Food marketeers, new product developers and trend futurists are incorporating coconut into consumer products. Is this just hype? Firstly we have to know what this fruit is, this very big nut that isn’t a nut at all.
Coconuts (the bristly brown sphere inside the green fruit) are the stones of the fruits from the coconut palm. It has been an important source of food and medicine for thousands of years. The origins of this wonderful fruit has been traced back to what we know today as Malaysia and is now found growing in all the tropical regions of the world. Even in Australia and the islands surrounding it or in the region.
Reference to the coconut palm is seen recorded in the most ancient of writings known to man. In Sanskrit it is referred to as “The tree that sustains life”.
Today, coconut and its by-products are found in very many different forms, e.g. coconut cream, lo fat coconut milk, desiccated coconut (dry), coconut chips, coconut extract, coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, extra virgin coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut spread, coconut syrup, coconut shreds, fresh fruit and of course, coconut water. These products are available in retail as well as industrial forms.
Coconut oil is used as natural cooking oil, and externally as a skin moisturizer.
Coconut butter has a rich creamy texture and is ideal for spreading or using in the same manner as normal dairy butter, but without the lactose.
Coconut cream is widely used in various applications and forms of cooking, especially popular in Asian style cuisines.
The Fijian Islands have taken the lead in harvesting, processing and commercialising coconut in its various offerings.
What is it that has made coconut and all its products create such a special place on the “want-list” on the modern consumer? For one, coconut products are used as a total one-for-one replacement of dairy products, with the exception of coconut milk which is far too rich.
Travellers who ventured to the South Pacific and other equatorial islands, realised the benefits of the locals who thrived on coconut and fish. From its elementary form of consumption, food engineers have found new ways to incorporate coconut into consumables as a healthy, tasty ingredient.
- The milk makes a great base for smoothies, curries and soups.
- Coconut water is one of the most exciting beverages to hit the electrolyte market and is a sure contestant against the standard commercial sports and well-being drinks.
- The oil stands up well to most heat exposures and an excellent source of saturated fat. Excellent for baking and stir-fry.
What makes coconut so unique is that not only is it real food, but also tastes real good. It is an extremely versatile food with unique taste profiles. This latter point is where we come in. Coconut flavour is definitely the “Flavour-Of-The-Month” at the moment. Because of its known health properties and pleasant taste, the natural flavour is being applied in as many varieties as what there are products, e.g. health bars, beverages, sports nutrition products, condiments & sauces, confectionery, bakery, soups and cosmetics.
Michaelona Flavours specialises in offering Natural Coconut Flavour in oil soluble, water soluble liquid and powder form. The flavour profiles range from Fresh Coconut, Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream, Coconut Water and Roasted note profiles.
Feel free to contact Michaelona for free flavour samples to suite all your taste requirements.