The Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 metres tall. Its leaves only grow at the top of the tree. Old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth as it grows. Coconuts grow best in climates with high humidity and ample sunlight and warmth. Since they do well on sandy soils and are highly tolerant of salinity, coconut palms do great on tropical shorelines. This larger part of the world production of coconuts comes from tropical Asia.

A tall coconut palm can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but is more likely to grow around 30. These fruits, the coconuts, are enclosed in a rough orange or yellow exocarp, a fibrous mesocarp and a brownish endocarp containing the edible white seed. Unripe coconuts contain a lot of coconut water. A full-sized coconut weighs close to 1.5 kilogrammes.

Coconuts are very rich in calories, vitamins, and minerals. A medium-size fruit may carry 400 grams edible meat and some 30-150 ml of water. For an average person, this provides almost all the daily-required essential minerals, vitamins, and energy. This makes coconuts indispensable food items for most people under the tropical belt.

Coconut oil extracted from copra, dried coconut flesh, is an excellent emollient agent. It is used in cooking, applied as hair nourishment, employed in pharmacy and in medicines.


The white, edible flesh of coconut can be consumed raw or dried. The dry version is called copra. It requires some six thousand coconuts to produce one ton of copra. Copra might be produced into pieces, flakes or oil (also referred to as butter).

Coconut shells aren’t wasted in the process. These can me made into coco peat (a soil additive), or coconut shell charcoal and briquettes. Since these are considered by-products of coconut meat, they are carbon neutral and thus environmentally friendly.

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Proximates Units
Energy kcal 660
Protein g 6,9
Carbohydrate g 23,7
Fiber g 16,3

Total fat g 64,53
Saturated fat g 57,218
Monounsaturated fat g 2,7
Polyunsaturated fat g 0,7
Cholesterol mg 0

Calcium mg 26
Iron mg 3,32
Magnesium mg 90
Phosphorus mg 206
Potassium mg 543
Sodium mg 37
Selenium mcg 18,5

Vitamin A IU 0
Vitamin B6 mg 0,3
Vitamin C mg 1,5
Vitamin E mg 0,44
Vitamin K mcg 0,3
Carotene, beta mcg 0
Carotene, alpha mcg 0
Cryptoxanthin, beta mcg 0
Lutein + zeanxanthin mcg 0
* Dried meat coconut
"Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 26 (2013)"
g = gram; mg = miligram ; mcg = microgram; IU = International Units


The world’s largest producers of coconuts are, by far, Indonesia, the Philippines and India.


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