How To Buy The Healthiest Coconut Water And Avoid The Worst!

I love coconut water! When I’m traveling in the tropics, there is nothing better than drinking water straight from a coconut. Mother nature designed the perfect vessel for a drink that is so refreshing, slightly sweet, and keeps you hydrated in hot climates. You’ve probably heard that coconut water makes an excellent hydrating drink that replenishes electrolytes and can replace nasty chemical-filled Gatorade and Powerade - but there really is more to it than that. How do you buy the healthiest coconut water and avoid the worst?

The Best Coconut Water

Coconut water is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet

Coconut water contains a unique combination of B vitamins, vitamin C, micronutrients, and phytohormones that are exceptionally beneficial to your health.  A scientific review of coconut water, published in the journal Molecules, highlights some of the ways that coconut water replenishes your body:

  • Helps to prevent heart attacks
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Can have anti-aging effects
  • Fights free radicals to help prevent cancer
  • Contains trans-zeatin which can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

That being said, I don’t want you to think it’s okay to pick up just any coconut water off of the shelf.  Packaged coconut water is really flooding into the market recently. You can find it in bottles, cartons or powdered, frozen, flavored, carbonated, and sweetened. With all these choices it can be confusing and difficult to know if you are choosing the best one.

It usually costs at least $3 bucks a bottle, so it’s not exactly affordable- and if I’m going to spend my hard earned money on some, I make sure it’s worth it!  Primarily, I look for coconut water that is the least processed and still has the majority of its nutrients intact. This is always going to be directly from a fresh coconut – but, of course that’s not always available.  If you haven’t already heard, Pepsico and Coca-Cola have their own versions of coconut water – (O.N.E., Zico, Naked) – and you can only imagine what the corporations have done to it.  

How To Ruin Coconut Water

Using a concentrate instead of fresh juice:  Some coconut water companies get away with saying their drinks contain “100% Coconut Water” that’s “All Natural” even though it’s made from a reconstituted concentrate. Just like other juices in the store, they heat fresh coconut water and reduce it to a syrup. It’s cheaper for them to import this coconut water syrup, which they later add water prior to packaging. Any juice that has been heated to this extent loses a significant amount of its nutrients and its beneficial enzymes are denatured (i.e. the enzymes don’t work anymore).

Taking water from mature coconuts: This is a biggie. Young coconuts on the tree are usually green with an abundance of water in the center that is full of nutrients. Anyone that drinks coconut water straight from a coconut is drinking out of one of these young coconuts. As they begin to age, the nutrients in the water begin to seep into the meat of the coconut, and the water becomes less nutritious. It’s essentially watered-down. This also happens when young coconuts are picked and allowed to lie on the ground in the sun, for an extended period of time. While older “mature” coconuts might be used to make coconut oil, coconut milk and other coconut products, the coconut water from older coconuts is often discarded because it’s lacking nutrients and doesn’t taste the same. As the popularity in coconut water spiked recently, companies realized that they could buy up the water from mature coconuts  and could get it cheaper than young coconut water. This is why it’s important to drink young coconut water and not get scammed into drinking the watered-down and less nutritious version.

Adding “natural flavors” or sweeteners: Young coconut water is refreshing and sweet, so there is absolutely no need to flavor or sweeten it – unless you are trying to hide something. Guess what happens when they use mature coconuts for their water? It tastes acidic, so they mask this taste with natural flavors or sweeten it up with sugars. I’ve heard that some companies use a centrifuge system to remove the acidic taste, but it’s a safe assumption that if you see a plain coconut water on the shelf with any natural flavors or sweeteners added it is from mature coconuts and not worth your money.

Pasteurizing it with heat: Coconut water is very delicate, naturally perishable, and should be kept cold. Have you ever stopped to wonder why most bottled and boxed coconut waters on the shelves aren’t in the refrigerated section? I recently checked out one of these bottles and noticed it didn’t expire for 2 years! This is because most coconut water at the store is heat pasteurized, which literally means that it’s been cooked to a very high temperature to kill bacteria and extend its shelf life. It has been shown that heat also destroys some of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and also denatures enzymes – stripping its benefits and much of its flavor. If coconut water is from concentrate, this would be the second time it’s heated. Obviously, your best bet is to seek out and find unpasteurized raw coconut water. This can be hard to find, but there is another way to kill bacteria while keeping the nutrients intact:  HPP (high pressure processing). Without using heat, HPP is best way to preserve the goodness in coconut water, while extending its shelf life a little to make it more available commercially.

