Tender coconut water is no doubt delicious, nutritious and wholesome. But which is the best variety among coconuts for tasty tender coconut water?
Scientists of Coconut Research Station at Veppankulam near Pattukottai in Thanjavur district has the answer to this question. According to R. Vaithilingam, A. Premkumar and G. Anuradha, scientists of the Research Station, among various coconut varieties, the Chowghat Orange Dwarf variety is considered the best.
They arrived at this result based on various tests conducted by them. Chowghat Orange Dwarf from Kerala gives 300 to 350 ml of tender nut water. The nuts are orange in colour and round in shape. The trees flower in 3.5 years and bear fruit in 4.5 years. They bear 100 nuts per annum. Nuts are plugged in six to seven months for tender water otherwise the water turns sour.
There are other varieties which are good for the water. But they are next only to Chowghat Orange Dwarf. They are Malaysian Yellow Dwarf, Malaysian Orange Dwarf and Malaysian Green Dwarf.
In fact, the Coconut Research Station of the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University at Veppankulam maintains a germ plasm bank of seven varieties. Genotypes especially suitable for tender nut water are the above said four varieties and Gangabandam, Andaman dwarf and Chowghat green dwarf.
The scientists said that the research station produces seedlings of these varieties regularly and is distributing to farmers on advance booking basis.
Tender coconut water has medicinal properties like oral rehydration, kills intestinal worms, is rich in sugar, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. However, consumption of tender coconut water is only 10 per cent to 16 per cent in Tamil Nadu whereas it is as high as 85 per cent in States like West Bengal.