Value Addition Opportunities
A wide range of drinks can be made using extracted fruit juice or fruit pulp as the base material. Many are drunk as a pure juice without the addition of any other ingredients, but some are diluted with sugar syrup. The types of drink made from fruit can be separated into two basic types; - those that are drunk straight after opening - those that are used little by little from bottles which are stored between use.
Red coir is used in floor mats and doormats, brushes, mattresses, floor tiles and sacking. A small amount is also made into twine. Pads of curled brown coir fibre, made by needle-felting (a machine technique that mats the fibres together), are shaped and cut to fill mattresses and for use in erosion control on river banks and hillsides. A major proportion of brown coir pads are sprayed with rubber latex which bonds the fibres together (rubberised coir) to be used as upholstery padding for the automobile industry in Europe. The material is also used for insulation and packaging.
The major use of white coir is in rope manufacture. Mats of woven coir fibre are made from the finer grades of bristle and white fibre using hand or mechanical looms. White coir also is used to make fishing nets due to its strong resistance to saltwater.
In horticulture, coir is a substitute for sphagnum moss because it is free of bacteria and fungal spores. Coir is also useful to deter snailsfrom delicate plantings, and as a growing medium in intensive glasshouse (greenhouse) horticulture. Coconut coir from Mexico has been found to contain large numbers of colonies of the beneficial fungus Aspergillus terreus, which acts as a biological control against plant pathogenic fungi.
Coir is also used as a substrate to grow mushrooms. The coir is usually mixed with vermiculite and pasteurized with boiling water. After the coir/vermiculite mix has cooled to room temperature, it is placed in a larger container, usually a plastic box. Previously prepared spawn jars are then added, spawn is usually grown in jars using substrates such as rye grains or wild bird seed. This spawn is the mushrooms mycelium and will colonize the coir/vermiculite mix eventually fruiting mushrooms. Coir is an allergen, as well as the latex and other materials used frequently in the treatment of coir. Coir can be used as a terrarium substrate for reptiles or arachnids.
The uses for coconut husk