Nata de Coco, a cellulosic white to creamy yellow dessert that’s originally from the Philippines, is produced by fermentation of coconut water with a culture of Acetobacter xylinum.
What are the ingredients/ materials used for the production of Nata de Coco?
Ingredients that are used to produce Nata de Coco include coconut water, refined sugar, Zinc ammonia, Nitrogen-Phosphate-Potash (NPK), Citric acid, Acetic acid and Nata starter (Acetobacter xylinum). Zinc ammonia and Nitrogen-Phosphate-Potash (NPK) function to nutritional Acetobacter xylinum. Citric acid and acetic acid contribute to the pH 3-4 of solutions (acidulant). During the production of Nata de Coco, Acetobacter xylinum metabolizes glucose in the coconut water that acts as a carbon source and converts it into extracellular cellulose as metabolites (Santosa et al., 2012).
What is the microbial starter culture used for production of Nata de Coco?
Acetobacter xylinum (a gram negative bacterium) is the living organism that carries out the fermentation of Nata de Coco. Nata de Coco is a bacterial cellulose that forms over a sugary medium made by Acetobacter xylinum. Several species including acetic acid bacteria can form the cellulose, but the most commonly used is Acetobacter xylinum (Industrial Technology Development Institute – DOST, 2007; Nadia et al., 2012).
Microbial starter culture is the most important ingredient in the formation of Nata de Coco. At the factory, post-fermentation liquid is used where it’s a common practice to prepare a culture starter by separating a small portion of Nata medium formula and allowing it to ferment for 3-5 days before it is used as starter. However, this method has a great possibility of starter culture contamination. Therefore, the better solution is to prepare starter culture by reusing post-fermentation liquid after the product has been harvested (Sancez, 2008)
Studies showed that without adding nutrients, pineapple liquid waste is a good medium to grow Acetobacter xylinum. Pineapple liquid waste without sugar and Zinc Ammonia addition are whiter and brighter. The more balance its pH the whiter the Nata de Coco will be (Sutanto, 2012).
The Production and Harvesting Process of Nata de Coco
(Santosa et al., 2012).
In conclusion, Nata de Coco is low in calories and high in dietary fiber which is good for diet purposes. It can be served as a dessert in it’s sweetened form. Nata de coco is popularly used as ingredients in ice cream, halo-halo, and other fruit preparations such as cocktails and salads.
Industrial Technology Development Institute – DOST. (2007). Nata de Coco Production. Manila, Philippines: Author.
Nadia, H., Mohd, C. I. M. A. & Ishak, A. (2012). Physicochemical Properties and Characterization of Nata de Coco from Local Food Industries as a Source of Cellulose. Sains Malaysiana, 41(2), 205–211.
Santosa, B., Ahmadi, K. & Taeque, D. (2012). Dextrin Concentration and Carboxy Methyl Cellulosa (CMC) in Making. IEESE International Journal of Science and Technology (IJSTE), 1(1), 6-11.
Sutanto, A. (2012). Pineapple liquid waste as Nata de Pina raw material. Makara, Teknologi, 16(1), 63-67.