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Tel  626-9350770, 310-2376830
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Emerald Ave. Ortigas Center
Pasig City, Philippines
Tel. (0632)635 5030 (0632)828 4916
Fax (0632)631 9652


Sweet Life with Coconut Sap

  • Coconut sap sugar is derived NOT from the NUT but from the toddy / sweet sap (tuba)
  • The unopened inflorescence is thinly sliced (6mm)
  • Sap oozing out from the inflorescence is collected
  • The sap is boiled, and concentrated, to form granulated sugar

Coconut Sap contains

  • 12 - 18% sugar
  • Essentail vitamins and amino acids
  • Macro and micronutrients

Coco Sap Sugar Profile

  • Samples are from 2 PCA-COGENT production sites
  • Sugar % was determined by High Performance Ion Chromatography (HPIC) using Carbo Pac PA1 columns for mono- and disaccharides
  • Ampero-metric detection was done for linear polysaccharides
Coco Sugar Sample
Reducing Sugars
Total Invert Sugar
Sample 1
Sample 2
  • INVERT SUGAR: a 1:1 mixture of Glucose and Fructose

Coco Sap Sugar Effects in Humans

Glycemic Index (GI) of Coco Sap Sugar

  • Based on Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) study on 2007, the GI of coconut sap sugar was 35, hence classified as Low GI food.

    HIGH - > 70

    MED - 56 - 69

    LOW < 55

  • The GI is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on the immediate effect on blood glucose levels
  • The higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response
  • A low GI food will cause a small rise in blood glucose level, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike

Coco Sap Sugar GI Determination

  • 50 g of coconut sap sugar and glucose were fed in random order to 10 fasting human subjects
  • After feeding, 0.3 - 0.4 ml blood samples were drawn, at 15min interval for 1 hour and every 30 min for the next min, serum separated and glucose level estimated using Clinical Chemistry Analyzer
  • Based on the Glucose response curve the GI was determined

Major Nutrients in Coco Sap Sugar
compared with Brown Sugar

(ppm or mg/L)
Coco Sap Sugar
Brown Cane Sugar
Nitrogen (N)
Phosphorous (P)
Potassium (K)
Magnesium (Mg)
Chloride (Cl)
Zinc (Zn)
Iron (Fe)

Functions of Selected Nutrients in Human Body

P needed for bone growth, kidney function and cell growth
K helpful in treating high blood pressure
Mg essential for enzyme activity for Ca and K uptake
Ca vital for strong bone and teeth for muscle growth and contraction
Zn called "intelligence mineral" required for mental development and healthy reproductive organs (prostate gland)
Fe vital for healthy blood, its deficiency is associated with mental development, problem with immune system
Cl ions provides electrical neutrality (acid-based body balance) and correct pressure of body fluids; balance electric charges in human nervous system

Source: Cruz et. al. 2006 as cited by Secretaria et. al. 2006

Products from Coconut Sap

Coconut sap is obtained from tender, unopened inflorescence or spadix; it is slowly bent for easy collection. Coconut sap, when freshly gathered, is weet, oyster-white, transluscent and neutral in pH (Ticzon et. al. 1997) As analyzed, coconut sap has sucrose content of 165g per liter; each tree can yield up to 1.38 liters of coconut sap per day (Magat, 1991). The physical and chemical composition of coconut sap (Table 1) indicate it is rich in amino acids, specifically glutamic acid (Table 2), and vitamins (Table 3) (PCCARD, 1993)

Table 1. Physical and chemical characteristics of coconut sap.

Range of Value
Specific gravity 1.06 - 1.07
Total solids (%) 17.4 - 18.7
Sucrose (%) 14.8 - 16.6
Reducing sugar (%) Trace - 0.3
Crude protein (%) Trace - 0.4
Ash (%) 0.3 - 0.4
Acidity (%) Trace - 0.1
pH 6.0 - 6.4

Source: PCCARD, 1993

Table 2. Amino acid content of freshly-gathered coconut sap.

Amino Acid
Value (g/100g)
Histidine 1.19
Arginine 0.35
Aspartic Acid 11.22
Threonline 15.36
Serine 8.24
Glutamic Acid 34.20
Proline 3.52
Glycine 0.47
Alanine 2.56
Valine 2.11
Methionine -
Isoleucine 0.48
Tyrocine 0.31
Phenylalanine 0.78

*dominant amino acids
Source: Kozaki, 1974 as cited in PCCARD, 1993.

Table 3. Vitamin content of freshly-gathered coconut sap

Value (mg / dl)
Thiamine 77.00
Riboflavin 12.20
Pyridoxine 38.40
Para-aminobenzoic acid 47.10
Pyridoxal 38.40
Pantothenic acid 5.20
Nicotinic acid 40.60
Biotin 0.17
Folic acid 0.24
Inositol 127.70
Choline 9.00
Vitamin B12 trace

In the Philippines, the main commercial products derived from coconut sap are tuba (coconut toddy), lambanog (liquor distilled from toddy) and vinegar (Ledesma, Ferrer and Carandang, 1993). Figure 1 shows the various coconut products from sap.

Sugar is also one of the products that can be derived from coconut sap although it is not well known in the country at present. Commonly used in Southern Tagalog region is sugar from buri palm and the more popular sangkaka which comes from sugar cane juice.

Previous published reports mention the potential benefits from coconut sap sugar due to its nutrient content and organic nature. However, this still requires further studies to fully validate claims.

The composition of coconut sugar (also known as gula kelapa, jaggery or gur) obtained from three locations in Indonesia was determined using HPLC. Sucrose was the major component of all samples (70-79%) followed by glucose and fructose )3-9% each). Minor variations in sugar content between samples were observed, probably due to differences in processing, raw material quality and variety of coconut (Pumomo, 1992).

There are two types of sugar formed: (1) coconut sugar and (2) molasses or treacle or coconut syrup. Coconut sugar (jaggery in Sri Lanka, gula Java in Indonesia) is dark brown, possibly in solid or module form (Ledesma, Ferrer, Carandang, 1993). The crystals are coarse and have varied shapes and sizes. it has the characteristic flavour of the coconut sap and the sugar content is approximately 80% (Sanchez, 1991).

Figure 1. Coconut products derived from coconut sap. (Magat, 1996)

*dominant vitamins
Source: Kozaki, 1974 as cited in PCCARD, 1993.

November 2004/October 2005 Coconuts Today
as provided by Philippine Coconut Authority


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