About Noni

The Debate Over Pasteurizing Noni Juice

Understanding The Pros & Cons Of Pasteurizing Noni Juice

Noni fruit or Morinda Citrifolia is grown for many applications, including health & wellbeing

Noni fruit or Morinda Citrifolia is grown for many applications, including health & wellbeing

At Hawaiian Ola, we feel honored to share the many healing benefits of Hawaiian noni with the world and will always do our best to ensure that it is prepared thoughtfully and with good intention. Noni is our flagship fruit, the first and main ingredient in both of our products, and is, in many ways, the fruit that originally inspired us to launch Hawaiian Ola. Throughout our journey to fulfill our mission (to expand the demand for organically grown, GMO-free Hawaiian crops) and share noni with the world, we have had to make many difficult decisions along the way, such as whether or not to pasteurize our noni juice.

Why We Pasteurize

Putting Health And Safety First

When making products to share with our ohana, two of our highest considerations will always be health and safety, which is why we take every possible measure to ensure nothing harmful ever ends up in our products. We only source organic because we know pesticides in conventional foods are unsafe. We source GMO-free because we don’t believe untested GMOs belong in our food. And we heed the FDA’s strong recommendation to pasteurize our noni, because it is the best way to ensure Ola is made free of any harmful bacteria or pathogens(1,2).

Sharing Noni With More People

Aside from removing any unwanted bacteria from our noni, two additional benefits to pasteurization are an extended shelf life and the ability ship and store our Noni at room temperature without risk of spoiling. This is important to many consumers for whom the added costs of shipping refrigerated, raw noni are often too much to afford buying it on a regular basis. For these drinkers, pasteurization has made Ola noni easy to enjoy everyday without worry of spoilage or expensive shipping prices.

The Effects Of Pasteurization

Noni can often be seen growing wild along the coastline of Hawaii

Noni can often be seen growing wild along the coastline of Hawaii

Noni’s Beneficial Constituents

One of the things that makes noni (Morinda Citrifolia) such an amazing fruit is that it contains an unusually wide variety of beneficial compounds, some of which are known to offer anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and cleansing effects. While some of these compounds may be disturbed by pasteurization, fortunately, most of noni’s beneficial constituents are not. In order to understand why, it helps to think of all of noni’s constituents in two categories: stable, which are less likely to degrade in the presence of air, light, and heat, and unstable or volatile constituents, which are more likely to degrade from the same exposure.

Stable & Volatile Compounds

In the stable category, noni contains an abundance of antioxidants such as aucubin, as well as nutritive constituents like iron, fat, protein, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Also stable are compounds such as damnacanthal, a novel anthraquinone that is likely responsible for noni’s cleansing or purgative effects, as well as NoniPPT, which has been shown to play a role in noni’s immunomodulatory effects. In the unstable category, compounds such as Eugenol, Scopoletin, and asperuloside are known antiinflammatories that can be categorized as volatile and are more likely to be impacted by the pasteurization process to some degree(3).

Measuring Positive Effects

While the extent to which both stable and unstable constituents in noni are impacted by pasteurization have never been specifically studied, we know that most of noni’s nutritional constituents are stable and that several studies have shown noni, in its pasteurized form, to be potent and effective in several areas related to human wellbeing. Two examples include a 2006 study that showed a protective effect on hepatic injury (protecting the liver from harmful carcinogens) and also a study where pasteurized noni showed positive results for current smokers by protecting those individuals from oxidative damage induced by cigarette smoke(4,5).

Understanding Heat & Health

The positive results we see in the clinical trials using pasteurized noni could have much to do with noni’s high concentration of stable beneficials, however, the results may also have something to do with a health boosting change that takes place in certain fruits and vegetables when they are heated. Cooking breaks down cell walls and in turn increases the abundance and bio-availability of certain compounds, most notably antioxidants.

Cooked tomatoes, for example, release more lycopene, an antioxidant linked to improved mood, heart protection, and even cancer prevention. Similarly, the antioxidants known to protect your eyes against disease, such as lutein found in corn and spinach, also respond to heat during cooking. A 2003 study that compared the carotenoid content — mainly lutein and zeaxanthin — of corn found that when processed with heat, contained more lutein than the raw form. Legumes appear to respond to heat, too. Boiling peanuts has been shown to boost antioxidant concentration by up to 400% that of raw(6).

Health, Happiness, & Noni Juice

Whether you prefer noni pasteurized or raw, always source your juice from a grower you trust.

Whether you prefer noni pasteurized or raw, always source your juice from a grower you trust.

For many consumers the question of ideal noni preparation is one of ongoing consideration. In the end, our choice to pasteurize was about health, safety, and making Ola noni affordable and accessible to our ohana everywhere. Along the way we learned that noni is packed with an abundance of stable beneficials, which are not likely to be affected by pasteurization. We also learned that pasteurized noni has been shown to positively support liver and lung health in clinical trials and that the heat from pasteurization may even draw out certain nutritional compounds such as antioxidants by breaking down rigid cell walls.

