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Emerging Trends In The Production Of Coconut Water Beverages In India

Coconut occupies an incredible place of significance in the Indian Economy due to its dual nature of utility.  As a horticultural crop, it provides food and livelihood security to millions of people in the country besides being served as an inevitable item in the socio-religious rituals. It is the unique beverage crop that provides refreshing drinks filled with vitamins and minerals of natural origin. The ripe kernel which is rich in lauric acid and dietary fiber is an important ingredient in the culinary preparations of many households in India and hence become a daily dietary item in the food basket of every Indian. As a cash crop it is cultivated mainly for the production of copra and further extraction of coconut oil, which is also distinguished by multifarious applications besides being served as a dietary fat. Thus coconut and coconut products play a vital role in uplifting the nutritional status along with health protection of the people in India. It also plays an important role in supplying the minimum per capita daily requirement of optimum calories of the low-income group of people particularly those who are staying along the coastal India. The water of tender coconut, the liquid endosperm, is the most nutritious wholesome natural beverages. Unlike soft drinks, which are characterized by having higher sugar content, higher acidity and more additives such as preservatives and colorings and is devoid of any nutritional value, tender coconut water is an emerging health drink having inherent qualities embedded with the wellness of organic vitamins and minerals appropriate to all ages. Minerals are essential to the functioning of the organ systems and our entire body. A number of diseases are caused by the deficiencies of essential minerals in the human body. Similarly the rich source of potassium and the optimum level of sodium in TCW help to regulate water and alkaline balance and help treat blood pressure. The Calcium presence in this beverage helps to keep bones and teeth strong and helps muscles to contract and heart to beat.  It is the purest drink in the world trapped in natural bottle. A connoisseur of soft drink, now gage at TCW, takes months to make and bottle. It has the taste of pristine honey and bottled at source by the tree of heaven “ Kalpavriksha”.  It has calorific value of 17.4 per 100 ml with normal pH varies between 4.9 and 5. The chemical composition of tender coconut water varies depending on the variety, maturity of the nuts, soil conditions and the topographical variations. The major constituents of TCW are sugars and minerals.  TCW contains organic compounds possessing growth-promoting properties and its consumption keeps the body cool. It is an isotonic beverage and functional food recommended as sport drinks, geriatric and pediatric drinks. Tender coconut is traded in almost all the cities across the country in its natural forms. The increasing demand for Tender Coconut Water among the health conscious people in the country and the propaganda on the adverse impact on the consumption of soft drinks which do not have any nutritional value in terms of vitamins and minerals but have higher sugar content, higher acidity, and more additives such as preservatives and colourings, necessitated the development of viable technologies for preservation and packing of tender coconut water in convenient containers for enhancing the shelf life without loosing its inherent qualities and taste as well as for easy transportation to non-producing consuming centers. The timely interventions of Coconut Development Board, has made possible, the development of different technologies for preservations, packaging of coconut water and milk based beverages, its commercial exploitation and marketing and market expansions both domestic and international markets.  As a result many processing units have been set up in various states with Boards financial assistance. The Coconut Development Board’s efforts to put the coconut sector onto the path of sustainable growth and vibrant development have been making tangible results in improving the competitiveness of the Indian Coconut Industry and the economic well being of the small and marginal farmers who are the backbone of Indian Coconut Economy.

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