Coconut palms are one of the oldest flowering trees in the world. For centuries throughout the tropics, the traditional practice of "tapping" coconut trees for their prized "sap" is a time-honored art form. The nutrient-rich sap that exudes from the blossoms before they mature into coconuts, is used to make many unique and nutritious food products. The Coconut Secret line is the direct result of these artisanal family recipes.
The principles of tapping the coconut tree blossoms for their sap, bears only minor resemblance to the practice of tapping maple trees for maple syrup production. Containers used to collect the sap are made out of hollow bamboo tubes that are fastened onto the thick fleshy stems covered in small flowers (see photos).
The freshly gathered coconut tree sap is oyster white in color, has a nearly neutral pH, and is already inherently sweet tasting by nature. Whereas, the sap from a maple tree (as well as the juice from an agave cactus) has very little readily available sweetness, and requires long heating times in order to produce the sweet syrup you purchase in the bottle.
When the coconut tree is tapped, it produces a highly nutrient-rich sap that exudes from the coconut blossoms. This sap is very low glycemic (GI of only 35), and contains a wide range of minerals (high in Potassium, essential for electrolyte balance, regulating high blood pressure, and sugar metabolism), vitamin C (potent antioxidant for over all immune system protection, cardiovascular and respiratory health, reduces inflammation, etc.), broad-spectrum B vitamins (especially rich in Inositol, known for its effectiveness on depression, high cholesterol, inflammation, and diabetes), 17 amino acids (the building blocks of protein),, and it has a nearly neutral pH (helps to maintain proper acid/alkaline balance).
The most remarkable blessing about tapping a coconut tree, is that once it is tapped, it flows its sap continuously for the next 20 years. From a sustainability viewpoint, the harvestable energy production from tapping coconut trees for their sap (which yields 5,000 liters per hectare), rather than allowing them to produce fruit, is 5-7 times higher per hectare than coconut oil production from mature coconuts.
Coconut tree sap is the primary ingredient that produces a multitude of delicious products including our Coconut Aminos, Teriyaki and Garlic Sauces, Coconut Vinegar, Coconut Nectar, and Coconut Crystals.
Myth: Sap production of Coconut Nectar, Crystals, Vinegar, Aminos, etc could lead to the decline of nut production to make coconut oil, flour, etc.
FACT: When coconut trees are tapped for the purpose of sap production, the tree's ability to produce coconuts for various uses is NOT LOST. Research conducted in the Philippines at the Davao Research Center during 1988-1991 showed the viability of producing both sap and coconuts in sequence in the same unopened spadices (stems) of coconut palms. This technology involves tapping for coconut sap in the first half of the spathe (blossoms), and allowing the remaining half to develop normally, ultimately producing fully mature 12 month-old coconuts. This research further revealed, that incorporating this innovative new method increased productivity of sap and nut yields 5-7 times higher than traditional methods.
Myth: A shortage of coconuts as raw materials is likely to create large scale economic imbalance.
FACT: Coconut oil is a major export of the Philippines, so the government does not encourage a radical shift to sap production. Less than 10% of coconut farms in the Philippines are dedicated to sap production. Also, coconut sap products are more labor intensive and costly to produce, and require special equipment.
Myth: The health-promoting properties of coconut oil are more beneficial than sap products.
FACT: The noble coconut tree (aptly referred to as "The Tree of Life") provides a full spectrum of nutrition from ALL parts of the tree. Coconut oil is a valuable source of medium chain fatty acids, however sap products offer a nutrient-rich array of amino acids, minerals, B and C vitamins, are low glycemic and have a nearly neutral pH. EVERY part is a valuable resource (sap, nut, meat, oil, water, shell, leaf, root, bark), not only for food, but also for building materials, furniture, fabric, art, etc. Absolutely nothing is wasted!
So, in essence, it's not a matter of either/or. It is healthful for people to consume BOTH coconut sap products (Nectar, Crystals, Vinegar, Aminos), as well as coconut meat products (oil, flour, shredded, etc.), asthere is ample supply of all of these commodities without compromising the production of either resource.
Some of our valued customers have expressed questions about the amino acid profile of our coconut sap products, with regards to a possible connection to their toxic, synthetic cousins. It is our hope that we can shed some welcomed light on this topic.
Aminos Acids are the building blocks of protein, and in their naturally occurring state they provide a plethora of healthful benefits to our bodies. Like so many other health-promoting components of nature, when they are separated and isolated from their whole, perfect state, and then adulterated through various processes, what was once vital and healthy can become toxic. Glutamic and Aspartic Acids are examples of this very thing.
Glutamic acid is present in the prostate, and currently there is research being done in supplementing natural glutamic acid for cancer prevention and prostate health. The only way that it is possible for glutamic acid to become the neurotoxin MSG, is if the glutamic acid "salts" are given enzymes, yeasts, or other bacterial catalysts to hydrolyze them.
In order for aspartic acid to become the neurotoxic sweetener aspartame, it must undergo various synthetic catalyst processes, and then must be isolated, given a solvent, filtered and distilled.
The Coconut Secret products are made from the fresh nutrient-rich sap of the coconut tree. They are kept in their whole pure state to maintain their full nutritional value. Absolutely NO PROCESSING OR ADULTERATING of any kind has been done to our products! It is not even possible for an unnatural conversion into these neurotoxins to take place or create an environment that could cause these two amino acids to convert to their synthesized opposites.
We have received many hundreds of emails from customers who themselves are extremely MSG reactive, singing our praises and sending us heartfelt blessings regarding our Coconut Aminos and other products, because they are reporting that they have had zero reaction to our products. Myself, and one of my coworkers are exceedingly MSG reactive as well, and we use these products daily with no ill effect.
Our small farms in the Philippines are family owned and operated and the coconut sap is collected by hand The amino acids, minerals, and vitamins are inherently present in the fresh coconut sap. We have gone to great lengths to keep all of our products in their purest, unprocessed state.
As you can imagine, being an MSG sufferer for most of my life, I have done quite a bit of research on this topic, and am quite familiar with the link between glutamic acid and the manufacturing of MSG. And because our parents are both diabetic, we are equally attuned to the toxic effects of aspartame. Our products have undergone many rigorous tests before entering the marketplace, for glycemic index, microbiological purity, nutritional content, etc.
Even though I was fully aware of the potential implications of displaying the nutrient content of the coconut sap on our website, (since some folks might not fully understand the distinction between glutamic and aspartic acids in their naturally occurring forms, versus their processed counterparts) ~ I still chose to do so, because these amino acids are important, necessary and healthful in their natural state, and are important components of the entire amino acid spectrum.
I've always believed that when nutrients are in their whole food form, with all of their inherent co-factors and God given healing and nutritional wonderment intact, that this is the best direction one can strive towards to maintain a vital, healthy body. There is also a very special probiotic magic that occurs when certain foods are aged (and therefore naturally fermented), as are our Coconut Aminos and Vinegar.
We express our gratitude to you for taking the time to read this, and are doing our very best to educate our customers about these exceptional products from the coconut tree.