The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera): Production, Cultivation and Uses


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Series: Agriculture Issues and Policies
BISAC: TEC003030

The coconut tree has an immense impact not only as a food source, but for various non-food applications as well. These include shelter, medicinal use, and preparation of value-added products. They are a valued plantation around the globe, particularly along the coast lines. Islanders are the true appreciators of this bioresource, who derive most of their requirements from coconuts. The coconut meat (kernel), water, oil, leaves all have a use. Accordingly, there are many aspects of coconuts that pertain to production cultivation and use, which are diverse.

Biotechnological intervention in coconut plant cultivation includes aspects of genetic improvement of strains, in vitro propagation, rhizopher management, and coconut plant irrigation aspects. A well-planned cultivation strategy should provide opportunity to improve breed quality and production throughput. Agro-processing of coconut products is also important so that the fruits of the plant are made best use of. Sufficient knowledge of the coconut plant and its products would also provide opportunities to the local community.

Importance also resides in coconut constituents, such as coconut proteins, oil, and water. Coconut products also include haustorium, inflorescence, and derived products such as coconut palm sugar (a value-added product) as well as numerous nutraceuticals. These nutritional supplements can greatly circumvent dietary deficiencies and provide salutary gains. Coconut oil also has significant medical importance besides being a cooking oil, and could be considered for dermal care, both as a cosmetic and a medical aid. In modern times, coconut could be considered as an effective source of holistic nutrients to alleviate malnutrition and disease. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of medium chain triglycerides, and lauric acid (coconut being second-richest natural source of lauric acid after breast milk). These nutrients have a significant impact in many ways.

There are also numerous non-food applications of coconuts that warrant attention. In fact, coconut-based nanomaterials are a very useful source for many sectors. Coconuts are also relevant in bioremediation and in waste disposal and management. Coconuts could even be a boon in restoring fecundity of cultivable land. These aspects highlight numerous possibilities with coconuts, not only as source of food and for non-food uses, but also in environmental management. In the present time, with mounting biological/chemical waste being created, such a utility is much welcome.

This book encompasses these various themes under dedicated chapters that provide readers a holistic understanding of the possibilities that exist with coconuts. These chapters should provide an insight on various important topics of interest and encourage cross-dimensional interdisciplinary research on coconuts. Possibilities with various lesser-known usage of products and cultivation techniques could also be envisaged and explored in the near future.


“Coconuts have been fascinating a plant species that have been providing us with all the important nutrition, and the resources for non-food applications as well. They have had immense value in the human history, and have been one of the primary sources of food. Coconuts have largely influenced early civilizations, especially around water bodies. The emphasis on production, cultivation and uses of coconuts, as a theme of the book, is well justified. This book has provided adequate insight about many of the important attributes that are important in the present agricultural and agronomical scenario on coconuts. This temperament on agricultural intensification is the way forward to adequate nutrition, and for the proper use of the natural wealth. I believe this book has done justice to all aspects of coconuts including agrcltuural practices, food processing, waste valorization; besides, many non-food uses, and also nanotechnology interventions with coconuts. The Editor’s choice of chapters shows inclusion of a broad spectrum of topics that are both relevant and interesting. The authors have drafted the chapters intelligibly, and the information flow is appreciable. The book should be quite useful for experts as well as amateurs in the field.” – Sayantani Dutta, Ph.D., DST INSPIRE Faculty, Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Biotechnology of Coconut: Current Status of Coconut In Vitro Culture
(Dharshani Bandupriya and Senuri Piyatissa – Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Chapter 2. Genetic Improvement of the Coconut Palm and Mass Propagation of Improved Cultivars
(S. A. Chandrika N. Perera and Auchithya C. Dissanayaka – Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, et al.)

Chapter 3. Manipulation of Beneficial Microorganisms in the Coconut Rhizosphere: A Sustainable Soil Fertility Management Approach
(G. S. Nirukshan, B. H. R. Fernando, C. S. Ranasinghe, and S. Sleutel – Soils and Plant Nutrition Division, Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka, et al.)

Chapter 4. Importance of Irrigation for Coconuts: Combating Climate Change Challenges
(B.H.R. Fernando, D. P. Kumarathunge, G. S. Nirukshan and C. S. Ranasinghe – Soils and Plant Nutrition Division, Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka, et al.)

Chapter 5. Coconut: Emerging Nutraceutical for a Healthy World
(V. P. Mayookha and G. Suresh Kumar – Department of Biochemistry, CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, India, et al.)

Chapter 6. Importance of Coconut Protein in Human Health
(Neela Satheesh and Solomon Workneh Fanta – Faculty of Chemical and Food Engineering, Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, et al.)

Chapter 7. Coconut Haustorium: A Functional Food
(Arivalagan Manivannan and Santosh R Kanade – Division of Basic Sciences, ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bengaluru, India, et al.)

Chapter 8. Coconut Inflorescence Sap: An Untapped Source of Nutrients
(Arivalagan Manivannan, Balachandra K. Hebbar, and Santosh R. Kanade – Division of Basic Sciences, ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru, Karnataka,
India, et al.)

Chapter 9. Production and Application of Coconut Palm Sugar
(Muhammad T. Asghar, Yus A. Yusof, Mohd N. Mokhtar, Mohammad E. Yaacob, Hasanah M. Ghazali, Yanty N. Manaf and Lee S. Chang – Department of Process and Food Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia, et al.)

Chapter 10. Coconut-Based Food Products
(Daniel M. Njoroge, Samson M. Musyimi, Gaston O. Adoyo and Daniel N. Sila – Institute of Food Bioresources Technology, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Nyeri, Kenya, et al.)

Chapter 11. The Potential of Use of Cocos nucifera Oil in Management of Atopic Dermatitis
(Yik-Ling Chew and Mei-Ann Khor – Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Chapter 12. Biochemical and Health Aspects of Coconut Nanomaterials
(Heba H. Salama and Ayat F. Hashim – Dairy Department, Food Industries and Nutrition Research Division, National Research Centre, Dokki, Giza, Egypt, et al.)

Chapter 13. Emerging Non-Food Applications in the Coconut Industry
(Pavani Dulanja Dissanayake and Lalith Perera – Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka)

Chapter 14. Bioremediation With (Cocos nucifera L.) for Environmental Health and Sustainability
(Saheed Ibrahim Musa and Beckley Ikhajiagbe – Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, et al.)

Chapter 15. Waste Valorization of Coconut Products for Food and Non-Food Uses
(N. N. G. Chiranthika, G. Janarny, H. A. C. O. Hettiarachchi and K. D. P. P. Gunathilake – Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Livestock, Fisheries and Nutrition, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Gonawila, Makandura (NWP), Sri Lanka)


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