Dipping whole coconuts in formaldehyde or sodium metabisulphite: It’s been reported that some non-organic coconuts may be preserved for transport to the U.S. by dipping them in chemicals, including formaldehyde a known carcinogen. This leads to the possibility that these chemicals seep into the coconut meat and poisons the water. Some of my favorite organic cafes avoid this by getting frozen coconut water shipped directly to them. 

We called up several of the most popular coconut water companies and asked where they source their coconuts (young vs. mature), if they dip them in chemicals, how they pasteurize them, and about additives and preservatives that they may use. We got a variety of responses, and it’s almost surprising to me how much some of these companies have screwed up something as basic as coconut water. I found several brands to avoid, because they are so heavily processed that the final product barely resembles natural coconut water.

Coconut waters to avoid at all costs:

Naked Juice Coconut Water - Although it’s not from concentrate, Naked told me that they use “mature” coconut water that is flash pasteurized with heat.  The plain variety doesn’t have any additives, but all of the flavored ones have added natural flavors. This is also a Pepsico brand – a company that spent over $4 Million dollars to fight GMO labels – so they aren’t getting any of my business.

O.N.E. Coconut Water – This is another Pepsico brand that is flash pasteurized with heat. The flavored waters “with a Splash of Fruit Juice” contain natural flavors and “sugar” as an ingredient.  As it doesn’t say “cane sugar” on the label, this could very well be from GMO sugar beets.  

Pepsico told me that they couldn’t confirm whether their sugar is GMO because:

the exact source of the sugar in our coconut water cannot be confirmed because we source our ingredients from around the world and that information is not available at this time. Please know that all of our products comply with all applicable food laws and labeling requirements. O.N.E. Coconut Water relies on the regulatory agencies charged with safeguarding our food supply when sourcing ingredients for our products”. 

They are relying on the FDA’s regulations to protect us, although the FDA themselves say that the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the safety of the ingredients used in their products, including GMOs. 

O.N.E. Coconut water

Zico - They sell two entirely different coconut waters depending on which packaging you choose. The waters in the bottles are made from concentrate and are a “blend of Asian coconuts” with natural flavors added. On the other hand, the ones in the tetra-pak cartons are not made from concentrate, have no additives, and contain only Thai coconut water that is packaged in Thailand. A bit confusing, isn’t it? While the tetra-paks (boxed) seem like a good choice, they use “Ultra High Temperature Pasteurization” to give it a long shelf life. This means it’s heated well above boiling point to 280 degrees Fahrenheit, which “kills everything” according to Scientific American, including beneficial nutrients. Plus, in case you didn’t hear the news, they were recently acquired by Coca-Cola – a big supporter of GMOs who have spent over 3.2 million to prevent GMO labeling.

CocoZona –  We called and emailed them on several occasions, and they never replied to any of our questions – not even a peep! I always find it alarming when a company refuses to stand behind their product and isn’t transparent about their practices, especially since some companies have been caught lying about what’s really in the bottle. So, at this point, we know little more than what’s printed on the bottle of CocoZona, and the ingredient list reveals that it is made from concentrate. That’s enough reason to stay away from it.

Vita Coco -  Don’t be fooled by all of those celebrity endorsements! Their waters are not made from concentrate, but they are all pasteurized with heat. Many of the flavored versions contain added sweeteners and the Cafe versions contain carrageenan. Even the seemingly plain 100% pure version contains added “fruit sugar.” Watch out for their coconut waters targeting kids, which are loaded with added sugar and many different natural flavors – they are not 100% coconut water! According to their website, Vita Coco Kids is also ultra high temperature pasteurized.

Vita Coco Kids

GOYA – This brand is heat pasteurized and contains added preservatives. Some versions are sweetened with sugar, which may be GMO.  Because I vote with my dollars, I avoid any GOYA brand product as they spent over $56K to fight GMO labeling in California.

