COCONUT WATER CORRUPTION
I read an awesome article by foodbabe.com about coconut water and wanted to share it
Coconut water is an amazing fluid to drink, it can be used as a substitute for all electrolyte drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, etc.
I love coconut water! When I’m traveling in the tropics, there is nothing better than drinking water straight from a coconut. Mother nature designed the perfect vessel for a drink that is so refreshing, slightly sweet, and keeps you hydrated in hot climates. You’ve probably heard that coconut water makes an excellent hydrating drink that replenishes electrolytes and can replace nasty chemical-filled Gatorade and Powerade – but there really is more to it than that. How do you buy the healthiest coconut water and avoid the worst? ~ Foodbabe.com
Following is a part of her article on foodbabe.com
How To Ruin Coconut Water
Using a concentrate instead of fresh juice: Some coconut water companies get away with saying their drinks contain “100% Coconut Water” that’s “All Natural” even though it’s made from a reconstituted concentrate. Just like other juices in the store, they heat fresh coconut water and reduce it to a syrup. It’s cheaper for them to import this coconut water syrup, which they later add water prior to packaging. Any juice that has been heated to this extent loses a significant amount of its nutrients and its beneficial enzymes are denatured (i.e. the enzymes don’t work anymore).
Taking water from mature coconuts:
This is a biggie. Young coconuts on the tree are usually green with an abundance of water in the center that is full of nutrients. Anyone that drinks coconut water straight from a coconut is drinking out of one of these young coconuts. As they begin to age, the nutrients in the water begin to seep into the meat of the coconut, and the water becomes less nutritious. It’s essentially watered-down. This also happens when young coconuts are picked and allowed to lie on the ground in the sun, for an extended period of time. While older “mature” coconuts might be used to make coconut oil, coconut milk and other coconut products, the coconut water from older coconuts is often discarded because it’s lacking nutrients and doesn’t taste the same. As the popularity in coconut water spiked recently, companies realized that they could buy up the water from mature coconuts and could get it cheaper than young coconut water. This is why it’s important to drink young coconut water and not get scammed into drinking the watered-down and less nutritious version.
Adding “natural flavours” or sweeteners:
Young coconut water is refreshing and sweet, so there is absolutely no need to flavour or sweeten it – unless you are trying to hide something. Guess what happens when they use mature coconuts for their water? It tastes acidic, so they mask this taste with natural flavours or sweeten it up with sugars. I’ve heard that some companies use a centrifuge system to remove the acidic taste, but it’s a safe assumption that if you see a plain coconut water on the shelf with any natural flavours or sweeteners added it is from mature coconuts and not worth your money.
Pasteurizing it with heat:
Coconut water is very delicate, naturally perishable, and should be kept cold. Have you ever stopped to wonder why most bottled and boxed coconut waters on the shelves aren’t in the refrigerated section? I recently checked out one of these bottles and noticed it didn’t expire for 2 years! This is because most coconut water at the store is heat pasteurized, which literally means that it’s been cooked to a very high temperature to kill bacteria and extend its shelf life. It has been shown that heat also destroys some of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and also denatures enzymes – stripping its benefits and much of its flavour. If coconut water is from concentrate, this would be the second time it’s heated. Obviously, your best bet is to seek out and find unpasteurized raw coconut water. This can be hard to find, but there is another way to kill bacteria while keeping the nutrients intact: HPP (high-pressure processing). Without using heat, HPP is the best way to preserve the goodness in coconut water, while extending its shelf life a little to make it more available commercially.
Dipping whole coconuts in formaldehyde or sodium metabisulphite:
It’s been reported that some non-organic coconuts may be preserved for transport to the U.S. by dipping them in chemicals, including formaldehyde a known carcinogen. This leads to the possibility that these chemicals seep into the coconut meat and poisons the water. Some of my favourite organic cafes avoid this by getting frozen coconut water shipped directly to them.
We called up several of the most popular coconut water companies and asked where they source their coconuts (young vs. mature) if they dip them in chemicals, how they pasteurize them, and about additives and preservatives that they may use. We got a variety of responses, and it’s almost surprising to me how much some of these companies have screwed up something as basic as coconut water. I found several brands to avoid because they are so heavily processed that the final product barely resembles natural coconut water.