What is a botanical essence?
Blossom Water is unique in its use of pure botanical essences to flavor its line of natural waters. Botanical essences differ from just plain old “natural flavors” and “nature identical flavors” in one very important way. They 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 rind in the case of citrus fruits. This causes 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 (its zest to be specific), the “natural lemon flavor” that 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. Turmeric is instead 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. In other words, 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 botanical essences, natural flavors and nature identical flavors are all natural, only essences are derived from the actual named fruit or flower. As a result, essences are generally brighter in flavor and more intensely aromatic. In the end, there is no substitute for the real thing.
What type of water do you use?
We use 100% natural spring water sourced from four underground springs in Marion, Virginia. Coming from the Cumberland Mountain region, a part of the Appalachian range, this water is naturally quite pure with less than 60 parts per million of total dissolved solids. For added assurance we also employ filtration.
As a point of interest, Marion is home of the nationally syndicated bluegrass music program, Song of the Mountains. This award-winning public television series showcases the musical heritage and culture of Southern Appalachia.
Is there any juice in the product?
There is no juice in our waters. All of the flavor comes from the flower and fruit botanical essences.
Tell me about the product’s immune support function.
The immune system is your body’s shield against a range of disease-causing infectious microorganisms (pathogens), toxic foreign substances and even your own cells that might be malfunctioning. Its primary role is protection from these round-the-clock assaults, keeping you from getting sick and speeding your recovery if you do. Even when you’re feeling well, your immune system can be running at less than peak efficiency, elevating your risk of getting sick or staying sick longer.
A well-balanced diet supports immune health by providing all of the system’s necessary building blocks. But regularly consuming a probiotic, including probiotic-derived Staimune® in Blossom Water, takes this support a significant step further by doing what even the best diet alone normally cannot, namely, keeping a harmless foreign presence in front of your immune system. This both activates and helps to mature certain immune cells which, together, bring your immune system to a higher state of readiness, effectively priming it to “fire quickly and on all cylinders” when faced with a real outside threat.
Developed by Ganeden (now part of Kerry Group), Staimune is made with the inactivated cells of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086 (GanedenBC30), a patented strain of probiotic that has earned unmatched supplier and consumer trust throughout the food and beverage space; to date, nearly 7 billion servings have been consumed globally without any adverse events. GanedenBC30 has undergone extensive published safety testing and been proven safe for all populations ─ healthy and immune-compromised, infant and senior ─ even when consumed in a quantity (FDA GRAS at 93.6 billion CFUs per day) far exceeding that of food product inclusion. Learn More
What is stevia leaf extract?
Stevia leaf extract is a completely natural sweetening ingredient. Upon extraction and purification, there are no changes to the sweet compounds found in the stevia plant’s leaf; in other words, what’s in the leaf is what’s in the extract. The stevia plant (Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni) is a member of the Asteraceae or “sunflower” family. It is native to South America and has been used by the indigenous population as a natural-origin sweetener for centuries. Its leaves contain sweet compounds known as steviol glycosides. When ingested, these glycosides pass through the body without significant effect, so they not only have zero calories but also zero glycemic impact. (The glycemic index is a system, ranging from 0 to 100, that ranks carbohydrate-containing foods according to how fast they are digested and increase blood sugar. Stevia has no impact on blood sugar or insulin levels; sugar, in contrast, has a glycemic index level of about 65.) The major regulatory organizations for health and food safety, now spanning 150 countries around the world, have approved the use of high purity stevia extract as a sweetener for foods and beverages, deeming it safe for all population groups, including pregnant women and children.
Many different steviol glycosides are naturally present in the stevia leaf, each with its own taste profile. Rebaudioside A (Reb A) and Stevioside account for over 75% of total steviol glycosides in the leaf. Since Reb A is the better tasting of the two, and prevalent enough (8% by dry leaf weight) to keep extraction cost-effective, it is by far the most used in foods and beverages. Unfortunately, Reb A can leave a bitter aftertaste. But a “next-generation” steviol glycoside, rebaudioside M (Reb M), avoids virtually all of that problem. It has a more sugar-like flavor profile, with faster sweetness onset and no lingering taste like that of “classic” stevia. Reb M, however, is present in the stevia leaf only in tiny quantities (less than 0.1% by dry leaf weight), so it is much more expensive to extract in volume than Reb A and therefore still not widely available commercially. Consequently, most food and beverage brands do not take advantage of this latest upgrade in stevia sweetening, and those few that do typically blend Reb M with Reb A in order to manage cost and supply constraints. Blossom Water is distinguished in using 100% Reb M stevia leaf extract (certified non-GMO).
While on the topic, it should also be noted that stevia generally has a beneficial impact on both environmental and socioeconomic conditions where it is grown. Because it is inherently much sweeter than sugar, its farming does not require a lot of land, fertilizer, pesticide or water; in fact, on the basis of equivalent sweetness, these factors are typically five times less than those required for cultivating cane sugar. As a result, most stevia farmers grow the plant on small plots of land and use the rest of their acreage for other crops. By diversifying their crops, these farmers are better able to maintain soil quality and minimize pest problems, further aiding the ecosystem and affording their community a more reliable and profitable livelihood.
From where are the colors derived?
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.
Does the product contain any preservatives?
There are no preservatives used. The water is flash pasteurized to 180°F for 30 seconds. It is then hot-filled into BPA-free, 100% recyclable PET bottles and vacuum-sealed.
What is citric acid and why is it used?
Citric acid is completely natural, found most notably in citrus fruits as lemons and limes. It is used to lower the pH of our waters to below 3.5 so as to provide an added layer of protection over and above the pasteurization process.
Is the product non-GMO?
Yes, our waters are Non-GMO Project Verified, North America’s most trusted seal for GMO avoidance.
Is the product free of gluten, sodium and caffeine?
Yes to all of the above.
Is the product vegan?
Is the product kosher?
Yes, certified by OU (Orthodox Union).
What is the product’s shelf life?
Approximately 15 months.