Coconut – the fruit from the tree of heaven
There is no species of tree that we associate so closely with the image of the tropics as the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera).The coconut tree is often referred to as the “tree of heaven” due to its height and of course the beautiful environment it grows in. Coconut palms have been cultivated for more than 3,000 years, and today they supply about 8% of the global demand for plant oil.
Of course, the use of the coconut goes far beyond the extraction of its oil – amazingly this tree is a resource for multiple industry and consumer needs. The realm of its use ranges from an ingredient for a wide variety of foods and drinks to building material. For example palm wood and ferns serve as building materials for huts; the fibers can be made into house walls, baskets or mats; and the dried coconut shells can be used for fuel. As you can see the options are abundant.
Food opinion leaders including the Hemsley sisters see the long-established benefits of the coconut as part of a larger, holistic and above all health-conscious trend - especially when it comes to fats and nutritional values. Even though coconut oil, for example, has been in use for thousands of years, in the West it was a victim of nutritional misinformation. The high levels of saturated fatty acids played a significant part in this - we now know that these are in fact medium chain fatty acids, which burn more quickly than long chain fatty acids.
AGRANA Fruit is very interested in the edible part: the coconut meat. This on-trend ingredient can be found in every segment of the food industry, from alcoholic cocktails to healthy yogurt; the coconut contains an excellent, thirst-quenching drink, namely, coconut water, and nutritious fruit flesh, from which coconut milk and coconut oil can be obtained. Young sprouted coconuts can be eaten as a vegetable and the palm heart, which is considered a delicacy, also comes from the coconut tree.
Coconut water is currently a leading product in all markets! In order to obtain coconut water, mature unripe coconuts must be harvested at around 7 months. Coconut water (up to one liter per fruit) contains many vitamins and minerals, for which it is especially prized.
To produce coconut milk, fresh coconut meat is grated from the shell and then pressed through a cloth. This creates thick, fatty coconut cream. Hot water is then added to the cream to make a low fat coconut milk.
Coconut oil is produced by chopping up and drying the “copra” (the dried meat) of the coconut, which is then pressed in an oil mill. It is characterized by a very high proportion of saturated fatty acids.
Coconut milk yogurt:
A new trend – especially in the vegan community.
2014 was a great year for foodies and when it comes to our taste buds, 2015 is going to be even better. At the center of all innovations in the area of fruit, the "miracle food" coconut will unquestionably delights both producers and consumers with its continued versatility. Read more about here.
Thanks to our worldwide network of New Product Development and Marketing experts AGRANA Fruit offers 600 new and innovative customized fruit preparations every year based on the in-depth knowledge of regional markets.