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Develop a coconut water beverage as a rehydration product.

Coconut water is the liquid endosperm from a tropical crop--Cocos nucifera L.--which is naturally rich in essential nutrients. The water also is a refreshing drink and may likely be the most commercially significant liquid endosperm. It usually is referred to as a natural isotonic beverage.

Coconut water is essentially an excellent vehicle by which to develop and market natural functional beverage products. Natural functionality, while extremely relevant for both the beverage industry and consumers, is not clearly defined. Yet even without a definition, natural functionality is associated with a nutrient delivered by a plant-based food, or by means of a natural process.

In general, marketing products globally presents several challenges, not the least of which involve the adequacy of supply and the consistent quality of natural ingredients. Insightful food companies are constantly seeking ways to formulate products that deliver on a consumer's expectations of consistent taste and performance.

Scientists at the University of the West Indies developed a global coconut water beverage product tailored to accommodate the diverse mineral and taste profiles of natural coconut water from different geographical regions. In addition, the formulated product would support the nutritional claims and consumer benefits ascribed to the product, and provide superior benefits to artificial sports drinks.

The researchers analyzed eight coconut water samples from three geographical regions-South America, the Caribbean and South East Asia--for sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and chlorine content, using standard methodologies.

These data were contrasted against data obtained from the analysis of a popular North American rehydration beverage. The scientists subjected the results to matrix analysis. They identified distinct clusters for specific groups of minerals.

Predictive models were developed which profiled the mineral content of coconut water from the different geographical regions. This information was used to help formulate a coconut water beverage as a rehydration product. It also made it possible to identify adulterated commercial brands of coconut water products.

Further information. Ian L. Thompson, Department of Chemistry, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica; phone: 876-927-1910; fax: 876-977-1835; email:

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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Sep 1, 2016
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