AHD brings coconut ingredients to functional foods, beverages

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Coconut water, Nutrition

AHD International is to supply functional food and beverage makers in the US with a range of coconut products, further to a new partnership announced yesterday.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based distributor focuses on innovative and new-to-market functional food ingredients, with other products recently added to its portfolio including heart-healthy chia seeds, a cranberry protein powder, and a high grade brown seaweed-derived fucoxanthin.

AHD’s latest partnership, with RV Industries, will see it bring to market the firm’s coconut oil and its coconut water, targeting nutritional foods and sports beverages respectively. The two ingredients are the latest additions in the coconut line supplied by RV Ingredients, which is said to be a leading importer of coconut food products into the United States.

AHD will exclusively distribute the firm’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, and it will market and distribute its bulk Coconut Water.

"RV Industries has manufactured and provided our high-quality coconut products – shredded, flaked and granulated – to the US market for nearly 30 years. Partnering with AHD International to distribute these two new coconut-based ingredients provides our company a great opportunity to reach new markets,"​ said Robert Weschrek, general manager of RV Industries.

Naturally healthy

The products claim to be “100 percent natural”,​ naturally fat-free, low-calorie and chemical-free.

RV Industries sources its coconut oil from the Philippines. It is cold pressed from fresh mature fruit, and the company said “no harsh additives or conditions”​ are used during processing.

The oil contains no trans-fatty acids, requires no refrigeration and is a natural source of vitamin E, said AHD.

As well as its use in functional food applications, the coconut oil can also be used in the cosmetic industry, for applications such as hair products and massage oils.

Coconut water is the liquid endosperm found in coconuts that serves as a reservoir of nutrients for the development of the coconut's 'meat'.

RV Industries’ coconut water is being marketed for use in sports drinks and functional beverages. According to AHD, it delivers potassium, calcium, vitamin C and iron, which “naturally restore the body’s electrolytes”.

The largest quantity of the liquid endosperm is found in young green coconuts, which are usually chosen for coconut water production. However, RV Industries does not opt for these as it says young coconut products contain high levels of sugar. The company claims to provide the only coconut water product sourced from mature coconut.

Science?

Scientific studies that support the benefits of coconut water include a study by Adams, et. Al.; 1992, that examined how coconut water has been used in the tropics as a nutritive and rehydrating agent to restore electrolyte balance in cases of diarrhea.

Also, a published research report mentions that coconut water can be used as a short term intravenous fluid (Campbell-Falck , et al.; 2000). Other reported applications include use in total parenteral nutrition (TPN) (Petroianu, et al.; 2004), and sports beverages (FAO, 1998).

NutraIngredients-USA.com has not seen these studies.

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