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Ever wondered why coconut water is in pink color?

During the summer days, people often prefer to have coconut water to get rid of thirst as well as dehydration. It not only tastes sweet but also provides health benefits.

  • The transparent liquid found inside coconuts is called coconut water. It is not the same as coconut milk, a concoction of grated coconut and coconut water.
  • Coconut water provides essential elements like vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and calcium, according to NutritionValue.org.
Nutritional componentQuantity
Vitamin C24.3mg
Nutrition information provided by the USDA

Health benefits of coconut water-

  • Helps Protect Against Free Radicals
  • May Help Balance Electrolytes
  • May Prevent Kidney Stones
  • May Reduce Blood Pressure
  • May Reduce Diabetic Retinal Damage

As everything has pros and cons in it; overconsumption of coconut water has been linked to a small number of health risks, including-

  • hyperkalemia, which can cause abrupt kidney failure, 
  • heart arrhythmia, 
  • loss of consciousness, and ultimately death.

But ever wondered why coconut water turns into pink color?

Sometimes we get confused with the pink color of coconut water. So, what does it mean? How does the clear pale color of water change into pink?

Let us clearly understand the process behind this change in color.

  • Due to the enzyme activity of the polyphenol oxidase already present in the water and the presence of phenolic substances like catechin and epicatechin, coconut water turns pink.
  • Polyphenol oxidase has copper atoms that the oxygen can bind to and the processing of the coconut water at high temperatures can both significantly increase the activity of the polyphenol oxidase enzyme.
  • The oxidation of the sugars in the coconut produces pink coconut water. According to Dr. Bruce Fife of the Coconut Research Center, these sugars turn pink when they are exposed to oxygen.
  •  The color of coconut water can vary depending on a number of factors, including temperature, age, sugar concentration, and how long it has been exposed to air.

Why does some coconut water become pink but not others?

  • In coconut water, 3.96 x 10-04 mM of copper is the ideal concentration to start pinking. Thus, pinking may not happen if the amount of copper in the coconut water is below this level.
  • It was shown that different coconut kinds and ages have varied levels of polyphenol oxidase. Hence, the water would not become pink if a specific kind of coconut had low Polyphenol Oxidase levels.
  • Based on the category of different ages, water from coconuts that were 7 to 8 months old turns pink, whereas water from coconuts that were 9 to 10 months old doesn’t exhibit any discoloration.
  • Pinking typically happens 3 to 4 hours after coconut water has been exposed to oxygen.

Is there any way to prevent the Pink Discolouring of Coconut Water?

  • When a coconut is freshly gathered, you can avoid the pink discoloration of coconut by instantly putting it in the refrigerator. 
  • Lemon juice or vitamin C can be added when the coconut water is being extracted. They will function as an antioxidant, preventing the oxidation process from taking place.
  • The same procedure applies to apples that have been sliced and exposed to oxygen. To stop them from browning, add some lemon juice or vitamin C.
  • Mixing different ages of coconut water together is another popular technique for preventing the pinking of coconut water. The elder coconut water aids in avoiding the pinking of the younger coconut water.
  • If the coconut water has already turned pink, it is impossible to change the color; we can only prevent it from pinking if it is still a clear liquid. Hence, if you purchase pink coconut water from a supermarket or other local retailer, it cannot be changed back to its original clear colour. Nonetheless, it is secure to consume.

What about nutritional value, though?

 Does pink coconut water retain its health benefits?

  • According to research from the Thai National AGRIS Centre, pink coconut water has lower concentrations of phenolic chemicals and manganese. This suggests that the pink coconut water’s antioxidant level may be lower than that of the clearer water.

Which coconut water is healthier, pink or white?

If pink coconut water is not readily available, you could be debating whether to try to find white coconut water instead. Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward response to this, and the issue is heavily debated.

  • On the one hand, the presence of pink in coconut water denotes the presence of polyphenols, which are rich in vitamins and nutrients. 
  • The polyphenols may have been eliminated if the water doesn’t become pink, in which case you won’t benefit from them. This suggests that pink coconut water is the best option.
  • On the other hand, some investigations have shown that the amounts of phenolic compounds and manganese in pink coconut water have reduced. This is likely because these substances have altered their forms as a result of their interactions with oxygen. This implies that you will benefit from it less, particularly if there has been significant interaction with oxygen.
  • To maintain their clarity, clean waters may, however, have undergone a high-temperature processing step or extra chemicals. It is a difficult decision, but many believe that pink coconut water, as long as it is fresh, is the safer choice. Also, it frequently has a better flavour, which could assist you in making a choice.


  1. https://fruitinformation.com/coconut/why-coconut-water-is-pink/
  2. NCBI: Flavonoids and heart disease
  3. Control of pink discoloration in coconut water
  4. https://veganfoundry.com/coconut-water-is-pink/#:~:text=The%20color%20is%20a%20naturally,removed%20from%20white%20coconut%20water.

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