2011 WILD ALGAE SHORTAGE - HARVEST FAIL
November 22, 2011
THE BAD NEWS:
We regret to inform our customers that the 2011 AFA (Klamath Lake Algae) harvest failed to happen, apparently due to climate related factors beyond anyone’s control. As a result there is an acute and immediate worldwide shortage of AFA.
THE GOOD NEWS!
Ancient Sun® will continue to carry 100% Crystal Manna® & Blue Manna® products, as long as supplies last. Our raw material cost for AFA has risen by almost 300% recently, as a result of the shortage. The good news for Ancient Sun customers is, for as long as supplies last, we are increasing prices only around 20-30% at the retail level. We suggest that everyone who doesn’t wish to be without AFA, stock up now. We are offering a special volume discount program to help those who wish to purchase more AFA while they can.
We hope and pray that the 2012 AFA harvest is bountiful, but with the strange weather patterns on the planet these days, anything’s possible. As far as we have been able to determine, only one other AFA harvest failed, over 20 years ago. Therefore, it may be a cyclical phenomenon. In the meantime Ancient Sun will do all it can to maintain stocks of 100% whole Crystal Manna AFA for as long as possible. The shortage is likely to continue through October of 2012.
THE BEST NEWS:
We are pleased to announce the introduction of a new algae blend called Yoga Manna®, sometime in January of 2012. Yoga MannaÂ® is a propriety blend of the most powerful, nutrient dense, wild & cultivated species of blue-green, red, brown & green algae found on Earth, including Aphanizomenon flos-aquae.
We will introduce a full array of bottled & bulk choices for the Yoga Manna® line and it will be available in vegetarian capsules or powders. It is our intention to use only the finest quality algae powders and algae powder extracts in the formulation, obtained from the most pristine environments. Yoga Manna® will be unique among whole food supplements, in terms of quality, effectiveness, nutrient density, range of nutrients and value, (on a per serving basis).
Ancient Sun Nutrition, Inc.
-- Fall 2010
-- Fall 2010
Important WILDBAR developments
If you know anything about us, you know we have the deepest commitment to give you the highest quality nutritional energy bar that money can buy. In our efforts to do this, we uncovered a number of major areas of concern that propelled us to make
We discovered we had been misinformed by some suppliers about raw food claims and decided to research the raw foods industry and their labeling.
Each ingredient used to make a WILDBAR comes with organic and kosher certifications, plus other documentation to guarantee quality, proper testing and analysis. In spite of this, we came to realize that some claims were not necessarily accurate.
- One of the most vexing problems in the raw food ingredient world involves specific claims made by suppliers that their commercial bulk ingredients are raw or low-temperature. Unfortunately, there is no agency to certify or guarantee the raw claim.
- We discovered that many of the primary suppliers of raw food products are selling products that are not raw at all!
It has taken almost four years to sort out truth from fiction, including a fact-finding trip to Guadalajara, Mexico to study the agave nectar industry first hand.
The trip was provoked mainly because of a flurry of negative publicity about agave nectar and the industry from noted health authorities like Dr. Mercola and others. It was primarily an effort to get accurate information and to share our findings.
I learned in Mexico that many factors affect the ultimate quality and integrity of finished agave nectar products. However, we can say with great certainty that all brands of agave nectar on the market, whether labeled "raw" or not, absolutely do not qualify as a raw food, due to the processing used in all commercial-scale agave production. To create agave nectar, the raw material must be heated in the processing and concentrating phases, no matter what anyone says to the contrary.
It was a real eye opener to discover some of the facts underlying the misinformation circulating about the agave nectar industry.
We could not depend on specific claims made by various agave suppliers that their product was raw, pure and wholesome. However, when I went to Mexico, I discovered a vastly superior source of native blue agave nectar for our WILDBAR. Without doubt, we know that this product is 100% pure, organic, kosher, blue agave nectar produced at low temperature with absolutely nothing added to the finished product.
Our new agave manufacturer uses proprietary processes and is working at a small scale to control processing and temperature variants. The result is a beautiful, clear blue agave nectar with clean, high flavor notes. Using this higher quality agave will create greater moistness in the WILDBAR plus superior texture, density and flavor.
This new pure blue agave nectar will be available soon in bulk and bottles from Ancient Sun. See the New Products section on page 4 for more details.
Like the discussion of agave nectar, we discovered that there is much more to the question of quality than meets the eye.
From our research, we discovered that almost all cacao powder and butter is processed at a temperature too high to qualify as a raw food, and this processing may affect quality, flavor and product integrity. We are very excited to announce a major step forward in the quality of cacao used in the WILDBAR, effective immediately.
