Typically deemed an unusable by-product, composted for use as crop fertiliser, or simply discarded by the coffee industry, Olam will use the pulp and skin to create beverage infusions and concentrates across multiple applications, from ice tea to nutrition bars, in order to meet consumer demand for sustainable, healthy indulgence.
Olam Coffee found that the cascara has a unique sweet and fruity flavour, with “notes of cherry, raisins and even caramel”. The product contains bioactive food compounds such as polyphenols and chlorogenic acid that have claims to help patients with obesity. It is also said to feature high levels of antioxidants.
“There is also the environmental benefit of utilising the skin and pulp that’s otherwise discarded as a by-product in the primary processing stage,” said Siva Subramanian, VP of innovation at Olam Coffee. “And as demand for this superfruit grows, upcycling cascara will provide more coffee farmers with an additional source of income.”
The company sources the cascara from its single estate coffee plantations in Brazil, Laos, Tanzania and Zambia.
Olam’s dry cascara products can be used for tea infusions and flour, while its liquid concentrates can be used for jams, jellies, dessert toppings and bakery fillings. Its powered formats can be used in hot and cold RTD beverages and mixes.
Its products will also be available for nutraceutical and cosmetic use as an antioxidant supplement.