Is coconut a tropical fruit? Is coconut a fruit in general? The fruit has a large number of useful properties, but for most people there remains an open question affecting its species, that is, coconuts are nuts or fruits. To find out the answer, you need to examine the exotic product more carefully.
Scientific name of coconut
Coconut palm tree (lat. Cōcos nucifēra) -The scientific name of the genus comes from the Portuguese word coco (‘monkey’) and is given because of the stains on the nut, which make it look like a monkey's face. The specific name nucífera is from the Latin words nux (‘nut’) and ferre (‘carry’).
Is a coconut a fruit or a nut?
According to the world famous Wikipedia, which has collected a large amount of diverse material and articles, coconut belongs to the angiosperms of monocotyledons belonging to the Palm family. But the classification also shows that the genus and species originate from Cocos. Based on this, you can make one simple conclusion: coconut is a unique and inimitable plant. In other words, coconut is neither a nut nor a fruit.
What is a coconut tree?
Coconut grows on a palm tree, which also has its own characteristics. Coconut palms are very common on the coast, located near the water. But these plants do not need sea water at all. They reach 30 meters in height and have a smooth trunk. The combination of these facts makes the coconut palm tree a unique plant on which a large number of fruits ripen every year.
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Harvest can be performed only by specially trained collectors of coconuts. They are able to get to the top of the tree quickly, move along it and choose only ripe and tasty coconuts.
Features of the fruit of the coconut palm
Whether coconuts are nuts or not, they have a soft, mild flavor. Its fruit is called drupe. According to the data of all that famous Wikipedia, there are different varieties and types of paradise nut, but on average its length is 30 cm, and the weight is about 2.5 kilograms with the shell.
Coconut has a circular shape, the contours are not necessarily smooth and symmetrical. The main thing is that the outer shell should not have cracks, chips or dents. They can cause damage to the inside of the product and cause the formation of rot or mold. Such a product is not suitable for human consumption or use of its components for cosmetic purposes.
Regardless of whether coconuts are nuts or not, they all have structural features. Coconut fruit consists of the following parts:
- Exocarp - Wikipedia called the outer shell of the coconut like this. It is permeated with specific fibers or coir.
- Endocarp - The inner shell. It hides a seed. The seed consists of white pulp and slightly turbid coconut water.
The degree of maturity of a paradise nut can be determined by the fluid that is inside. Coconut water has a contact with the walls of the fruit and over time begins to turn into a solid form. An emulsion forms from it, which then thickens, after which it hardens. The larger it is, the riper the fruit is. At each stage of maturation, coconut water has its own unique taste and smell.
Coconut palm fruits about 50 years on average. Period of ripening fruit takes from 8 to 10 months. On a tree, they grow in small groups of 15 to 20 pieces. Under favorable conditions, up to 200 pieces of paradise nut can be collected from one palm tree each year.
One of the most unusual species is Coco de mer. This coconut is not an ordinary nut, but a sea one. It is found exclusively in the Seychelles. In other parts of the world it is not found. The sea nut grows on huge palm trees, the weight of one fruit reaches from 10 to 25 kg. Therefore, the caretakers of palm trees go in special clothes so that the fallen nut cannot maim or kill somebody. The product is appreciated for a large variety of useful and healing properties.
Importance of coconut
Despite what kind of fruit a coconut is - this is a very tasty and healthy product. You can use any part of it. Milk is used as a drink that will saturate with vivacity and energy. The white flesh of this fruit can serve as the basis for cosmetics, candle production, and confectionery. Hard brown fibers on the shell of it are used to create bags, ropes, mats and other items needed in everyday life.
Nutritional value of coconut
Coconut has 354 kcal per 100 grams of product. The composition of the pulp of coconut contains non-digestible dietary fibers, normalizing the activity of the gastrointestinal tract, stimulating intestinal peristalsis and being a kind of ‘scrub’ that removes deposits from the intestinal walls. The product has an impressive vitamin-mineral complex, which includes: vitamins A, B1, B9, B12, C, E, PP, copper is released from mineral substances, which is important for the body. It is necessary for the conversion of iron into hemoglobin and participates in the processes cell growth and hair pigmentation.
Regardless of whether coconut belongs to a nut or fruit, its main feature is a soft and tender taste that will appeal to every person. Over time, they learned how to use it in the food industry, cosmetology, and as a medicine for various diseases. Coconut perfectly quenches thirst and returns spent strength and energy.
Did you like our coconut facts? Now you certainly know a little bit more about your favorite fruit… or a nut :)
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