- The WILDBAR will exclusively utilize an heirloom (non-hybridized) species of organic cacao with superior aroma, flavor, texture and nutritional profile.
- We have discontinued the use of cacao powder in the recipe, substituting a small quantity of cacao butter
and adding a significant quantity of hand-peeled, raw,
whole cacao bean paste. The heirloom cacao beans are sun-dried and processed in small batches at low temperatures and ground on a stone wheel in the ancient manner, allowing the flavor of the raw bean to mature gradually. This remarkable cacao paste truly qualifies as a raw food.
To showcase our improved products, we have engaged a top-flight graphic arts and marketing firm to overhaul our packaging and labeling, as well as upgrade our marketing strategy.
Together these changes will bring the product into wider distribution and aid in bringing greater awareness of the benefits of the WILDBAR to our consumers.
Once the new bars are released and the product
branding is complete, Ancient Sun will implement
a more aggressive advertising and promotional
campaign to increase awareness of the line.
With the new round of packaging in 2011, we are removing our 100% raw designation on the WILDBAR to Mostly Raw, Living Foods Bar.
All ingredients in the WILDBAR, with the exception of agave and possibly cacao butter, still meet the definition of a raw food. Because of these exceptions, we choose to drop the 100% raw claim. Nevertheless, the quality of the WILDBAR will have dramatically improved.
Current "raw" claims have been rendered almost meaningless by rampant misuse by manufacturers and packagers, many of whom are selling so-called raw foods that are not in fact raw. Almost everyone agrees that the standard definition of a raw food is "any food that has been processed below 118Â° F and remains relatively unchanged from its natural raw state." Agave nectar and cacao butter do not meet the raw definition, however, cacao paste does because it is processed at low temperatures (below 105°F).
Macadamia nuts - We are presently in the final stages of negotiation with several macadamia farms to provide high-quality macadamia nuts for our WILDBAR that are harvested, processed and packaged to our exact specifications (coming soon in bulk on our website).
Whole vanilla bean powder - We have improved the quality and sourcing of organic raw vanilla bean powder. The new WILDBAR will benefit from a richer, sweeter vanilla flavor.
Wild-crafted blue green algae - Allow us to introduce the single most powerful ingredient in the WILDBAR. Each 45g WILDBAR contains 1.5g of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), a blue-green algae that grows wild in the pristine, spring-fed waters of Upper Klamath Lake, in Oregon.
AFA contains 72 trace minerals, 20+ amino acids, 16+ vitamins (including B-12), 32 essential fatty acids, including Omega-3, 14 carotenoids and a number of rare compounds like chlorophyll, PEA and Phycocyanin. Blue-green algae also contain the elements essential to building the body's thousands of important enzymes and proteins.
A new taste experience awaits you.
We are upgrading our popular nutritional energy and
meal-replacement bar, known as the WILDBARÂ®. The important
ingredient changes will not only benefit your health, but the bar
will have better taste, texture and flavor. To celebrate the
improvements, we're also going to revitalize the packaging.
Finally, new WILDBAR flavors are coming soon!
|www.ancientsunnutrition.com â¢ WWW.ANCIENTSUNINC.COM â¢ www.wildbar.info
The new and improved Mayan Spice and Mountain Mint WILDBAR is now ready and due in stores in the fall of 2010.
In addition, we recently finished two new recipes to add to the WILDBAR family. They will be released to wide distribution in early 2011.
- The first bar will be a nut-free bar made with various
varieties of wild medicinal mushrooms and other
- The second bar will contain raw almonds, berries and other amazing, high-quality ingredients.
The new WILDBARS are delicious and unique in a number of ways. We cannot say more at this time, other than to assure you they have been taste-tested and passed with flying colors. We expect to have a limited number of bars available on our website by late fall or early winter 2010.
We are pleased to introduce a new product category called Primordial Superfoodsâ¢. The first product to be released will be our new pure blue agave nectar (see section to the right).
Look for a growing family of premium WILDBAR superfood ingredients, which are packaged (bulk or bottled) under the Primordial Superfoods brand name. Future ingredients include organic/kosher/raw cacao paste, cacao butter, cacao nibs, cacao powder, whole vanilla beans, vanilla bean powder, maca, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, Spanish raw almonds, and many other high-quality superfoods.
Pure Blue Agave Nectar: The first Primordial
Superfoods brand name product will be available in:
- A 750ml clear glass bottle with reusable, washable
cork (75 Brix).
