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SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 6, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---Coconut water may become the next sports beverage, at least for Pacific Island countries like Fiji, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced.

If this happens, there may be potential opportunities for investment in a country like Fiji where coconuts are easy to grow.

A new cold sterilization process to bottle coconut water now exists.

Using this method, coconut water is expected to retain its full taste and contain the salts, sugars and vitamins that make it the ideal sports beverage.

The inventor of the process, Morton Satin of FAO, describes coconut water as "a natural beverage product with the delicate aroma, taste and drinking characteristics required of a sports drink."

At present most of the commercial production of coconut water uses thermal processing and is carried out in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Although thermal processing eliminates the risk of bacteria, it eliminates some nutrients and most of all the delicate flavor of coconut water.

FAO has officially applied to patent cold bottling of coconut water in Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Outside these countries the process can be freely made available to manufacturers who wish to bottle coconut water on an industrial scale.

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