C2O - They told me they heat pasteurize their water up to 120 degrees celsius once the product is in the can for as long as 5 minutes. Although, they use no additives or concentrates, the length of this high heat processing puts it squarely on my avoid list.

Purity Organic –  It’s made from concentrate and flash pasteurized with heat, so some of the goodness has been destroyed. It’s organic I know, but not all organic products use the best practices!

Coco Libre (Organic) – It’s  made from concentrate, flash pasteurized with heat and has added “natural flavors.”

How do other popular coconut waters stack up?

Munkijo (organic) – This water isn’t from concentrate, contains no additives or added sugars and their young coconuts are sustainably grown and harvested. But I’m sorry to report they also use ultra high heat pasteurization to process their waters, so it’s far from the best on the market.  

Coco Hydro by Big Tree Farms (organic) –  I really like Big Tree Farms’ mission geared towards sustainability. Their unique version of coconut water is powdered and comes in packets that travel easily. So, there is no pasteurization involved, you just add water to reconstitute it. However, the process they use to evaporate the water uses heat, so it is not considered raw and some of the nutrients may be destroyed in the process.

Taste Nirvana (organic) - No concentrates or additives in this brand, and their young coconuts are sustainably grown, harvested and organic (though not labeled as such). I really like how it’s packaged in glass bottles. They are the only company that told me they use a “steam sterilization” process which is a combination of steam and pressure.  

Amy & Brian (organic) - Other than the fact that they flash pasteurize the water, all other aspects are good – no additives, no added sugars, no concentrates. They also told me that their young coconuts are not treated with any chemicals or pesticides.  I have to admit though, I’m not a fan of the cans they are in, even if they are BPA-free.

Harvest Bay (some varieties are certified organic) - They flash pasteurize their water for about 2 seconds at 120 degrees, and it’s not from concentrate. Some of their waters are now organic, and they are all non-GMO project verified. Although they add no sugars or additives to their plain version, most flavored varieties contain added sugar or natural flavors, so I’d avoid those.  

Whole Foods 365 – They confirmed they don’t use a concentrate, however they heat pasteurize their water which comes “from around the world depending on availability”. Their water is also packaged in cans, which I don’t like!  

Trader Joe’s – Their water is not from concentrate, but it is pasteurized. I have yet to hear back from them in regards to how they pasteurize their water (whether they use flash or ultra processing).  They fortify their water with added vitamin C, which is a red flag that it has been heavily processed. 

My top picks for packaged coconut water:

***This chart contains examples of the coconut waters we researched, however, there are many more available on the market or may be available in your neck of the woods. Please use this post as a guide to find the best coconut water in your area.***

The Healthiest Coconut Water

While the best coconut water is straight from a young coconut picked from a tree, these packaged waters below are as close to the real thing as you can get. They don’t use any heat processing or concentrates, so they aren’t cooking your coconut water.  Some of them use HPP to kill bacteria, and a couple of these brands serve it up completely raw and unpasteurized.

Harmless Harvest (organic) - I’ve written about this brand before, and it’s no secret that they are my favorite. I had the pleasure of meeting with the founders of Harmless Harvest and I’m blown away with how open and honest they are about everything. They’ve become a success not because of marketing, but because of their good practices. In fact, they hardly spend any money on marketing at all (and bloggers are not compensated either). They source their young coconuts from small organic agroforestry farms that pay a fair wage to their workers. The coconuts are then frozen and shipped to the U.S. for packaging, after which they use HPP processing to kill bacteria and extend the shelf life to 60 days.  Because it’s so minimally processed, some of the waters turn pink when the naturally occurring antioxidants or phenols are exposed to light – and you won’t find this in pasteurized coconut water. You can find this at Whole Foods and most natural food stores in the refrigerator section.

Juice Press (organic)  - This water is totally raw. It’s not pasteurized or processed with HPP. Their coconuts are shipped frozen to the store and then they ship it fresh to you with a 3 or 4 day shelf life.

Exotic Superfoods (organic)  – Another fave, this water is 100% organic and raw. It is not processed with any heat or HPP – but it’s kept frozen to preserve freshness.  

Liquitera (organic)  - This bottled raw coconut water is also organic, without any pasteurization. It’s only available at their stores in New York.

