What is an essence?
Blossom Water is unique in its use of pure essences to flavor its line of all-natural waters. Essences differ from just plain old “natural flavors” and “nature identical flavors” in one very important way. Essences are derived from the named fruit or flower, using a steam distillation process. During this process, high pressure steam is forced through the cellular structure of the flower petals, or the rind, in the case of citrus fruits, causing the cell walls to rupture, releasing intensely aromatic and flavorful essential oils. These oils are then distilled and purified until they become water soluble.
In contrast, “natural flavors” use other natural sources to recreate the same chemical composition found in the named source. Let’s use lemon as an example. While lemon essence is derived from the actual fruit, the zest to be specific, “natural lemon flavor”, which is commonly seen listed in the ingredients deck of a natural lemon-flavored beverage, comes from other “non-lemon” sources, such as grass or hops. Surprisingly, it turns out that both grass and hops contain many of the same terpenes found in real lemon zest. And since both of these sources are much more abundant than real lemons, the cost to produce natural lemon flavor using these other sources is much lower.
The last category of natural flavoring is known as “nature identical flavors”. As in the previous example, these flavors are derived from natural sources other than the named fruit or flower. However, in order to achieve the same chemical composition as in the actual fruit or flower, an enzymatic reaction is required. For example, vanillin is the primary flavor component found in vanilla beans. But there aren’t enough vanilla beans in the world to satisfy the demand for natural vanilla flavoring. So turmeric is used as a substitute. As it turns out, one of the chemicals found in turmeric can be enzymatically induced to produce vanillin, thereby providing an alternative natural source for vanilla flavoring. So while vanillin is not naturally occurring in turmeric, it can be created through a natural chemical reaction. The resulting vanillin is considered a “nature identical” to the vanillin found in real vanilla beans.
So while essences, “natural flavors”, and “nature identical flavors” are all natural, only essences are actually derived from the actual named fruit or flower. Moreover, essences are generally brighter in flavor and more intensely aromatic than plain old natural flavors. They also tend to linger longer on the palette, providing for a uniquely enjoyable drinking experience. So in the end, there is no substitute for the real thing.
What is agave nectar?
Agave nectar is extracted from the succulent, known as the blue agave plant. This plant, which is famous for its use in making tequila, grows in the volcanic soil of southern Mexico. The source of the agave nectar is the center of the plant, known as the “pina,” the Spanish word for pineapple, owing to its resemblance. The “pina” is the core of the plant, visible only after all of the large leaves have been stripped away. This core contains sap, which is extracted, filtered and then boiled to create a wonderfully natural sugar substitute.
Agave nectar is one and a half times sweeter than sugar, and much lower on the Glycemic Index (GI). This index measures how quickly the body metabolizes carbohydrates, in other words, how fast they’re digested and enter the bloodstream to affect blood sugar levels. Based on different studies, agave nectar has a GI range of 11-30 versus a mid 60s range for traditional sugar.
What is erythritol?
Erythritol is a natural sugar substitute that is about 70% as sweet as sugar. It has been approved for use within the United States since 1997. Erythritol is naturally found in many fruits including pears, watermelon and grapes. Erythritol contains 0.2 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for standard table sugar.
In the March 2013 edition of Prevention magazine, Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard-trained physician who is a leader in integrative medicine, recommends erythritol as a safe, natural alternative to synthetic non-caloric sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.
Erythritol also competes against some other all natural, zero-calorie sweeteners. Stevia by far, is the most popular, owing to its low cost and broad distribution. Derived from the leaf of the stevia plant, stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar. The sweetener is also commonly referred to as reb-A, which is short for rebaudioside A, one of the steviol glycosides present in the stevia leaf. Despite its popularity as the leading all natural sweetener, stevia has a characteristic unpleasant, bitter aftertaste reminiscent of saccharin. It is not surprising that many people who taste our waters express relief that we don’t use stevia in our formulations.
Because of stevia’s bad taste, many sweetener and beverage manufacturers have come up with all natural, zero-calorie sugar substitutes that combine stevia with other natural sweeteners such as erythritol, monk fruit extract, and inulin (derived from chicory) in an attempt to improve the overall flavor characteristics. However, stevia’s taste is so unmistakably strong, that even when blended in small quantities with other sweeteners, its presence is detectable.
The simple reality is that no other all natural, zero-calorie sweetener on the planet offers the neutral flavoring and crisp, clean finish of erythritol. The only reason it is not more widely used in beverage formulations is its high cost.
Where are the colors derived from?
The colors we use come from fruits and vegetables such as berries, purple potatoes, red cabbage and beets. Many other products use artificial FD&C colors, which have been proven harmful.
What type of water do you use?
We use reverse-osmosis filtered water (RO water) in order remove any impurities that could interfere with Blossom Water’s delicate flavor balance. RO water also provides better color clarity.
Where do the carbohydrates come from?
Total carbohydrates per bottle is 26g, with 11 grams coming from agave (total sugars) and 15 grams coming from erythritol. However, since erythritol is not metabolized by your body, it contributes only 0.2 calories per gram. Therefore, the all important net carbs number is only 11g. Since each carbohydrate (sugar) gram is equivalent to 4 calories, Blossom Water contains only 45 calories per bottle.
Are there any preservatives in it?
There are no preservatives used. The water is flash pasteurized to 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds and then hot-filled into glass bottles and vacuum sealed.
What is citric acid and what is it used for?
Citric acid is all natural and found most notably in such citrus fruits as lemons and limes. It is used to lower the pH of the water to below 3.5 so as to provide an added layer of protection over and above the pasteurization process.
Is there any juice in your products?
There is no juice in our waters. All of the flavor comes from the fruit and flower essences.
What is the shelf life of the product?
Approximately 12 months.
Are the ingredients organic?
Are the products gluten-free, GMO-free, sodium-free, and caffeine-free?
Yes to all of the above.
Are the products vegan?
Are the products kosher?
Tell me more about the beautiful bottle images.
We used a local artist to carefully hand paint each watercolor illustration so that it is a botanically correct representation of the actual fruits and flowers used in the formulations.