Coconut Sugar Sustainability
What you should know about the sustainable production of TIANA organic crystallised coconut nectar
To maximise the economical potential of coconut tree coconut farmers is now sequential producing two products sap (nectar) and coconuts. It is possible to assign coconut trees for both “tapping” and “nut production”. This is done by restricting tapping to 6 months or tapping only alternative spathes so that fruit production is also possible during the remaining months of the year. In the Philippines, it is only used for the production of both sap and nut by tapping only half the length and leaving the lower half for nut production.
Each coconut tree represents a considerable investment in time and efforts by the coconut farmers to bring them into production, our fair trade and organic coconut farmers work on a sustainable
Agriculture basis and will not risk damaging their trees by over producing coconut sap (nectar) to a point where the tree goes into decline.
The relevant information about coconut palm tree and coconut flowers.
It could be claimed that the coconut tree is the most useful plant on earth because it has more uses than any other trees in the world. The coconut tree is considered a “three-generation-tree”: supporting a farmer, his children and his grandchildren.
Coconut palm tree called “tree of life”. The coconut is an important crop contributing significantly to economy in the Far East countries. The coconut tree grows to over 30 meters in height and has about 30 -40 feather-like leaves. On the average, a coconut tree produces about 15 to 18 new leaves annually and the life of each coconut tree is approximately 100 years.
- Coconut fruit is used to produce desiccated coconut, milk, cream, virgin coconut oil, flour.
- From green young coconuts – coconut water.
- From coconut sap – coconut nectar syrup, sugar, chutney, candy, coconut champagne, vodka, wine and vinegar.
- From coconut flower – coconut tea.
- From the oil –soap, shampoo, lotion, body oil, virgin coconut oil jelly.
- From the husk – agricultural landscaping solutions.
Coconut is used for making fashion accessories such as bags, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, hats and shoes. Coconut is used for making doormats, carpets, frames, baskets, utility boxes.
Coconut is a plant, producing male and female flowers on the same tree but in different parts of the same flower cluster. The male flowers are more numerous (200 to 300) than the female (20 to 30). Flowers grow to around 1 cm long; the base of flowering branches are tapped for sap (nectar) and flowering starts at 6 to 12 years of age, occurring continuously. Coconut trees produce far more flowers on a continuous basis than those that actually develop into mature coconuts, therefore by tapping a limited number of the flowers; the trees are still able to produce a lot of coconuts.
Coconut is a fruit which grows in clusters among the leaves of the tree. The coconut tree bears fruit around its 7th year from initial planting and the lifespan of each tree is around 100 years, but the most productive are the first fifty years. Coconuts grow in bunches usually containing between six to twelve nuts. Each fruit takes around one year to ripen. A mature coconut tree normally produces a bunch every month. Each coconut tree produces around 50 to 100 coconuts per year.
There are two types of coconut flowers:
Opened flowers: provide a good honey for bees.
The unopened flowers: a clump of unopened flowers produces a steady dripped of sweet juice (called sap or nectar) up to a gallon per day.
What is the difference between coconut nectar and coconut sugar?
Coconut sap called coconut nectar
Coconut sap or coconut nectar is obtained from the cut of the unopened coconut flowers. It is sweet light syrup that is very rich in inositol. Inositol is a member of the Vitamin B complex. Coconut nectar also contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
The coconut sap immediately starts alcoholic fermentation and becomes completely fermented within a day. There is no need for yeast since there is naturally ready source very active “wild” yeast in the environment. If allowed to ferment for more than 24 hours, acetic fermentation converts the alcohol into vinegar.
In order to avoid fermentation for production of TIANA crystallised coconut nectar, it is collected every 4 hours than it immediately undergoes the process of crystallisation to achieve slightly golden coloured crystals. TIANA organic raw crystallised nectar is 100% raw and full of important nutrients.
Coconut sugar is also produced from coconut sap or nectar but it can be fermented and in order to crystallise such nectar, the producer has to use various anti-fermented agents, otherwise it will not be possible to achieve crystals. If compare TIANA crystallised coconut nectar in colour with coconut sugar, coconut sugar has a dark colour because the crystallisation undergo at temperatures above 100 Degree C and sugar will be caramelised making the product dark colour. In some countries that produce coconut sugar, this product can be also mixed with organic muscovado sugar, palm sugar or other malt varieties.
Coconut sap (coconut nectar) can be tapped at an early age, when the trees are between 4 and 7 years old. If the slicing is not done for one or two days, the scars heal and the sap flow stops. It would take about 2 weeks to restore the “sap flow”.
The total volume of sap collected from 16 to 34 litres depending on the variety of coconut, season of the year and age of the tree. Depending on the tapper’s skill and seasonal conditions, it take about 12 to 15 days and at times up to 35 days from the start of the tapping process before the sap begins to drip. The number of years a coconut tree can be tapped is more than 20 years.
The freshly collected coconut nectar is sweet and nearly neutral in pH (equal 6) and a Brix of 17. It contains 14-19% sugar (mainly sucrose and small amount of glucose), it is rich in amino acids, specifically glutamic acid and vitamins.
It is easy for some coconut oil companies who are not involved in coconut sugar to say that coconut sugar is not a sustainable product. In reality, all they are trying to do is to exploit coconut farmers.
TIANA Fair Trade Organics are committed to Organic Produce, Fair Trade, Sustainable Agriculture and we look after coconut farmers who in turn look after their coconut trees. The coconut trees are their source of income and they look after them in a truly sustainable manner.