There is a high incidence of gastro-intestinal and viral diseases after natural disasters, particularly in rural areas in third world countries. Oral rehydration salts (ORS) are used, but there is need for a better tasting substitute which has improved quality, accessibility and storage. Fresh coconut is the preferred choice, but is limited by availability, and rapid nutritional deterioration. Reconstituted powdered products have not retained the natural flavor. The production of a freeze dried ORS was developed using fresh coconut water at different maturity stages. The assessment was done in its pure form and enhanced with natural fruit flavors (mango and passion fruit). Coconut water were frozen (-30°C/ 48 h) and vacuum freeze dried (VFD) to produce rehydrated crystals. This was analyzed for its analyte contents, glucose and Brix. The atomic absorption spectrophotometer was used for the mineral analysis. The results indicated that the analytes balance increased with maturity of the coconut fruits, with no differences between the fruit juices. In some mixtures, the electrolyte content was higher in the fruit juices than the coconut water. The study showed improved quality and acceptability through its taste enhancement and extended shelf-life compared to similar ORS.
Key words: Analyte electrolyte, freeze-dry, oral re-hydration, flavored coconut water.
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