Vital Juice (organic)  –  It’s never heated or frozen, and it’s preserved with HPP, 100% organic and non-GMO project verified. It is currently only available at stores in Washington and Oregon with plans of expansion, and you can also order it online on Amazon. 

Unoco (wild coconut)  – Made from wild coconuts (not from a plantation) and processed with HPP without any additives. It’s only available in California right now.  

Suja (organic) – Suja makes a coconut water blend, Tropicaloe, which is made from freeze-dried coconut water mixed with pineapple, apple, aloe, lime, mint and spinach juices, all preserved with HPP.  This juice is exclusively sold at Whole Foods stores.

Keep in mind that while I think coconut water is amazing, I don’t drink it every day, I use it as a treat or on days I am very active and sweat hard!  

If you know someone who loves coconut water or needs a great substitute for soda, Gatorade, Powerade or other unhealthy drinks – please share this post!

We must educate as many people as possible about their choices to change the marketplace. When we change the marketplace and start spending our money on the best and safest brands, we change the world! 

Xo,

Vani 

 

 

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387 Responses to “How To Buy The Healthiest Coconut Water And Avoid The Worst!”

  1. LaRosa

    Can anyone give me info on Grace Coconut Water? Its sold all over the Caribbean. Thanks

    Reply
    • FedBH (to LaRosa)

      I have compared two Coconut juice drinks: Grace and Viva Coco..

      I found that the Grace juice is more naturally cloudy than Vita and the taste is closer to coconut than viva. Vita has a discolouring with a consistent artificial colour wheras the Grace juice does not have a consistency which to me suggests Grace is closer to coconut. This is hwat I gathered from my finding. I rate Grace Coconut juice as the very best out there alongside Cocofina and they’re not even listed on here which suggests to me that the big brands try to push the real coconut juices, to the back of the shelf!

      I do not trust Coco Vita why should you!

      Reply
      • P.T. (to FedBH)

        does anyone know if Grace c.w. is pasteurized and organic. I do know they make it from young coconuts …

  2. Danielle

    Obsessed with your blog!!! Harmless harvest is my absolute favorite my boyfriend and I have to use our will power to not spend countless amounts of money on it :)

    Reply
  3. FedBH

    I have compared two Coconut juice drinks: Grace and Viva Coco..

    I found that the Grace juice is more naturally cloudy than Vita and the taste is closer to coconut than viva. Vita has a discolouring with a consistent artificial colour wheras the Grace juice does not have a consistency which to me suggests Grace is closer to coconut. This is hwat I gathered from my finding. I rate Grace Coconut juice as the very best out there alongside Cocofina and they’re not even listed on here which suggests to me that the big brands try to push the real coconut juices, to the back of the shelf!

    I do not trust Coco Vita why should you!

    Reply
  4. Brian

    I was wondering about the UHT pasteurization, so I clicked on the link that you provided to the Scientific American article. While the article does state that UHT “kills everything,” the larger context of the quote make it sound like they’re talking about bacteria.

    “Pasteurization doesn’t kill all bacteria in the milk, just enough so that you don’t get a disease with your milk mustache. UHT, on the other hand, kills everything.”

    Later in the same article they point out that “UHT also destroys some of the milk’s vitamin content—not a significant amount—and affects some proteins, making it unusable for cheese.”

    It seems a stretch to make the jump to say that UHT kills everything “including beneficial nutrients.” While UHT coconut milk is clearly inferior to low-temperature pasteurization or no pasteurization, claiming that it has no beneficial nutrients is misleading. Not from concentrate, non-GMO UHT coconut milk with no additives still has natural calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium as evidenced by the nutrition label.