- Bulk plastic pails (80 Brix) in 1-gallon and 5-gallon sizes
- Standardized 75 Brix concentration is 1.4 times
sweeter than household sweetener. Brix is a measure-
ment of solids to moisture ratio, in this case, 75
parts solids to 25% moisture. The 75 Brix is perfect
for use as an all-round household sweetener for
coffee, tea, smoothies etc.
- Super concentrated 80 Brix nectar is 1.6 times
sweeter than household sweetener. The 80 Brix
version is optimal for making raw desserts, raw
chocolates and other foods and confectionery.
These products will be available via the Ancient Sun
web store at: http://ancientsunnutrition.com. For
further details on this extraordinary new product, go
to the "What You Need to Know about Agave Nectar"
section on page 5.
We hope you enjoy your new WILDBAR experience.
Feel free to contact us with feedback and suggestions. As always, we will strive to bring you the ultimate meal replacement, nutritional energy bar on the market, for the best value.
If you want more facts and details about WILDBAR
ingredients and the industries we work with in order
to bring you the WILDBAR, see the pages that follow.
This information will shed more light on why we made the changes we are making and may give you deeper
insight into the unique challenges posed in obtaining high-quality superfoods.
- Clive Adams, Founder, Ancient Sun Nutrition, Inc.
Our WILDBAR now contains a superior blue agave nectar that is organic, kosher, and 100% blue agave, produced at low temperature, with absolutely nothing added.
Each WILDBAR contains approximately 8.5 grams of agave sugars. When blended with the other powerful superfoods in the WILDBAR, the agave nectar appears to have a relatively neutral effect on blood sugar. This may be because the glycemic index (21) of blue agave is very low compared to most commercial sweeteners on the market.
We will have all the WILDBARS tested in the near future at an independent laboratory to determine the overall glycemic index and glycemic load of each WILDBAR flavor. Once accomplished, the results will be published on all future WILDBAR labels, marketing materials, and on our website.
Feedback from consumers over the last four years has been extremely positive with regard to the ratio of fiber (14 grams) to sugars (8.5 grams) in the bar. The consensus appears to be that the bar supports sustained energy levels for four to six hours without spiking blood sugar. We believe it is because of the synergistic effect of the ingredients working together as well as the low-glycemic agave nectar.
Here are nutritional and supplement facts about the new and improved blue agave nectar used in the WILDBAR:
- 80 Brix (80% solids to 20% moisture ratio).
- Approximately 30 calories of agave sugars per 45-gram bar.
- About 89% of the agave nectar is carbohydrate, of which about 79% is sugars. The remainder is minerals, fiber and a minute amount of fat.
What You Need to Know about Agave Nectar
When I went to Guadalajara to research the agave industry, I took many photos and documented what I learned. Look for a comprehensive report with photos to be released in the future. For now, we will discuss the high points.
The agave nectar industry is pressured to
produce more product than current capacity. Worldwide demand is greater than supply, leading to shortcuts and faster processing, all of which impairs the quality of the agave.
Agave juice goes through several processes to separate the complex carbohydrate portion of the juice from the resins and other less desirable parts. At this stage heat may or may not be applied, depending on the manufacturer.
Once the multi-stage filtering and separation stages have taken place, the agave syrup is heated to increase concentration of the sugars and to reduce water content.
Note - Even if this was the end of the process, the agave would not likely qualify as a raw product because some of it would already have undergone a chemical change, which converts the complex chains of carbohydrates into simple sugars.
In the next processing stage, the concentration of the solids/sugars begins in earnest and is totally dependent on heat, time and temperature. The higher the temperature used for concentration, the faster the agave nectar is concentrated and water is removed.
to Take Shortcuts
The problem with agave manufacturing as currently practiced is that time is money and, therefore, speed
is of the essence. At visits to various manufacturing plants, I observed temperatures during various stages
of concentration, ranging from 145Ë to 185Ë Fahrenheit.
Most of the larger agave manufacturers push the upper limit of the temperature range during the concentration phase to produce as much product as possible in the shortest time. The challenge is to concentrate the syrup without caramelizing or burning it. Burning creates dark colored agave, with a molasses or caramelized taste.
Up to now the U.S. has driven the demand for agave nectar production and the large U.S. distributors
want to pay the lowest possible price for bulk nectar.
Product quality is not their primary consideration.
Worldwide demand for agave exceeds current supply by as much as 30% to 50% and the trend will likely continue. The factories in Mexico cannot keep up with demand even with the negative publicity and rumors circulating around quality control and various health-related issues.
