UK Moringa-based beauty drink overcomes 'horrible' taste

By Louise Reid

- Last updated on GMT

“We eventually found a natural flavour that masked both the after taste of the moringa and the after taste of the stevia."
“We eventually found a natural flavour that masked both the after taste of the moringa and the after taste of the stevia."
A herbal nutricosmetic drink is being launched in the UK utilising the amino acid-rich Himalyan herb, Moringa oleifeira, with the company involved saying it has overcome the 'horrible' taste of moringa.

Moringa oleifeira​ is high in protein, contains all eight essential amino acids, as well as vitamins and minerals. It is used in some hair and beauty products because of its skin, nail and hair-enriching links.

The brainchild of business woman and philanthropist, Pearl Jarrett, the new range, named CLUO – which is Latin for ‘pure and clean’ – will offer three flavours: watermelon, kaffir lime and green tea; mango, passion fruit and green papaya; and red grape and hibiscus flower.

Formulation challenges

Jarrett, who is a newcomer to the food and beverage industry, described moringa as having a 'horrible' after taste, adding that the original recipe was only fit for the core health channel niche that typically had a hardier palette to the mainstream. 

We had to have several attempts to 1) to remove the after taste and 2) come up with delicious flavours so that our customers would want to buy it again and again.”

“We eventually found a natural flavour that masked both the after taste of the moringa and the after taste of the stevia. We asked our target market what flavour they wanted and they came up with the flavours​.” 

Another challenge was "finding a bottle that could stand out enough on the shelves, but wouldn’t put my customers off."

The Moringa oleifeira​ ingredients are sourced from organic leaves in India. There are no moringa-based beauty beverages in the UK segment typically dominated by skin-linked collagen products.

The stevia sweetened range is certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, halal and kosher and retails for £2.99 (€4.06) per 250ml bottle. 10% of profits will be donated to Jarrett’s foundation that helps educate disadvantaged children around the world.

Jarrett told NutraIngredients that she is using next month’s Food Matters Live show in London as an opportunity to meet potential buyers and is expecting the products be sold via premium stores as well as online.

“This is a heavyweight”

When asked what she thinks makes CLUO stand out in the market, Pearl Jarrett told NutraIngredients: “Moringa is a superfood as it has gram per gram 4x the potassium of bananas, 4x the fibre of oats, 14x the calcium of milk, 9x the iron of spinach, 2x the vitamin A of carrots, and 2x the protein of yoghurt. This is a heavyweight.​”

Last year the European Commission Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) gave EU member states the flexibility to assess potential beauty health claims individually, meaning that specific claims may begin to emerge for these kinds of beauty beverages if the market does indeed take off.

Jarrett’s team is also working on a moringa-based beverage for children that will leverage cognitive and concentration-improving properties of the herb demonstrated in some studies, selling at a cheaper price point.

After publication we confirmed that the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) places Moringa oleifeira ​in an uncertain category but notes it has a long but unspecified history of use, especially by Asian communities, and is widely available. More here​.

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