An introduction to coconut & coconut palm tree
All people of the world are familiar with the terms coconut & coconut palms. The first points to remember about coconut palms are that they are the most useful trees of the world. It is interesting to note that coconut palms are common sight in Kerala state situated in India. Remember that coconut palm belongs to Kingdom: Plantae with the binomial name: Cocos nucifera. The family of coconut palm is arecaceae. Actually the coconut palm is a tree which grows very tall. In our God's own country this is an attractive sight. In Malayalam language which is familiar in Kerala state, coconut is known by the name thenga. Also note that in Hindi language coconut is known as narial. India is considered as one of the top producers of coconut in the world. In India this is mainly cultivated in places like Tamil nadu, Kerala, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry etc. When we speak about Kerala the first point that always comes to mind is the coconut palm.
The interesting point is that our God's own country is considered as the largest coconut growing state of India. Actually coconut trees require abundant rainfall for their growth. The important point regarding coconut is that it is a fibrous drupe. Also note that coconut fruits are oval shaped ones whose color changes from green to yellow depending upon the variety. Coconut palm tree is considered as the kalpavriksha of Kerala state. Actually these trees prefer warm climates. Well drained soil rich in nutrients are suitable for the growth of coconut trees. In Kerala, we often depend on persons who can climb the coconut palm trees & pluck coconuts. They often use ring as well as ladder for climbing these trees. Another important point is that physical strength is needed for doing this job. Do you know the important uses of coconut & coconut tree? If not, check the points given below.
Important uses of coconut & coconut tree
We all are familiar with the term coir. It is important to note that the fiber produced from the husk of coconut is used for preparing coir. India is one among the biggest coir producers of the world. The coastal regions of Kerala state situated in India are famous for its coir industry. In general we can say that coir is produced from the coconut husks. They are used for making carpets, rope, twines, mats etc. The coirfed situated in Alappuzha district of Kerala state, India plays an important role in promoting & producing coir related products. The leaves of coconut palm tree are used for thatching purposes. These leaves can also be used for fencing & when bound together they are also used as brooms. Do you know the meaning of the word broom? In Malayalam language broom means choolu. They are mainly used for sweeping purposes.
The coconut wood is good for furniture. In almost all houses of Kerala there are coconut palm trees. We are using coconut flakes or thenga peera in our dishes. Do you know what actually it is? Actually this is the white meat of coconut. Another factor is the coconut water. We all know that coconut water is good for drinking purposes. It is important to note that coconut provides us meat, milk, juice, oil etc. The interesting point regarding coconut water is that it is colorless, clear water which is present in a pure form in the coconut. Remember that vitamins & minerals are present in this coconut water. So it is considered as a healthier drink. Coconut flowers are an integral part of marriage ceremonies held in Kerala state, India. This is more common for the Hindu marriages. It is interesting to note that these flowers are inserted into a barrel of paddy & placed within the sight of marriage ceremony. Another point to note is about the coconut milk. We all know the fact that coconut milk is a white liquid which is squeezed from the coconut meat. This is used for making several dishes including palappam, vellayappam, stews, payasams etc. In the US markets canned coconut milks are available. Remember that these canned coconut milks should be shaken well before they are used.
It is important to note that raw coconut meat is rich in nutrients like protein, fat, sugar, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc etc. Among the above mentioned vitamins, vitamin B1 is known as thiamine, vitamin B2 as riboflavin, vitamin B3 as niacin & vitamin C as ascorbic acid respectively. Also note that vitamin B & vitamin C are included in the category of water soluble vitamins. In most of our dishes this coconut meat is an important ingredient. In general we can say that they are included in thorans, chutneys, puttu etc. which are common in God's own country. Another important product obtained from coconut is its oil. This coconut oil is used for hair & also in making soaps. Nowadays parachute coconut oil is available in the markets. Remember that lauric acid is an important fatty acid present in coconut oil. This is represented by the chemical formula CH3(CH2)10COOH. Also note that the coconut shells are used for making cups, pots, eating utensils etc. They can also be used for burning purposes.
Side effects of coconut & its related products
Every food products has their own side effects. That means if a person is having an allergic reaction towards coconut or its related products, then stop using it.
Production of coconut oil from copra
First you have to break the coconut into two pieces. That means coconut water is removed from it. Then place the coconut for drying in direct sunlight. After few days it is observed that the dried portion starts to split from the shell itself. After that the remaining portion is removed using sharp knives. If needed, it is again dried. Then it is cut into small pieces & sent to mills for extracting the oils from it. This is how coconut oil is produced from copra. In almost all houses of Kerala this is a common sight.
Coconut development board
The headquarters of coconut development board is situated at Kochi in Kerala state, India. Some of the activities of the coconut development board include providing measures for developing coconut industry, improving the marketing of coconut & its related products, statistical collection of coconut & its products etc.