A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
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Thursday, February 22, 2007
Posted 5:48 AM by Luigi
FAO taps coconut water potential
By Anthony Fletcher, FoodNavigator.
A simple cold preservation process could help increase sales of bottled coconut water – a product yet to fully tap the growth of health and energy drinks.
The FAO, which is promoting the process, wants to boost the commercialisation of coconut water and help small farmers to gain market share.
The organisation has published a training guide to this effect.
"The cold preservation process requires little investment and skills, and it offers small entrepreneurs a chance to enter the market of bottling coconut water of good quality," said Rosa Rolle of FAO's rural infrastructure and agro-industries division.
Coconut water, the liquid endosperm inside young coconuts, has long been a popular drink in the tropics. It is naturally fat-free and low in food energy (16.7 calories or 70 kJ per 100 g), and has potential as a sports drink because of its high potassium and mineral content.
West Europe's energy drink sales accelerated by 15 per cent to a volume of 383 million litres and a value of over €3 billion in 2005, according to drinks consultancy Zenith International.
A further 12 per cent rise was expected to be achieved in 2006, taking volume to 428 million litres, which equates to an average of 1.5 litres per person.
Coconut water's potential however remains largely untapped. To date, most coconut water is still consumed fresh in tropical countries, largely because, once exposed to air and warm temperatures, it rapidly deteriorates.
In addition, canned coconut water is not ideal. Sterilising the product using high temperature and short-time pasteurisation destroys some of the nutrients in coconut water and almost all of the delicate flavour.
The cold preservation process recommended by FAO instead protects the natural flavour of coconut water. The process involves filtration, bottling and rigorous temperature control.
It allows farmers to produce bottled coconut water that stays fresh from 10 days to three weeks. This will help to meet demands from domestic retail markets.
"The simple cold preservation process will provide the consumer the convenience of purchasing a bottle of refreshing coconut water and opens new opportunities for small farmers and entrepreneurs in coconut producing countries," said Rolle.
The cold preservation technology is not protected by a patent and can be used by anybody.
This process was developed and evaluated in Jamaica, in close collaboration with the University of the West Indies, the Coconut Industries Board and the Jamaican Scientific Research Council.
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