut water under hygienic conditions, up gradation and pasteurization, filtration and packaging either in Bottles or cans as the case may be. Additives such as nissin and sweeteners will be added to the product.

Snow ball tender nut

Snow ball tender nut is a tender coconut without husk, shell and testa which is ball shaped and white in colour. Coconut of 8 month old is more suitable for making SBTN in which there is no decrease in quantity of tender water and the kernel is sufficiently soft. The process has been developed for making the SBTN. Important steps involved in the process are dehusking of the nut, making groove in the shell and scooping of the tender kernel in ball shape without breakage by using a scooping tool. The groove has to make by using a machine which is under the progress of development.

Copra Back to Top



Two types of copra namely milling and edible are made in India. Milling copra is used to extract oil while edible grade of copra is consumed as a dry fruit and used for religious purposes. Milling copra is generally manufactured by adopting sun drying and artificial means. Substantial quantity of milling copra is manufactured using modern hot air driers resulting in the availability of superior quality copra which is required for the manufacture of best grade coconut oil. A good number of farmers' co-operative societies are also involved in the manufacture and marketing of milling copra. Milling copra is available in different grades. Edible copra is made in the form of balls and cups. Different grades of edible copra are available in the market according to the size, colour etc.

Coconut Oil Back to Top



Coconut oil is used in the country as a cooking fat, hair oil, body oil and industrial oil. Coconut oil is made from fully dried copra having maximum moisture content of six per cent. Steam cooking of copra is also practised by some millers to enhance the quality and aroma of oil. Coconut oil is marketed in bulk as well as in packs ranging from sachets containing 5 ml. to 15kg tins. The branded coconut oil in small packs is mainly marketed as hair oil and body oil. There are several brands known for their superior grade oil which have export market throughout the world. India has unbeatable quality advantage in this sector. Refined coconut oil is also manufactured in the country for industrial uses. Refined coconut oil is mainly used in the manufacture of biscuits, chocolates and other confectionery items, ice cream, pharmaceutical products and costly paints. Generally, filtered coconut oil is used for cooking and toiletry purposes.

Virgin coconut oil is also made from the milk extracted from raw kernel. This is done on a small scale by the traditional method which is now partially mechanised or on a large scale by adopting wet processing technology. Coconut milk is fermented and then by mechanical process, water is separated from oil. No heating or application of sunlight or dryer is done for the process.



Qualities:Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is abundant in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, thus making it the 'mother of all oils'. Extracted from fresh coconut kernel without any chemical processes, it is the purest form of coconut oil, water white in colour. Virgin coconut oil is a major source of Lauric Acid and Vitamin E. The virgin coconut oil is free from trans fatty acid, high in medium chain fats (MCFA) or medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) known as lauric acid, which is identical to special group of fats found in human breast milk. VCO is widely consumed as MCT oil for weight loss treatment, etc. MCT's are more easily and rapidly digested than other types of fats, as they require lower amounts of enzymes and bile acids for intestinal absorption. MCT's are metabolized very quickly in the liver and are reported to encourage an increase in energy expenditure, while decreasing fat storage. Numerous studies suggest that substituting MCT Oil for other fats in a healthy diet may therefore help to support healthy weight and body composition. High quality of this oil makes it an ideal massage oil for babies and also for skin and hair applications. It protects the skin from infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi, prevents dandruff and hair loss. It even eases muscular pain. Supplement your body with antioxidants. Antioxidant is your body's natural defense against free radicals. It prevents the chain reaction of free radicals and mars sagging and unsightly wrinkles. Rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E, virgin coconut oil slows down the ageing process and assures the best of life and beauty to your skin. It also helps in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Technology:The Coconut Development Board and Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore have developed a technology for production of Virgin Coconut Oil and Dietary Fibre. The technology will be transferred to entrepreneurs having a sound financial background and experience in production and marketing. Interested entrepreneurs may apply to the Board in the prescribed application form which is downloadable from the link given below. The selected entrepreneurs will be required to pay a technology transfer fee of Rs.50,000. The Board reserves the right to reject all or any of the applications received.

Raw Kernel Back to Top



Desiccated coconut (DC), Coconut Cream, Coconut Milk, Virgin Coconut Oil and Spray Dried Coconut Milk Powder are the convenience coconut products manufactured in the country. Desiccated coconut is used as a substitute to grated raw coconut in various food preparations. Desiccated coconut is marketed in bulk as well as in small packs. Defatted desiccated coconut is also available in the country.



