- Author : Julia Le Correc
- Master : 2666
COCONUTS: AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE NEW WHITE GOLD OF THE TROPICS! | Doc du dimanche | France 5
Lured by the promises of a natural food rich in vitamins, the French are increasingly falling for this fruit from the tropical countries. Global exports of coconuts have increased by 140% in the last 10 years to top 500,000 tonnes.
99% is eaten in the form of derivative products. Shredded, it adds flavor to our cakes. Its milk is used as a binding agent in our dishes. Its oil is used for cooking, but also in cosmetics. And the latest manifestation, coconut water, is a hit all over the world.
Coconut plantations are very often worked by small farmers, but the processing of the fruit has provided a heaven-sent bonanza for the multinationals. Within a few years, coconuts have become white gold for the industry.
When turned into copra oil, the fruit presents commercial potential in several sectors! The giants of the food-processing, energy and even hydrocarbons industries have realized that very well. Copra oil is present in many of the products that line our supermarket shelves: cakes, margarine or ice cream. It’s in small print on the labels. It is often associated with its cousin, palm oil. In the Philippines, we discover that copra oil is sometimes produced in the most alarming of hygiene conditions.
Do coconuts really bring health benefits as certain producers claim? Is the fruit really a super food or is it a question of a marketing phenomenon? From the coconut plantations of Thailand to the forests of the Philippines by way of Paris, an investigation into the new white gold of the tropics.