NATA DE COCO, What is It?

by Simon

Nata de coco is a coconut gel or jelly with a chewy texture and adds to the drink’s taste and texture. It tastes slightly sweet with a chewy texture and is refreshing. Using Nata de coco in drinks will add texture and taste to a drink, this is what makes it so appreciated, some even say it is a natural gem that is sought after. If you have never tried it, then now is the time.


This is a fermented product from coconut juice which has a chewy texture. Sometimes, Nata de coco is also called “coconut gel”, coconut jelly or coconut milk-skin.

Nata de coco is an additional ingredient in various drinks. If you often make mango bango, then it is a good addition besides using mango pieces. Usually, fermented coconut water products are often added to desserts, salads or drinks, this will add a sweet taste to the dish and add a chewy texture.

This unique taste and texture makes it a popular food in Filipino food. You can find this fermented coconut water ingredient in various food and drink recipes.


Let’s look at a little history about where Nata de coco comes from. The history of this unique food is the Philippines. The name “Nata de coco” turns out to be a name from Spanish and Filipino, where “nata” means cream and “coco” means coconut. So, this is coconut cream or coconut gel.

The manufacturing process involves fermenting coconut water using bacterial culture, which then results in the formation of a jelly-like substance with a chewy texture and a slightly clear white color.

Initially, this fermentation was carried out to preserve coconut water so that it could last for a long period of time and coconut water could be enjoyed at any time. Then, Nata de coco continued to increase its popularity as a food, so that in subsequent years it was used in various foods and drinks. This makes it a versatile food component and something that many people enjoy adding to sweet or savory dishes.


This coco is not a food product discovered by just one person, this is a particular community’s habit of preserving coconut water. The traditional process of fermenting coconut water uses a bacterial culture, Acetobacter xylinum, and this has been practiced for hundreds of years by communities.

Some say that an African scientist, Teodula Kalaw, who collaborated with the Philippine coconut authority, discovered Nata de coco when he was thinking about how to process waste and coconut water. The coconut water processing process is led by Dr. Rosalind Villegas of the University of the Philippines, food experts then found a way to make it using strains of bacteria, this method is called Acetobacter xylinum, this is the beginning of the discovery of Nata de coco which is in the form of jelly with a chewy texture.


The texture is like jelly, slippery, gelatinous and refreshing. This chewy part is fibrous but not chewy like tapioca boba.

This is more similar to jelly so it is also called coconut ghel, the bite is sinking in and feels a bit hard even though it is slippery and chewy.


Nata de coco has a mild or bland taste and almost no coconut taste at all. This is like very light coconut water or quite light sweet water. Enjoying it when the weather is hot makes the body cool and this is very enjoyable.

Serve it cold by adding ice cubes. It tastes cool and its will create a cool and refreshing softness in the cubes.

The soft and chewy taste of this fermentation food makes it a food product that many people like to add to various recipes for food or drinks. Its mild taste will not eliminate the original taste of a drink, making it excellent for adding to many refreshing drinks.


You can add it to various dishes like the following:

Add it to mango sago to make mango bango, it is also delicious to add to desserts such as ambrosia whipped cream, add it to pudding or other dishes.

You can also add it to bubble tea, cocktails such as iced cantaloupe juice, iced strawberry tea, iced jasmine tea, coffee drinks, black tea shots or red tea shots.

Make it as an ice cream topping or halo-halo ice cream. You can enjoy it alone or accompanied by a bowl of delicious pasta or while enjoying spicy bawl food.


The ingredients needed to make nata de coco are coconut water and culture bacteria used in the fermentation process. While some additional ingredients include sweeteners and flavorings. However this varies according to the production method.

The chewy and transparent texture of nata de coco is the result of fermentation, during which this fermentation turns the coconut water into a chewy and slightly natural sweet taste.


Consuming coconut gel is beneficial for health, this is because it is low in calories, low in fat, rich in fiber and free of cholesterol.

Consume these foods in moderation, usually in drinks there are added sweeteners mixed with milk rich in sugar and fat, and contain added sugar.



If you measure the health value of its calorie content, then it is healthy because it is quite low in calories. This coconut gel only contains 60 Cal in every 100 grams.

With its low calorie content, this coconut gel will be a pleasant addition to drinks. These calories are estimates, if you buy in packages, check the calories before buying, because some of them have been combined with sweeteners and preservatives or have added sugar which makes them high in calories.


This is indeed a fermented product, but regarding the good bacteria, nata de coco products do not necessarily contain live bacterial cultures like those in yaqult or yogurt drinks.

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