(Note: Coconut Water FAQs are based on the current US Code of Federal Regulations. Other countries may have different requirements.)
Question: What are the benefits of using coconut water concentrate?
Answer: Shipping concentrated coconut water and then manufacturing in the U.S. is more responsible for our planet, food safety and product quality and consistency.
Question: Is there a nutritional difference in the electrolytes and minerals in coconut water that is from concentrate?
Answer: The evaporation to concentrate coconut water is done by sophisticated flash evaporation at high temperatures for only seconds! The electrolytes in coconut water are not affected by heat during the evaporation process.
Question: Is there a difference between the nutritional profile of coconut water concentrate diluted to single-strength vs. juice made not from concentrate (NFC)?
Answer: We have not found there to be a difference between coconut water from concentrate and coconut water not from concentrate. The evaporation to produce coconut water concentrate is done by sophisticated flash evaporation at high temperatures for only seconds. The beneficial electrolytes like potassium, sodium and phosphorus are not affected by heat.
Question: What are some of the valid product claims that can be made for coconut water?
Answer: Answers include:
- Coconut water is 100% juice when reconstituted correctly.
- Coconut water is a good source of potassium.
- Coconut water is low in sugar and calories.
- Coconut water is free of cholesterol.
- Coconut water is fat-free.
- Coconut water is a vegan ingredient.
Question: Is coconut water natural?
Answer: iTi coconut water is 100% natural.
Question: Why should we drink coconut water?
Answer: Coconut water is a naturally pure, delicious, and easily digestible source of electrolyte minerals. We should drink it for quick hydration because it has many of the same electrolytes as our blood. It is low in sugar and is a 100% juice that is low in heavy metals. It contains the electrolytes sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium, which are efficiently absorbed by the body. Coconut water partly eliminates the need for mineral replenishment as it is a good source of potassium.
Question: What do you mean when you say that coconut water is naturally low in calories and sugar?
Answer: Among all juice ingredients, coconut water at single-strength has the lowest brix content compared to its cost-in-use. Other low-brix juices such as cranberries, lemon, and lime are much more expensive and have overwhelmingly high acidity.
Question: Where does the characteristic taste of coconut water come from?
Answer: You taste the naturally occurring electrolytes in coconut water that help reduce depletion of body minerals. While some people describe coconut water as being salty and others describe it as having a metallic taste, it is 100% natural.
Question: Can coconut water be considered juice?
Answer: When reconstituted correctly, coconut water is 100% juice. Coconut water and coconut juice are equally accurate, interchangeable descriptions. The juice is interior to the shell and is extracted by drilling or cracking. Pulpy fruits, on the other hand, are commonly extracted by mechanical pressing or enzymatic extraction. In the U.S., it is considered a juice. For other countries, please check with local authorities.
Question: Is coconut water good for kids?
Answer: Because of coconut water’s natural nutrition and low sugar content, it is undeniably better for children than high-sugar drinks.
Question: Is the coconut water Kosher?
Answer: iTi coconut waters are kosher certified.
Question: Is your coconut water organic?
Answer: Some iTi coconut water products are certified organic.
Question: What is the crop season for coconut water?
Answer: While there are some seasonal variations in harvest output, iTi Tropicals maintains year-around inventory and availability of coconut water concentrate. The product is available all year!
Question: Why is coconut water an excellent choice for juice blends, fruit sodas?
Answer: Coconut water has little taste, flavor or aroma. It blends well with other juices because it does not compete for flavor. In addition, its translucent color makes it blend well with high-color juices such as cranberry, blackberry, raspberry, cherry, red grape, and Concord grape juices.
Question: Other than nutritional contributions, how do the minerals in coconut water help?
Answer: The minerals in coconut water increase the osmotic pressure and induce freezing point depression. They can be used to modify crystal formation in sorbets and other frozen novelties. For example, coconut water as an ingredient will improve the ease of scooping for fruit sorbets.
Question: What is unique about coconut water?
Answer: Coconut water is a low acid juice. As an ingredient, it can be used to raise the brix-to-acid ratio of the juice blend to improve consumer preference, particularly for women and children.
Question: What is the Allergen status of coconut?
Answer: Botanically, coconuts are fibrous drupes and not nuts. But the US FDA has classified it as a treenut allergen to be included among the 8 major allergen categories, and thus it has to be labeled as an allergen in the US. In Europe and Canada it is not considered an allergen. For more information on processor post-allergen CIP requirements, see the expert opinion letter from the federally-funded Food Allergen Resource and Research Program at the University of Nebraska.
