Happy New Year fellow coconut kefir fans,
I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and are looking forward to another year filled with exciting new challenges and experiences. I wanted to start off 2018 by answering the question that has been on everyone’s mind; what’s with the pink product? Does it bite? Ummm..no, but it is part of a new process that has been implemented in response to some complaints we have received from our loyal online customers in addition to store patrons and employees who consume our products in the Midwest.
As a quick background in case you did not experience this issue, we were producing product that was of varying consistency between that of water to nearly egg white. The problem; our product was suffering from the dreaded OVER-fermentation! EVERYBODY RUN!!! We’ve concluded that fourteen batches made between the months of June and October suffered at least some level of over-fermentation. This doesn’t mean that every bottle produced during this time was of high viscosity, but if you did purchase a bottle and were offended by the consistency, we first want to assure you that the product was both safe and efficacious (viscosity is very normal for coconut kefir), and also inform you that all product going forward will be a consistency very near water.
The problem was mainly caused by focusing too much on achieving an attractive “market count.” This is the probiotic claim we state on each bottle; 18 billion/serving for the 16oz products and 15 billion/serving for the shots. We were aiming for closer to 100 billion/serving. Pushing for more bacteria actually makes for less efficacious, less effervescent, and overall less palatable product; especially in regard to viscosity. This discovery prompted us to test some of the other liquid probiotics and coconut kefir on the market and guess what we found? The counts these producers state are massively exaggerated! It is very easy to send a sample in for testing that has been fermented for a longer period of time or is more concentrated than normal to give the impression of enhanced count. However, testing the product that will be sent to market is what actually “counts.” This has been another example of the lack of transparency in the food industry that Amanda and I have found as we continue to strive for authenticity in our ingredient sourcing, production process, and product claims.
So what’s the fix?
The new process is very similar to our previous process, with a few important changes. We have reduced the initial temperature (the point where we incorporate the cultures and begin the ferment), we have extended the length of time the batch ferments, and we have introduced a secondary cold ferment that allows the product to reach a balanced state (less active cultures when bottling). This new process is producing the absolute best coconut kefir Amanda and I have ever tasted, which has been confirmed by everyone we have spoken with during in store demos and expos. The exciting and visible side effect of this process change is of course the pink color. You can read more about why this happens on our website’s FAQs page as I wouldn’t want to bore you; Garret the Science Guy just doesn’t have a nice ring to it.
We hope we haven’t given you a false impression of coconut kefir if your first experience wasn’t what you expected. We are very grateful you have chosen to take part is this journey with us; which is very much an extension of our values and belief in the power of food and community. We urge you to continue to strive for your optimal being, continue to find meaning and purpose, and to surround yourself with a community that embraces you and adds warmth to your life.
Until next time,