Why do brands add sugar to coconut water?
Sometimes new SKUs are introduced without proper or accurate quality control. Recently iTi commissioned analytical testing of several dozen coconut water products for authenticity and evidence of adulteration.
Many imported brands, especially those coming from Thailand, were proven to have undeclared sugar added. According to the analytical laboratory results, some of them are so badly adulterated that that they barely contained any coconut solids at all. In other words, some brands were largely sugar water!
There is a popular misconception in the market that from concentrate coconut water is not as good as single strength. Single strength coconut water has a low brix of only 3-4%. This is why even leading brands add sugar to enhance sweetness. But what about the quality of single-strength products when compared to 'made-from-concentrate' products?
Coconut water differs from the classic marketing battle between "NFC (not-from-concentrate)" orange juice versus "made from concentrate" orange juice. While NFC orange juice tastes more like table fruit than ‘made-from-concentrate’, the same is not true of coconut water. Reconstituted coconut water concentrate is quite representative of the single-strength source. The real issue is declared and undeclared sugar-added single-strength products versus products made without added sugar though made from concentrates.
Points to consider:
- The important coconut water nutrients are minerals and they are not changed or degraded by evaporation and reconstitution.
- Being largely free of taste, flavor and aroma, these organoleptic properties are also not affected by evaporation and reconstitution.
- Nutrients are not affected.
Think about the plethora of new brands coming out of Thailand that claim to be "not-from-concentrate", 100% natural, et cetera. We enjoin retailers and brands like Zico, Zola, Purity, Coco Libre, Naked and Vita Coco to stop adulterated brands that steal market share and consumer credibility by offering products that are more like sugar water then coconut water.
Supermarkets and other retailers also have a responsibility: Though they can’t check the authenticity of every product sold in their stores, they should at least have quality control for their own-brand, private label coconut waters. iTi does its part by making sure that our plants are GFSI certified and that authenticity is tested and guaranteed. In addition iTi will continue the authenticity study by testing new brands and publicizing the results. Our intention is not to agitate the consumer, but rather to motivate retailer and brand-holders alike to educate the consumer about sugar-added versus no-sugar-added coconut waters by making sure that labels are accurate.
Good news for high acid processing facilities: acidified coconut water for juice blends!
What if we have high acid processing facilities in USA and we would like to produce blends with coconut water?
Good news for high acid processing facilities: acidified coconut water for juice blends! Acidified Coconut Water Concentrate - A new juice ingredient alternative from iTi Tropicals.
iTi continues to lead the way in coconut water! For facilities that have difficulty handling low-acid ingredients there is another option for achieving a 100% juice beverage while reducing caloric loads. Acidified coconut water concentrate (iTi item 2000) is an excellent blending juice where high juice content is desired, and production occurs at a facility that cannot receive low acid ingredients. iTi is pleased to announce the availability of 60 brix coconut water concentrates having reduced pH. Samples are available for immediate bench-top work.
What acidified coconut waters do you have available?
We have iTi item 2000 which is CWC 60 °brix acidified with citric acid and with a pH of 4.2 or lower based on 60 brix and a PH of 4.5 when reconstituted to 4.2 °brix. We also have item 2450 which is a blend of CWC 60 brix and acerola concentrate. The acerola blend has a pH of 4.3 at 60 °brix and a pH of 4.6 when reconstituted to 4.2 °brix. The latter inherently provides 100% of the vitamin C Daily Value without the addition of synthetic ascorbic acid (not counting shelf-life or processing losses).
For more news on CWC go Here.
What is the Allergen status of coconut?
Botanically, coconuts are fibrous drupes and not nuts. But the US FDA has classified it as a treenut allergen to be included with the 8 major allergens, and thus it has to be labeled as an allergen in the US. Coconut water itself does not contain allergenic materials. For more information on processor requirements, see the supporting letter of opinion from the federally-funded Food Allergen Resource and Research Program at the University of Nebraska.