Changes in the sugar content of the water of the coconut have been followed during ripening and germination. From the most immature fruit in which the cavity has just formed to about the seven-month-old fruit when it is full size but still unripe, the sugars present, which are almost entirely reducing sugars, increase to a maximum of about 5% concentration. Thereafter non-reducing sugars appear, but the total concentration of sugars fall to about 2% in the fully ripe nut, 12 to 13 months old.
The results were much the same in the three varieties of Coos nucifera L. studied—the ordinary tall palm, a dwarf variety, and a variety with orange-coloured fruit, known in Sinhalese as Rath-Thembili—expect that in the water of dwarf nuts small amounts of non-reducing sugars were present in the earlier stages.
During the early stages of germination the concentraion of reducing sugars continues to fall, but that of total sugars remains fairly constant until the fourth month of germination, when it also falls.