Processed coconut cream/ coconut milk are used in various food preparations as a substitute to milk extracted from raw kernel in the traditional method. They are available in cans and tetra packs. Spray drying is the best method for the preservation of coconut milk. The product has advantages such as less storage space, bulk packaging possible at low cost and long shelf life. Spray dried coconut powder is manufactured by one unit in the country.

Virgin coconut oil is also made from the milk extracted from raw kernel. This is done on a small scale by the traditional method which is now partially mechanised or on a large scale by adopting wet processing technology. Coconut milk is fermented and then by mechanical process, water is separated from oil. No heating or application of sunlight or dryer is done for the process.

Qualities: Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is abundant in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, thus making it the 'mother of all oils'. Extracted from fresh coconut kernel without any chemical processes, it is the purest form of coconut oil, water white in colour. Virgin coconut oil is a major source of Lauric Acid and Vitamin E. The virgin coconut oil is free from trans fatty acid, high in medium chain fats (MCFA) or medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) known as lauric acid, which is identical to special group of fats found in human breast milk. VCO is widely consumed as MCT oil for weight loss treatment, etc. MCT's are more easily and rapidly digested than other types of fats, as they require lower amounts of enzymes and bile acids for intestinal absorption. MCT's are metabolized very quickly in the liver and are reported to encourage an increase in energy expenditure, while decreasing fat storage. Numerous studies suggest that substituting MCT Oil for other fats in a healthy diet may therefore help to support healthy weight and body composition. High quality of this oil makes it an ideal massage oil for babies and also for skin and hair applications. It protects the skin from infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi, prevents dandruff and hair loss. It even eases muscular pain. Supplement your body with antioxidants. Antioxidant is your body's natural defense against free radicals. It prevents the chain reaction of free radicals and mars sagging and unsightly wrinkles. Rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E, virgin coconut oil slows down the ageing process and assures the best of life and beauty to your skin. It also helps in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Technology: The Coconut Development Board and Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore have developed a technology for production of Virgin Coconut Oil and Dietary Fibre. The technology will be transferred to entrepreneurs having a sound financial background and experience in production and marketing. Interested entrepreneurs may apply to the Board in the prescribed application form which is downloadable from the link given below. The selected entrepreneurs will be required to pay a technology transfer fee of Rs.50,000. The Board reserves the right to reject all or any of the applications received.

Coconut Oil Cake Back to Top

Coconut cake is the residue left after the extraction of oil from copra which is mainly used as a cattle feed. Coconut cake contains 4-5 per cent oil which is extracted by solvent extraction process. This oil is generally used for industrial purpose and de-oiled cake is used to make mixed cattle feed. There are a few such units in the country especially in Kerala.

Neera Back to Top



Uses of Neera

Neera is popular as a delicious health drink. It is good for digestion, facilitates clear urination and prevents jaundice. The nutrient-rich "sap" has low Glycemic Index (GI of only 35) and hence diabetic-friendly since very low amounts of the sugar is absorbed into the blood. It is an abundant source of minerals, 17 amino acids, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral pH. Diversified Value Added Products like coconut flower syrup, jaggery and coconut palm sugar are produced from Neera.

Composition of Neera
Total solids (g/100ml) 15.2 - 19.7
pH 3.9 - 4.7
Specific gravity 1.058 - 1.077
Total sugars (g/100ml) 14.40
Original reducing sugars (g/100ml) 5.58
Total reducing sugars (g/100ml) 9.85
Total ash (g/100ml) 0.11 - 0.41
Citric acid (g/100ml) 0.50
Alpohol in % nil
Iron (g/100ml) 0.15
Phosphorus (g/100ml) 7.59
Ascorbic acid (mg/100ml) 16.30
Total protein (g/100ml) 0.23 - 0.32

Coconut Flower Syrup Back to Top



This is a product similar to coconut palm jaggery with high content of minerals. It is a rich source of potassium. It has good content of sodium and is free from total fats and cholesterol. It is produced when fresh Neera is heated and concentrated into a syrup.

Uses of coconut syrup

The product can be used for healthy food preparations, as topping on wide variety of appetizer, dessert or beverage, for delicious serving and for a healthy lifestyle. It is also used as a health drink in connection with Ayurveda and other systems of medicine.

Coconut Palm jaggery Back to Top



The strained unfermented coconut sap is boiled, crystallized and transferred into suitable moulds to prepare jaggery. The semisolid jaggery solidifies gradually by the cooling effect of the atmosphere into a crystallized hard substance. The recovery of jaggery from syrup is 15%. It is used as a sweetening agent for the preparation of dishes and is superior to cane jaggery.

