The company's Cococin ingredient is made up of freeze dried water coconut solids, which is said to be rich in essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The new patent - No. 7,300,682 - protects Sabinsa's derivation process and also gives the company exclusive rights to the ingredient's composition and its uses in foods, beverages, supplements and cosmetic products. The ingredient is said to help support healthy cell growth and improve overall dermal health. Coconut water Coconut water is the liquid endosperm found in coconuts that serves as a reservoir of nutrients for the development of the coconut's 'meat'. According to Sabinsa, this liquid is rich in proteins, amino acids, sugars, vitamins and minerals. The largest quantity of the liquid endosperm is found in young green coconuts, which Sabinsa uses in the preparation of its ingredient, said the company. "Coconut water's staggering level of active ingredients provides an exceptionally rich repository of vitamins, minerals and amino, shikimic and quinic acids essential for healthy tissue growth, resulting in an optimal ingredient for today's cosmeceutical market," said Dr Lakshmi Prakash, vice president of innovation and business development, Sabinsa Corporation. Derivation process Sabinsa said it uses a proprietary lyophilization process that produces a stable composition of coconut water with its inherent biological activity preserved. The process, it said, is designed to produce an amorphous solid, which is "easy to work into" food and personal care formulations. The freeze-dried coconut water solids are said to blend easily with dry products and also "readily" dissolve in water. Protein components and environment sensitive actives are protected by the amorphous nature of the solid during subsequent processing. During storage, the material changes to the more stable, less hygroscopic, crystalline state, said the firm. "We have worked diligently to secure this processs, composition and use patent to ensure a safe and efficacious ingredient resulting from Sabinsa's high-quality, nutrient-preserving freeze-dried process," said Dr Prakash. The ingredient has been on the market for around five years, and is sold around the world. Science Sabinsa cites a number of scientific studies that support the benefits of coconut water. These include a study by Adams, et. Al.; 1992, that examined how coconut water has been used in the tropics as a nutritive and rehydrating agent to restore electrolyte balance in cases of diarrhea. Also, a published research report mentions that coconut water can be used as a short term intravenous fluid (Campbell-Falck , et al.; 2000), said the firm. Other reported applications include use in total parenteral nutrition (TPN) (Petroianu, et al.; 2004), and sports beverages (FAO, 1998). NutraIngredients-USA.com has not seen these studies. Health Claims Sabinsa's Shaheen Majeed and Lakshmi Prakash commented that the comapny has not submitted any specific application for health claims. "The product is a natural source of nutrients for use in beverages and food products seeking the 'all natural' claim," they told NutraIngredients-USA.com, adding that it is a "particularly good" source of potassium, magnesium, essential amino acids and natural sugars. Applications The firm said that its coconut ingredient is currently used for cosmetic applications such as protoming healthy cell growth and moistirization. "On the nutritional side we have promoted it in energy formulas and we're working on other nutritional applications coming out later this year for specific food use," it said. The dosage recommended is 1-5 percent of the cosmetic formula. "We're continuing to work with our customers on the nutritional dosage for their specific use," said the firm. Europe Sabinsa said it has also been granted a European patent for its branded Cococin ingredient. Patent No. EP1341547 protects process, composition and use in the European market.