    With that said, I would purchase Harmless Harvest if it were locally available and reasonably priced. Unfortunately, that is not the case so I do compromise and purchase the best alternative I can.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  5. mackie

    it seems to me that the great majority who talk about and have tried coconut water have no inkling about what coconut water should taste like. and taste is extremely critical in a product’s acceptance. so, it boggles my imagination when i hear people say they “like” vita coco, one, etc. when they really do not have a true reference point. they’ve never tried drinking the water from the fruit itself! they should try buying fresh coconuts from asian stores, punch a hole on it or slice the top off and experience how glorious the taste is. however, most, if not all fresh coconuts sold her are not top-notch. the best are from young coconuts; as the nuts get older, they get sweeter and meatier. the younger ones are just so refreshing and have that thin and slimy meat. absolutely the best! but, short of that, 100% pure coconut water in bottles can be a good substitute for the fresh ones and certainly far better than sugary sports drinks. why “bottle?” it’s because coconut water in cans and boxes have that taste coming from the containers themselves. tolerable but why compromise when coconut water in glass is available from some asian stores and the internet. finally, always think “shelf-life.” get only what you can safely consume. example, don’t get a caseful of young coconut fruit unless you can finish it “in a few.” and be careful with the temperature. it can spoil quickly. long and short of it, sometime the best isn’t really so under certain circumstances. get the bottled ones because they taste quite good and keep well under ambient temperatures. otherwise, go to a white sandy beach in southeast asia and have someone pick you a young coconut from a tree that’s 30 feet high. now, we’re really talking!!

    Reply
  6. Scott

    Any reviews or opinions on the Cocozia brand?

    Reply
    • Sandie (to Scott)

      Did you get any answers? I love the taste and it LOOKS like a good product, BUT does anyone have any real research? ~S

      Reply
      • Assistant to Food Babe (Pam) (to Sandie)

        We didn’t research that particular brand. I see it’s organic, which is good. You can ask them how they pasteurize, what the ingredients are (besides coconut water), and if it’s from concentrate – and then compare that with the other waters in our investigation. I hope that helps.

      • Scott (to Sandie)

        I emailed the company and asked for a mineral analysis since they claimed their magnesium levels were significantly higher than many of the other brands, but did not hear back. Will try again.

  7. Becca

    Does anyone know if the coconut water brand FOCO is okay to drink? They say they flash pasteurize their water but I didn’t know if every other aspect of the brand was okay.

    Reply
    • Jampet (to Becca)

      I’ve also been curious of brands like FOCO (Prod of Thailand), as they get little to no coverage in articles, probably because of limited distribution and advertising dollars. FOCO label shows “Allergy Advice: Sulphurdioxide” but I didn’t see that ingredient mentioned in the article here. FOCO also has “Potassium metabisulphite” and this article mentions sodium metabisulphite as preservation ingredient that could leech into the water… Wonder what the FDA take is on this stuff?? “It’ll just kill you a little, not a lot…”

      Reply
  8. How do

    It has the like you find out my thoughts! You seem to recognize a whole lot approximately this, that you composed the actual e-book in it something like that. I have faith that you could do this with some per cent drive an automobile the content residence a little bit, nevertheless as opposed to of which, that would be ideal site. A fantastic examine. I will be again.

    Reply
  9. Ulleisa Lovelady

    How can buy some coconut water and where can i get?

    Reply
  10. Jeff Clark

    You can now find UNOCO in the east at The Fresh Market!

    Reply
  11. Rafael

    Hey, here in South Florida you can find mature (or dry) coconuts in Publix and most supermarkets. Most of them come from the Caribbean. But they are usually overrippen, if you are lucky you get the pleasure of pure coconut water that you can mix with the coconut meat to get one of the most incredible natural drinks on earth, very popular in Venezuela as “cocadas”

    Reply
  12. Eliza

    Thank you so much for this. I have tried many brands but not Harmless Harvest, until yesterday and WOW it’s fantastic! My new go to coconut water.

    Reply
  13. Jaime

    Trader Joe’s has two kinds of coconut water. The other one is in the refrigerated section and is “single origin” and a “product of Thailand” and uses HPP.

    Reply
  14. Rachel

    Does anyone know anything about “Real Coco” coconut water?

    Reply
  15. jackfrost

    Anybody have any info on Amazon coconut water with the different kinds of tea?

    Reply
  16. Molly

    What about Koh Coconut Water? That’s my family’s favorite brand. It’s sold at Costco.

    Reply
  17. Eileen Rivera

    Any reviews on Cocozia?

