UK – Olam Coffee- a subsidiary of global food and agri-business company, Olam International – has developed a range of novel superfruit products from the pulp and skin of coffee cherry fruit.
The pulp and skin of the coffee cherry fruit is popularly known as Cascara and has been used for many years by coffee farmers to make tea infusions.
Cascara is typically regarded as an unusable by-product by the coffee industry and composted for use as crop fertiliser, or discarded altogether.
But Olam Coffee has found that the leftover pulp and skin has a unique fruity flavor and reported health benefits that make it a sustainable superfruit.
The agro-commodities company says that its new products have the potential to become key ingredient for beverage infusions and concentrates across multiple applications, from ice teas to nutrition bars.
Olam ties their potential to a growing awareness of cascara as a sustainable superfood due to its unique flavour and perceived health benefits.
According to Olam, Cascara has several times the antioxidants of blueberries, acai, pomegranate and other known superfruits, making it a potential favorite among healthy conscious consumers.
In addition, bioactive food compounds such as polyphenols and chlorogenic acid, which are present in coffee cherry cascara, have promising potential to help patients with obesity.
For consumers concerned about the caffeine content in Cascara, Olam notes that the product can has about 25% of the caffeine content as coffee beans.
Commenting on the new innocation, Siva Subramanian Vice president of innovation, Olam Coffee said: “We are at the tipping point where cascara can really become the new valuable food ingredient for the world and as this develops, I’m sure more of the coffee industry is going to be part of the cascara story as well.”
Subramanian further noted that the new product also has the potential to become a new source of revenue for the smallholder farmers and for Olam because they are “creating value from something that we are today discarding.”
Almost 45% of the coffee cherry is cascara and Olam says it was incurring a cost to safely discard it and not cause any environmental pollution issues.
Producing cascara however removes the need to discard the waste and according to Olam, contributes towards its sustainable goals which includes decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions 15% by 2025.
Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE