Nutrient-rich tender coconut water is now available in powder form in delightful packs, thanks to pioneering work by a Kerala-based start-up.
NaturUp Consumer Products of Chalakudy in Thrissur district uses modern spray drying technology to remove the water/moisture from the nut to generate a stable powder, said Antony S Pathadan, NaturUp promoter, and a former IT entrepreneur.
The powder retains the natural attributes of rich nutrients, essential electrolytes, vitamins and minerals that one associates with tender coconuts. The powder packs are ideal for gyms, camping sites, kids’ events, and work places, and pack neatly into travel bags, Pathadan said.
“We capture the authentic taste of tender coconut water and add no preservative, artificial flavour or colour. Our product is 100 per cent gluten-free.” The manufacturing unit, based in Puducherry, is licensed by the Food Safety and Standards Association of India. It also has FDA approval for export to various countries. The plant uses the coconut water, and gives the pulp to ice-cream makers. Thus, it saves on costs of storing and processing of whole coconut shells and of managing waste.
NaturUp collects coconuts of South Indian origin (said to be the most tasty and nutritious) for sourcing water.
After a refining process, the moisture is removed. This leaves behind the powder rich in nutrients and carbohydrates, which is packed into convenient packs. The powder can be stirred in water and consumed.
It has a shelf-life of a year but once the pack is opened, it lasts not more than six hours.
This is in stark contrast to preservative-laden products which last for days after opening, Pathadan said. The product is priced at ₹15 for a 12-gram pack that gives 200 ml of tender coconut water. A 300-gram pack gives 5 litres of tender coconut water and is priced at ₹240.
Started in July 2016, NaturUp has crossed sales of two tonnes a month. It also sells via Amazon.