There’s a shortcut to coconut water now. What’s more, the Telangana company behind it claims it goes the natural, preservative-free way
Cut. Pour. Add water. Stir. Did you ever think you could get coconut water as a powder from a sachet? Frister Foods delivers exactly that, even as it addresses concerns of taste, nutritional value and use of not-so-healthy preservatives.
Frister Foods by Chevella Farms, a food processing company started by Shaaz Mehmood, Ishaan Dodhiwala and Muhammed Ali in Hyderabad has launched a product that no coconut water lover ever imagined — an instant coconut water powder which claims to be 100% natural, with no preservatives. It needs only 250 millilitres of water to make a glass of coconut water that tastes quite similar to natural coconut water (not tender coconut water).
Ishaan Dodhiwala, one of the directors, says, “Our instant coconut water is a clean, all natural, preservative-free, low calorie ready to mix beverage.”
The brand also claims it is made using coconut water from the Pollachi region of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The product is made using a flash freeze-drying technology, that ensures that the essential nutrients of coconut water are retained.
The founders say they stumbled upon this idea when a friend who manages a coconut processing unit wanted to find a way of using the coconut water that was going waste . Shaaz Mehmood recalls, “Thankfully, we were told about the flash freeze-drying technique. A few months of research and development later, we obtained something good enough to use. To give it an even flavour profile (sweetness of coconut water varies), a permissible amount of sucrose — arrived at in consultation with health experts and nutritionists — is added, to be suitable for all, even patients in a hospital.”
Let’s talk sustainability
What about the amount of plastic waste generated by packaging? Ishaan clarifies, “We are working on that. While we are constantly looking out for innovative, eco-friendly packaging options, we are happy that our product, due to processing at source, optimises fuel usage on account of reduced transport, reduces carbon footprint. For example, one truck typically carries about 8,000 coconuts to the sale source and also carts back empty shells. The same truck can carry over 2,50,000 of our sachets. That’s over 3,000% efficiency.”
Delhi-based nutritionist Lovneet Batra sees no harm in patients having instant coconut water powder if it is natural and preservative-free. She says, “For a convalescent, added sucrose is fine to rehydrate instantly. It can never be close to natural coconut water but will not be harmful. Athletes and healthy individuals, however, can skip this and opt for natural drinks and fresh coconut water.”
A box of 10 sachets costs ₹250, are currently available at www.chevellafarms.com