Nutritional composition of coconut palm jaggery (in 100g)

Component

Qty in mg

Thiamine

21.00

Riboflavin

432.00

Nicotinic acid

5.24

Ascorbic acid

11.00

Coconut Palm SugarBack to Top



The coconut palm syrup or jaggery can be crystallized to produce fine granules of sugar. Transition of coconut jaggery into a ground granule sweetener is more accepted by global markets. The recovery of palm sugar from coconut palm jaggery is 15%. The application of this sugar is tremendous and offers huge potential owing to its most important health attributes, the low Glycemic index and the high nutrient content. It can be the most suited alternative sweetner, especially when agave sugar is being rejected owing to the high fructose content. This alternative sugar industry is estimated to be a $1.3 billion industry and hence the market prospects are enormous. It is understood that in producing countries like Indonesia, around 50,000 MT of coconut sugar is produced per month and 6 lakh MT produced per year. The product has good local market in Indonesia.

Nutritional composition of coconut palm sugar (in 100g)

Component Qty in mg
Moisture 0.06%
Protein 432 mg
Minerals 5.24 mg
Carbohydrate 11.0 mg
Calcium 18.9 mg
Phosphorous 1.9 mg
Iron 5.2 mg

Economics of production of Neera* and value added products from Neera

Assumptions  
Number of palms per hectare 175
Total number of palms tapped in a hectare limited to 80
Number of inflorescence tapped per tree per annum 3
Average productivity per ha in Kerala 7365 nuts/year
Approximate cost of one litre of Neera Rs.50
Conversion ratio from Neera to jaggery 6:1
Approximate cost of one kg of coconut palm jaggery Rs.250

*Commercialization of Neera is possible only after amendment of Abkari Act.

Estimated returns from Neera

Item Yield of Neera
Yield of Neera in Litres @1 litre/ tree/day @2 litre/ tree/day @3 litre/ tree/day
Yield of Neera from 80 palm tapped for 3 months 7200 litres 14400 litres 21600 litres
Returns from Neera @ Rs.50 per litre 3.6 lakhs 7.2 lakhs 10.8 lakhs
Returns per palm Rs.4500 Rs.9000 Rs.13500
Returns to farmer in the proportion of 75% of production 2.7 lakhs 5.4 lakhs 8.1 lakhs
Returns to tapper in the proportion of 25% of production 0.9 lakhs 1.8 lakhs 2.7 lakhs

Estimated returns from coconut palm jaggery

Item Production of Neera at
@1 litre/ tree/day @2 litre/ tree/day @3 litre/ tree/day
Yield of jaggery in kg 1200kg 2400kg 3600kg
Returns from jaggery @ Rs.250 per kg 3.0 lakhs 6.0 lakhs 9.0 lakhs

Tapping of 25% of inflorescences (3 inflorescence) in a palm for production of Neera will yield additional income to the farmer and to the tapper, without much reduction in yield. The Coconut farmer communities in the Federations of CPS can work out a viable proportion of production of Neera and jaggery so that the products can cater to defined segments of the society. Neera being a sweet and nutritious health drink can be promoted among all sections of the society. Coconut palm jaggery owing to their low Glycemic Index can be positioned as a safe and healthy alternative sweetener. If we convert jaggery further to coconut palm sugar, value addition is still better.

Coconut Shell based Back to Top

Shell charcoal, shell based activated carbon, shell powder, shell handicrafts, shell ice cream cups and bear glasses, ladles, forks, show pieces, shell buttons, etc. are the shell based products available in the country.

Coconut Wood based Back to Top

The coconut wood because of its distinct grain characteristics is ideal for making wall panels, furniture, doors and windows, show pieces, etc. There are several small scale units manufacturing a variety of articles from coconut wood.

Coconut Leaves Back to Top

Coconut leaves are plaited and used for thatching houses and sheds in rural areas. It is also used for thatching 'honeymoon huts' and such huts in town and cities. Technology is available with Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala for extending the life of leaf thatch from one year to four years. Plaited coconut leaves are also used for making baskets, headgears and for erection of temporary fences. Plaiting of coconut leaves is a cottage industry in traditional coconut growing states. Midribs of leaves are used to make brooms of different types which are used for cleaning rough grounds and floors. Brooms of midribs of coconut leaves are manufactured on a commercial scale in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Coir Pith Back to Top

Coir pith a waste product obtained during the extraction of coir fibre from husk is very light, highly compressible and highly hygroscopic. It is used as a soil conditioner, surface mulch/ rooting medium and desiccant. Composted coir pith is an excellent organic manure for indoor plants as well as for horticulture crops. Several firms are manufacturing composted coir pith in the country. Compressed coir pith in the form of briquettes for easy transportation is also manufactured in the country.