Question: Why is coconut water so popular with distance cyclists, swimmers, marathoners, triathletes, and other endurance sport competitors and athletes?
Answer: Being a good source of potassium and other electrolytes, these elite athletes seek to avoid cramping and other performance-limiting symptoms stemming from lack of hydration during and after competition.
Question: What is the single strength minimum brix for juice reconstitution calculations?
Answer: The US Food and Drug Administration has not yet issued a single-strength standard for juices made from coconut water concentrate. In the absence of an FDA standard, the ‘directly expressed’ juice solids prior to concentration need to be used. Harvest solids of coconut water are typically between 3.8 ºbrix and 4.2 ºbrix. As a result, many customers reconstitute to the high end of this range, i.e. 4.2 °brix. Others reconstitute to the actual ‘expressed solids’ that iTi provides on the certificate of analysis. In contrast Europe and some other countries use the Codex-specified concentration of 5 °brix.
Question: How does one dilute concentrate to single strength?
Answer: To dilute concentrate, add 17.1 volumes of reconstitution water to one volume of 60 ºbrix coconut water concentrate to get 18.1 volumes of 4.2 ºbrix coconut water. By weight, add 13.3 units of reconstitution water to one unit of coconut water to get 14.3 weight units of coconut water at about 4.2 ºbrix.
Question: What does volume dilution ratio mean?
Answer: It is the volume of reconstituted coconut water divided by the volume of concentrate needed. The FDA has not yet set a standard brix for coconut water, so the default single-strength solids are what the juice is prior to concentration. Since single-strength coconut water prior to concentration typically can vary from 3.8 to 4.2 °brix, the volume dilution ratio can vary from 18.1 to over 20.
Question: What are the pros and cons of green coconut water vs. mature coconut water?
Answer: Green coconut water is obtained from young immature coconuts. As the coconut matures, coconut cream and coconut meat develop. Mature coconuts contain the cream and meat while green coconuts only contain coconut water. Our coconut water is obtained from fully ripened (mature) coconuts. From a sustainability perspective, it is best to use coconuts that are fully ripened such as coconut meat, coconut cream, and coconut water. As a matter of fact, nothing goes to waste in our production plants. Even the brown shell is used for packaging and filling materials and is a natural carbon source of activated carbon (can be used for water purification) because it has extremely low heavy metal residues.
Question: Why does coconut water blend so well with pulpy purees?
Answer: Being free of suspended solids, coconut water adds minimal texture and can effectively reduce viscosity and drinkability of thick purees such as banana, carrot, and tomato.
Question: How does coconut water help in soy and dairy formulations?
Answer: Being fat-free, coconut water can be used to reduce the overall fat content per serving. Since it is a vegan ingredient, it is likewise cholesterol-free.
Question: How long does it take to produce coconut water concentrate?
Answer: Coconut water concentrate is made from freshly picked coconuts. Almost every coconut is harvested the same day as the concentrate is produced.
Question: My plant is not set up to receive low-acid ingredients; can I still use coconut water?
Answer: Yes, iTi Tropicals offers coconut water concentrates that are acidified to under pH 4.6 using citric acid (or on special order basis using other acidic juices).
Question: How about formulating protein products with coconut water?
Answer: Being free of protein and having a relatively high pH of 4.8 to 5.2, coconut water blends well with low acid protein products. Blending high acid juices with low acid dairy sources of proteins (such as whole milk, skim milk, cheese whey, whey protein concentrates and yogurts) can cause chalkiness that is avoided using coconut water concentrate. Citric, malic, and other fruit acids cause protein denaturation that adversely affects mouth feel. Soy, coconut cream, and nut milks are likewise uniquely blend-able with coconut water. With single-strength solids in the range of 4%, relatively little coconut water concentrate is needed to make significant, even 100% juice content label statements.
Question: What are some of the products that can successfully use coconut water?
Answer: Products that can use coconut water as an ingredient include: 100% juice blends, energy drinks, 100% coconut water, carbonated fruit sodas, dairy beverages, chocolate and other flavored milks, drinkable yogurts, fruit sorbets, frozen novelties, and salad dressings.
Question: Why iTi?
Answer: Having been in business more than 25-years, iTi Tropicals is a well-established and reliable partner. Our proven track record and decades of experience with third-world supplier partners in the tropics is your assurance that you are selecting a proven and dependable source of supply. For example, our special relations with suppliers allow us to ensure that no added sugars or color-stabilizing preservatives (such as sodium metabisulfite) are present.