After Neera and other value added products, it is now the turn of coconut juice to hit the market as a ready-to-drink beverage.
Developed by CDB Institute of Technology, the flavoured coconut juice will soon be made available within the next six months. The product has been well received during test marketing, a senior official in the Coconut Development Board said.
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.
The institute has already developed a technology for juice production with a shelf life of two weeks and they are now in the process of extending the time frame to six months. After introducing the product in fairs and expos, the Board now plans to conduct B2B meets for the promotion of the product as a natural, nutritious and toxin free health drink.
“We need to position this flavoured coconut juice as a nutritious drink, which will be competitively priced vis- a-vis other beverages”, the official said.
It will be a healthy dairy substitute and a vegan food product, he said adding, that the non-dairy milk market is one of the fastest growing consumable products in the world with a 15 per cent increase in dairy alternatives.
Besides boosting the revenue from coconut palms, these new innovative products could ensure farmers a fair, reasonable and steady price for raw nuts, he said.
Though India is a global leader in coconut production, the country is lagging behind several other producing countries in production and marketing of coconut juice in various forms. There is a need to initiate more research on coconut juice for projecting it as a dairy substitute, creamer and as an ingredient for edible products, confectionaries and sweets.
Given the growth in dairy alternative market, the need of the hour is to encourage Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) and entrepreneurs to make use of the emerging opportunities in the coconut sector. These new products can also be utilised by coconut milk-based delicacies, he added.