    Reply
  18. Rose

    IN response to Mackie’s comments, I grew up in South Vietnam for the most of my childhood and our backyard was full of coconut trees, so drinking this was our way of life daily, like drinking water. There were no other choice when temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius. There are no packaged drinks in the 70′s, other than Coca Cola (worth your year’s pay in Vietnam). So I do know what the actual coconut tastes, young, old and I NEVER buy coconut from a box, carton. To me it isn’t natural and I tried several times when it first came out and none of them taste even close to actual coconut water; organic, pasteurized or not. Just like this blog, the best way is to get it from a coconut itself and I have been drinking it since 2003, when it first arrived in Vancouver, but of course no one really knew what it was for, until the health marketing campaign started, (just like Quinoa), everyone jumps on, trying to prolong their life by drinking this miracle drink. I didn’t know the health benefits, I drank it because I loved it plus I was never told not to drink it when I was younger. OUr culture focus on taste first and fortunately for us, this usually comes straight from the soil. Now a days, where I live you can get young coconut for less than $2 CAD. There is also a difference in where the coconut comes from, try to get one from South Asia, such as Thailand, or Vietnam, not the Phillipines. They have a different geographical make and soil is everything. They aren’t as sweet as those from South Asia. I suggest, learn how to open a coconut, it isn’t that hard. I am 5.’2 feet and very petite, so if I can do it, most of you can ;). Forget all the brand names, having to read the label, just buy it fresh frozen and shipped from Thailand. I agree with the blogger, stay away from anything that starts with ‘Coca’..it’s the devil in disguise.

    Reply
    • Rachael (to Rose)

      Rose,
      I also first tried coconut water while traveling in Central America. There is nothing like having the water straight from the cocount–plus the young coconut meat is sooo delicious and may be used in other culinary delights.

      I have often found young coconuts available in asian grocery stores for $0.99 (USD). Though I have recently bought the canned and cartoned coconut water out of convenience (and my family doesn’t mind the bland taste), I am inclined to just make a special trip to the asian grocer for this purpose after reading this article. But, I am unsure whether this is a safe option, given the fact that the coconuts may be dipped in formaldehyde. Does anyone know how I might find out if this is a practice used by a particular brand?

      Reply
  19. Foco Drinker

    I drink FOCO. I’m trying to research it. It’s common around our home town, which is on I-10 interstate, so, it’s readily available. FOCO’s website claims it’s the real deal from young coconut, everything you described.

    Reply
  20. PFudge

    What about Invo Coconut Water? I found this recently and it is “high-pressure pasteurized” whatever that means. But it says on the plastic bottle “never ever heated” – so I am curious to know how this brand stacks up and how the process of pressurizing with water affects the nutritional content. Anyone know?

    Reply
    • Sadiq Merchant (to PFudge)

      In terms of freshness, flavour and mouthfeel, I would rank INVO amongst the best (if not the best) that are currently available in the UK (the other being Unoco). Thai-sourced, HPP processed, but doesn’t claim to be organic. I would highly recommend.

      Reply
  21. Jessica

    Just wondering how Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water holds up?

    Reply
  22. Sandie

    Hi Foodbabe! I’m really impressed with the amount of research you have done into many of the foods that I and my family USED to eat. I say ‘used’ because, as a result of reading your exposes, I have banned commercial pizza, Starbucks and Subway from our diets. Thank you for this excellent article on coconut water. We have been drinking Zico, even though I really wasn’t impressed with the product, and I am even less impressed now that I know that ALL the commercial coconut waters available in the supermarket I shop at are owned by Pepsico and Coca Cola. I banned soda from my house years ago. I am now shopping at Whole Foods and really looking carefully at everything I buy and eat.

    Reply
  23. Shannon

    Thank you so much for gathering all this valuable information. Per doc’s orders I have to have a extra electros everyday, so I ‘ve had a ‘zero calorie powerade’ daily at least. I get dehydrated easily and my bp drops. Decided to switch to coconut water everyday and I am excited about eliminating the chemicals. My question is I would want to buy in bulk as I would drink them often, where could I find this? Thanks. (Btw..I was drinking Naked everyday the past week, no more!)

    Reply
  24. Lauren R.

    I’ve been drinking Coco Fresh coconut water, which is from Thailand and has no other ingredients, but I don’t know how it’s processed and can’t find that information on their website. Do you have any idea? Thanks so much for taking the time to com pie all of this information!

