Lactose free coconut juices will soon be available in the market with the Kochi-based Coconut Development Board (CDB) planning to introduce innovative products like coconut-based cookies, juices and chunks to support the market for the commodity, which solely depends on the fortunes of the oil market. In the pipeline are products like coconut cookies with different combinations like ragi, oatmeal, corn flour, and whole wheat atta.
The present production of coconut in the country is 21,665 million nuts and out of this only 35% is utilised for copra & coconut oil production, board officials said. Normally, continuous supply of coconut oil from Tamil Nadu keeps the market under pressure, as consumption of coconut oil at the household level is limited to Kerala and certain parts of southern Karnataka and Goa.The Coconut Board is focusing on promoting value added products to reduce the dependency on coconut oil market. CDB Institute of Technology, research institute under Coconut Development Board , has developed several products which are ready for commercial operations, board sources said.
“Coconut Juice is a popular choice of vegans. It can be processed as a nutritional health beverage with varying flavors according to consumer acceptability. Also it is lactose free and can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance,” Sebastian KS, assistant director of CDB, said.
At present the juice market in India is growing at the tune of 30%.Technology for processing flavored coconut juice on lab scale has been developed by CDB Institute of Technology with five flavors namely Pista, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose and Mango. A project for commercial development is sanctioned for Pollachi Coconut Producer Company.
Board officials said that the coconut juice is made out of liquid pulp extracted from the kernel. “Fresh green nuts with 10 months maturity are suitable for processing. The fresh nut water is mixed with the extracted juice so as to enrich the nutrient contents. An average yield of 800 ml of flavored coconut juice is obtained from one nut,” Sebastian said.