Sunday, September 25, 2005

Dried or Pureed Noni?

POWDERED OR DRIED? - Does the product contain fewer beneficial components because it is made from dried or powdered noni?

Many noni companies use a dried or dehydrated form of noni and then reconstitute it with a sweetened water solution. If you see extensive settling or notice separation, it is likely dried noni. The problem with dried or dehydrated noni is that beneficial compounds are lost during the drying process, removing useful components and weakening the potency of the juice.

Dried or powdered noni usually has not been cleaned properly or is dried in the sun. Insects, mold and germs are routinely found in this type of botanical material.

“The freeze-drying of biological material, which is to be quantitatively analyzed (micro-amount level) for compounds of low or intermediate molecular weight, should be either omitted or handled under strict control. This is because compounds such as amino acids, sugars, flavonoids, glycosides, coenzymes, peptides, etc., might be removed from concentrates and (or) the
ground biological material by the high vacuum’ (Analytical Biochemistry, June 1983).

This means that when a fruit such as noni is dehydrated, volatile compounds (the components that make noni effective) can and will be lost. Manufacturing dehydration processes are even more aggressive than the laboratory scale process mentioned above. Thus, the loss of volatile
compounds is even more evident in commercial powdered noni products. Any other method will cause even greater nutrient depletion than those mentioned in the previous quote.

PROCESSING - There are many different ways noni products are processed and brought into the commercial market. The most popular methods are explained below along with some pros and cons:

The Puree Method - the entire noni fruit is used in creating the juice. The fruit is picked when fully ripe and is then mashed finely (excluding the seeds) into a liquid puree. Because this puree is thick, flavouring juices are added to make the fruit into a liquid, palatable consistency before pasteurisation and bottling. Although still under scientific investigation, there are many beneficial properties derived from the noni fruit that you receive in products manufactured using this method. The juice is more palatable with the addition of flavouring juices and natural flavouring juices can enhance the nutritional benefits of the juice.
CAUTION - Some noni products have too many flavouring agents or too much water added which weakens the overall potency of the juice.

Juice Only Method - With this method, the noni fruit is picked when the product is ripe or very ripe, bordering on rotten. When the fruit is this ripe, the juice literally drips off of the fruit. The fruit is then placed over large screens and the juice drips off from the fruit and is collected in large tubs. This juice is then cleaned and bottled often without adding any other flavouring agents, sweeteners or thickeners. Sometimes companies will add water to the juice before bottling it for increased volume. There are currently no regulations on noni juice, so companies can legally add as much water back to the juice as they desire.
CAUTION - This may be the purest form of noni juice, but it can be difficult to palate because of noni's inherit strong taste. The natural juice can also be diluted undetectably and it may still bear the 100% pure juice label because of the lack of regulation. Juice made from this method is at a great risk of being rotten due to over ripening and this process excludes any beneficial properties that could be contained in the noni pulp.

Tablets and Capsules - With this method, the noni fruit is picked when it has reached maturity.The fruit is then passed through a dehydration or drying process that removes the majority of moisture content from the fruit. The dried fruit typically undergoes a process called "irradiation" to clean and sanitise the dried fruit. It is then ground into fine particles that are encapsulated or bound into tablets. Tablets and capsules may be more palatable, convenient
and easy to consume, but do these few pros outweigh the cons?
CAUTION - Because of a lack of scientific research on dried or dehydrated noni, its
efficacy in this state is largely unknown. Anytime a fruit is dehydrated, certain nutrients and compounds are lost. It has yet to be determined which properties in the noni fruit are lost during this process, but it is impossible to prevent some nutrients from being lost.

The Powdered Juice Method - With this method, the noni fruit is generally picked when it has reached maturity. The fruit is then passed through a dehydration or drying process that removes the majority of the moisture content from the fruit. After being irradiated, the fruit is then ground into fine particles that are added into a liquid solution consisting of flavouring agents, sweeteners and thickeners. You can identify this juice by pouring it into a clear container and letting it sit overnight. If black, grainy particles settle to the bottom of the cup, the juice has been made with this process. Also, the particles are readily identifiable floating in the juice. This juice may have a good flavour, but at what expense?
CAUTION - The drying or dehydrating process removes nutritional value from the fruit. In addition, it is difficult to determine how much noni you are getting in each serving and some of these products bear a high sugar content as artificial
sweeteners have been added.

Only drink the noni juice that is made from noni fruit puree directly from noni fruit which has been harvested to preserve its nutritive properties. It should never be tampered with - it remains in its liquid state from harvest to bottle, preserving the live compounds for maximum potency. The copmpany should control the process from the noni tree to the consumer’s hands, ensuring the most natural and most nutritive noni product on the market.

Noni products are getting more and more attention all the time. Over the past 6 years, the health and beauty market has become flooded with different noni brands and products. But not all noni products are the same, so it is important to know what to look for before you make your purchase. To find out more about noni and the noni industry, please visit the International
Noni Communication Council.

No comments: