Coconut milk has been proved to be the next best thing to breast milk. The Coconut Development Board (CDB) is set to promote it as a health drink and one to be used for cooking. According to studies, dairy milk contains lactose, a type of sugar that is difficult for many people to digest, while coconut milk does not contain the compound. A renowned US nutrition specialist, Dr. Josh Axe, observed that coconut milk is next best to breast milk, CDB chairman T.K. Jose told IANS.
"According to Dr. Axe, in situations when a baby is not getting breast milk or needs additional supplements, in countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, coconut milk is widely used in place of cow milk," Jose said.
CDB has taken up the job to position coconut juice/milk as a natural health drink. It has also produced flavoured coconut milk at the production centre. Coconut juice is produced by extracting the pulp from ripe coconut.
"In some countries, it is called coconut milk while in other countries it's known as coconut juice. We have developed this technology and it is available for transfer," said Jose.
"In three months' time, coconut producer companies in our state will enter mass production of this wonder health drink," he said.
According to CDB officials Annie Eapen and Aneeta Joy, flavoured coconut juice has a nil cholesterol besides an energy value (per 100 ml) of 75 Kcal, with a total fat of one to three percent and carbohydrate 5 to 16 percent.
"After Neera (the health drink produced by tapping coconut shoots), coconut milk/juice is going to be the biggest saving grace for our farmers as these products will enable a fair price for coconuts," Jose added.