Note: Most of the early negative publicity, which started around 2002, was initiated, sponsored and supported by researchers and forces allied to the sugar and confectionery industry in the U.S., who most likely didn't welcome competition from a low-glycemic sweetener industry from Mexico. Current sales for agave nectar in Mexico are over $60m annually, based on a fairly loose estimate (could be higher).
To summarize, the big problem with the agave industry is that three or four of the larger manufacturers in Mexico are already working at peak commercial scale and cannot fully control quality. The result is an end product that is subjected to high temperatures, often leading to a reduction of product integrity and quality.
For a decade it as has been thought that some agave nectar manufacturers in Mexico are blending high fructose corn syrup into their agave syrup to make the product go farther. Sadly, this rumor cannot be totally discounted for several reasons:
- No one holds agave manufacturers accountable other than their own bulk commercial customers. With demand exceeding annual supply by at least 40%, it is a serious temptation to adulterate the agave product with a cheaper substitute, thus satisfying additional demand and making a greater profit.
- To amplify the temptation, high fructose corn syrup is manufactured in Mexico and is cheap and readily available.
- To date, no one has sponsored proper research to analyze agave nectar to determine if any adulteration is taking place. As it stands now, it is impossible to determine if any adulteration has or continues to occur unless you have intimate knowledge of the practices of a particular manufacturer or source.
Blue agave is the only species of agave that is allowed by Mexican law to be used to make tequila, the famous alcoholic beverage. There is a time-tested reason for this - finished product quality and flavor.
Our new agave nectar manufacturer also makes
certified organic tequila using older, more traditional
manufacturing methods, which in many ways are
superior to modern high-production techniques.
The unique knowledge gained from the "old" ways allows the company to excel in the production of high-quality agave nectar. Their proprietary process is more time-consuming and requires greater care and expense than what large-scale manufacturers are willing or capable of doing. However, the result is a superior blue agave nectar.
THE Cacao Debate
Another area of controversy involves cacao, the ingredient that constitutes the largest percentage of our WILDBAR. Understanding cacao quality and what truly constitutes "raw" cacao has been a long-term challenge and only recently have we discovered some of the facts.
Some of you may have heard reports that some "raw" cacao distributors and marketers are selling products that do not qualify as raw. Our research suggests that this practice may be rampant. The situation is similar to the problem in the agave nectar industry - supply and demand.
Over the last four years we discovered that a few companies were actually purchasing bulk quantities of roasted cacao beans and repackaging and relabeling them as "raw" cacao products. This practice is going on as we speak. Our intention is to bring this information to the public to help bring this practices to a halt.
Unfortunately, the actions of a few unscrupulous business people can damage the credibility and reputation of everyone in the raw and superfood marketplace. This could end up reflecting poorly on the raw food movement and may even indirectly discredit the alternative health field.
In our opinion, the "raw" claim has become somewhat diluted, if not entirely meaningless. We are not saying it doesn't carry some weight, but in future the discussion needs to take into consideration all relevant facts that make a food great. For example, it might be important to consider how the food was grown and cared for, how it was harvested, processed, packaged and shipped. Do the farmers and workers who are growing and processing the food get a fair wage? Is it done in a sustainable and artisanal manner?
We are committed to producing high-integrity products that have real nutritional value. Like everyone in the industry, we continue to learn and evolve. We want our customers to know that they can count on us to continue to improve as we move forward. You can experience this for yourselves by trying our new WILDBAR. Stay Tuned!
FAMOUS TRAINER RECOMMENDS WILDBAR
Lorenzo White, a highly regarded personal trainer, is the author of a popular book on childhood obesity called, "The Magic of Max."
Over the years, Lorenzo has worked as personal trainer and fitness coach to many famous celebrities, including the band Aerosmith, Fay Dunaway, Lauren Bacall, Liv Tyler, Farrah Fawcett and others. The next issue of Wild Times will feature an in-depth interview with Lorenzo White.
"Every one of my new clients integrates my smoothie recipe into their daily regimen, and WILDBAR is an essential ingredient in the overall power and effectiveness of the recipe," Lorenzo shares. Here's his recipe:
Lorenzo's Once-a-Day Smoothie Recipe
1 WILDBAR (any preferred flavor)
1 organic banana
Â½ cup, mixed organic frozen berries
1 level teaspoon flax seed
1 level teaspoon organic chia seed
1 level teaspoon organic whole hemp seed
12 ounces, organic hemp milk, rice milk or coconut water
This page (C) Ancient Sun Nutrition 2010. All rights reserved. Anceint Sun, WILDBAR are trademarks of Ancient Sun Nutrition, Inc.