Coconut powder tested for mainstream market
A team of food scientists from UP Mindanao has found a way to make coconut water more mainstream by converting it into powder.
The Philippine Star reported that scientists are determining the nutrient retention capacity of coconut powder manufactured using spray dryer developed by the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC).
Coconut powder would be cheaper than the fresh coconut water, which will make it one of the country’s agricultural export winners.
It would also help thousands of poor coconut farmers in the coconut-producing provinces, which make up a third of the country’s farmlands.
Science Secretary Mario Montejo sent a team to Thailand in 2013 to study the coconut water market. The team, composed of regional directors, reported back that Thailand used spray dryers, vacuum dryers, freeze dryers, and vacuum sealers to turn coconut water into powder.
The MIRDC and ITDI fabricated their own equipment and tested them in Davao City, Tuguegarao City and Tacloban City.
DOST Region 11 director Anthony Sales told the Star that powdered coconut juice is a healthy alternative to instant fruit juices because it does not have artificial flavor and preservatives.