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Coconut sap sugar production: from farm to market and from wealth to health

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Manohar, E.C.
Kindipan, N.M.L.
Sancha, L.V., Philippine Coconut Authority, 4F PCA R and D Bldg., Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City (Philippines)

Abstract:
Coconut sap sugar is derived from the nutritious toddy/sweet sap (tuba) oozing out from a cut in the unopened inflorescence which contains 12-18 percent sugar naturally. With the heat evaporation of boiling the toddy/sap at 115 deg C, granulated sugar can be formed. This promising product from coconut is a healthy form of sugar. A simple farm based technology of producing a high-value product has become a successful income boosting small enterprise. Increasing demand for this sugar both locally and abroad for its health benefits has attracted many investors in the industry. Human blood sugar assay using healthy human subjects were given measured coconut sap sugar samples and their blood sugar levels were monitored. The response of human subjects to the coconut sap sugar was the basis to calculate the Glycemic Index of coconut sap sugar. The test shows that it has a low glycemic index (35 percent) which means that this sugar can be used as natural sweetener and no bad effects to diabetics. Likewise, it did not cause hyperglycemia in rats fed with this sugar from the oral glucose test conducted in UP Diliman [Philippines]. Results of these studies suggests that this can be recommended as healthy source of sweetener for diabetic patients. And as an invert sugar, this is also a valuable sweetener in food and pharmaceutical applications due to its desirable properties i.e. high osmotic pressure, high solubility and humid nature.





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