    Reply
  25. Victor K

    After reading this on coconut juice, I searched out Amy & Brian’s. As potassium content varies pretty wildly from brand to brand. Does anyone know why they are the only brand I’ve found NOT to list the potassium content in the “Nutrition Facts” labeling?

    Reply
  26. P.T.

    Do you know if Grace coconut water is pasteurized? And if it is organic/non GMO? I do know they make it from young coconuts …

    Reply
  27. Nancy

    Not sure if someone asked this already, but I just bought Costco’s brand of coconut water. Where would this brand belong in your chart? Thanks.

    Reply
  28. Kristen

    I am so glad I read this because I just bought 5 big things of O.N.E. and was going to grab some from Trader Joe’s because they just built one by my house, but now I am definitely going to be looking into the better selection :). Thank you so much on this info. I just started drinking coconut water and was addicted instantly. I felt fresh and hydrated :)

    Reply
  29. Win

    Hi, all, interesting info. I regularly give fresh young coconut water/meat to my baby: she learned to love it when we spent some time in Thailand. When a real coconut isn’t available, we get Harmless H or Exotic S. I had heard suggestions that nuts imported (into the US) are dipped in preservAtives and such, but that the chemicals don’t leach into the meat. But I just heard that Thai coconuts are injected with sugar and who knows what else, which is why they taste sweeter than non-Thai nuts. Does anyone have any inside information on this? Young coconuts are actually very injectable as they’re quite thin and have three ‘eyes’ on one end. Until I get some hard data, we’ll be drinking HH and ES. Be healthy!

    Reply
  30. Maria

    You guys should try Pure Brazilian Coconut Water. New and not sold everywhere yet, but the only one to use 100% brazilian coconuts. Tastes fresh from the coconut, shorter shelf life, so you can’t let it sit in your fridge like the others

    Reply
  31. Figgs

    I’m an American, living and working in Philippines. I know the industry from the places where they grow the coconuts to the factories that process them to the companies abroad who import the water in bulk for retail packing.

    Most brands… Use water from mature coconuts. It’s too expensive to use the young ones, the business won’t float unless they charge ridiculous prices. I think Exotic Superfoods is the only real young water, and possibly Harmless Harvest.

    Reply
  32. Sadiq Merchant

    Thanks for a very informative article. My question relates to the Harmless Harvest brand. You state that, “The coconuts are then frozen and shipped to the U.S. for packaging, after which they use HPP processing to kill bacteria and extend the shelf life to 60 days”. HH’s website however, claims, “We have built our own state of the art manufacturing facility in the heart of the traditional coconut farming region…The coconut water is bottled shortly after the organic coconuts are harvested, and immediately after they are cracked.” Please could you clarify why you think HH actually ships frozen coconuts over to the US before extracting, bottling and HPPing, whereas HH’s own website appears to say that all extraction, packaging and HPPing takes place at source before shiiping (presumably unfrozen)? Are they freezing or not?

    Reply
  33. John

    It is not possible to inject sugar into a coconut shell. Because once you create a hole in the coconut, the coconut become more susceptible to spoilage. Plus their is no need for Thai exporters to inject sugar into the coconuts because Thai young coconuts are naturally sweet and are by far the best variety I have tasted.

    Yes the Coconuts are dipped into a sodium benzoate, it to prevent mould and browning of the shell. The dip is a short, and test have proven that the shell is far too thick for residue of the chemical to contaminate the coconut water.

    To me brands like Zico, Vita Coco, O.N.E use additives to make the coconut water sweet. The reason these companies coconut water is cheap is because the material they purchase which mature coconut water is cheap and of bad grade. Mature coconut water is not naturally sweet, thus comes the additives in terms of fructose and syrup.

    My view go natural its the best. And stick to foods that are processed by pressure in the food industry they use jargon such as High Pressure Processing (HPP) and Cold pressed all means quite the same thing where the food is processed by Pressure instead of heat.

    Reply
  34. Judith Curran (to kali)

    If I can help out in any way, I will do so Kali. Just e.mail me.

    Reply
  35. Elen Castleberry (to Adri)

    Even low temps for long enough time will destroy nutrients. Last time I looked this is an open forum. I can mention whatever I want.

    Reply

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