Recombined coconut drinks are an ideal alternative if fresh versions aren’t obtainable. This gives you the benefit of being able to ship them to establishments that are in short supply. Beverages like coconut water and milk are some of the most common reconstituted products. And these can come in either powdered or concentrated forms. Doing so also allows for a wider distribution among different markets.
The recombination process involves mixing the extracted coconut product with water and additives. Depending on the needed beverage, soymilk, juices and even coffee can be mixed. Regardless, there are three main ingredients for recombining coconut products. Let’s take a look at how they are used:
One of two main ingredients for recombined beverages. These either take the form of liquid concentrate or powdered versions.
Dry sources can include coconut milk powder, which can be dissolved in heated water tanks and mixed thoroughly. Remember that some powders may contain milk proteins, making them unsuitable for dairy-free products. If you need a liquid-based source, then concentrates are more appropriate. These include coconut cream, milk, and water. And they can be diluted for easy conversion to beverages.
The second component for recombined beverages, especially when using concentrated or powdered coconut sources. The process is usually done in a tank that dilutes and mixes the main ingredient. Additives or other components are then introduced into the solution as needed.
The water used needs to comply with certain guidelines set by the World Health Organization. Some of these include acceptable pH levels and maximum allowable amounts for water-soluble minerals. Otherwise, it would negatively affect the quality of the finished product.
These are usually added to improve the nutritional value of the recombined products. Minerals like calcium or water-soluble vitamins like ascorbic acid are common ones. Sugars, stabilizers, and emulsifiers are also used to provide the needed texture and taste.
Once you dilute the coconut source, you can then introduce these additives. This is done through the use of built-in agitators in tanks to disperse them throughout the blend. From there, pumps can transfer them for filtration and further processing.
There are key differences in recombining powder-based beverages from concentrate-based ones. The former requires heating the water in the tank so the powder can dissolve easily. On the other hand, the latter requires a colder temperature to minimize any spoilage. This includes browning and microbial degradation on the liquids.
Once the recombination is done, the products are transferred for either UHT-treatment or pasteurization. This is needed to preserve them for shipping.
These also need to be packed as soon as possible. For pasteurized beverages, these should be stored in sterilized containers. Paper-based packages, plastics or glass bottles work best. Keeping them refrigerated is also a must if they’re to be shipped over long distances. But UHT-treated beverages are more tolerant of temperature changes, as long as their containers are intact. These preservation methods allow them to last for longer periods, as opposed to naturally-extracted coconut drinks.