In the end, the consumer choice of what kind of noni to drink is a personal one. Whether you choose to drink noni raw or pasteurized, our advice is to be safe (source your noni from a provider you trust), support growers who cultivate noni organically (pesticides are bad for everyone), and above all enjoy your juice! The way we see it, noni is a pretty special gift from nature and no matter how you prefer it to be prepared, health and happiness are two things you should always get from your noni.

Mahalo for reading. Post your questions and comments below and if you would like to try a free sample of Hawaiian Ola noni, click here to order.

Additional Resources

1. (FDA Regulation)
http://www.noniisgoodforyou.com/beforeyoubuy.asp
Pasteurization In the United States, the FDA strongly recommends that all fruit juices be pasteurized. Currently 98% of all juices in the U.S. are pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria that may have grown during the harvesting and bottling process.
2. (FDA Regulation)
books.google.com/books?isbn=0970254466
Noni: The Complete Guide for Consumers and Growers By Scot C. Nelson, Craig R. Elevitch
Non-pasteurized, bottled noni juice that is sold in the U.S. must be labeled “for external use only” or “for pet use only.”
3. (Constituents Of Noni)
http://www.medicinehunter.com/noni
A thorough list of stable and volatile constituents in Noni, including a reference to many of their known effects on the body.
4. (Noni Effects For Smokers)
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/113/8/e301.full.pdf
“The Effects of Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Fruit Juice on Serum Cholesterol and Triglyceride in Current Smokers.” Circulation 113, 301-381 (2006).
5. (Noni Protects The Liver)
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/7173228_Noni_juice_protects_the_liver
Article: Noni juice protects the liver.
Claude J Jensen, Johannes Westendorf, Mian-Ying Wang, David P Wadsworth European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Impact Factor: 1.92). 06/2006 – Source: PubMed
6. (Nutritional Value Of Cooked Foods)
http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/January-2014/Turn-up-the-Slow-Cooking-Heat-for-Health/
Turn Up the Slow Cooking Heat for Health – Hot Antioxidants

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Growing Noni in Volcanic Soil

The benefits of growing noni in volcanic Hawaiian soil. For farmers in Hawaii, growing near active volcanoes has always been a source of prosperity and life. Whether it’s pineapple and cane sugar on the big island or olives and nuts in Italy, areas close to volcanic activity support a wide variety of thriving plant life. Deep underground, these areas house rich sources of beneficial metals and micro-nutrients such as Copper, Silicon, and Zink. The process of turning new volcanic material into beneficial soil takes place over thousands of years, as lava from violent eruptions is broken down slowly by living decomposers and a weathering environment.

This new soil offers many physical benefits to budding life. The dark igneous lava rock (also responsible for Hawaii’s iconic black sands) breaks down into a warm porous substrate which absorbs and holds heat and water, providing an ideal habitat for growth. The rough volcanic material on the grounds surface is also a natural deterrent for harmful insects. Its dense weight helps to prevent soil erosion, protecting the islands vital hummus.

Warm, hydrated, vitamin-rich soil – naturally protected from insect predators and erosion has helped make Hawaii the agricultural hub it is today. For nearly two thousand years islanders have learned to work with the lands local resources to provide for themselves in their isolated habitat in the South Pacific. Hawaiian OLA sees the beauty in this way of life and is working to preserve its essence. All natural Hawaiian OLA is made from organic Hawaiian super-fruits, grown locally and fairly to be shared with the world. To learn more, check out Learning about Hawaiian Noni.

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Hawaiian Noni Fruit (Morinda Citrifolia)

Noni, also known as Morinda Citrifolia, is a small, flowering, everbearing shrub native to the equatorial Pacific islands, Polynesia, Asia, and Australia. Noni is a relative to the coffee plant and grows to a height of up to ten feet. The leaves are a rich green, appear waxy, and are oval shaped. From a budding flower head, the fruit can take over a year and a half to fully mature; eventually ripening from a bright green cluster to a heavy yellow fruit with a distinct aroma.

Noni branch near ocean

In traditional Polynesian use as a medicine, Noni fruit has been used to treat many health conditions, such as upset stomach, skin inflammation, infection, and even treating cuts and wounds topically with its leaves. It has a ‘unique’ odor and taste when taken raw, so it is believed to be a last resort food source by many cultures. Today, OLA Noni juice is carefully blended with other natural super fruits and juices to bring out its best hidden flavors while still preserving its powerful health benefits.

Noni juice, like the juice of many other fruits, is a great a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The antioxidants may help to prevent certain diseases and even slow age-related changes in the body. To learn more about the powerful health benefits of Noni check out Dr Oz on Noni.

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Noni’s first journey to Hawaii

Noni’s first journey to the Hawaiian islands: The story of Hawaiian Noni begins sixteen-hundred years ago with inquisitive ocean explorers who came from the fruits original home in the Marquesas (mär-kā’zəs) Islands in what is now French Polynesia.

The twenty-four-hundred mile journey to the Hawaiian islands spanned over one third of the earths surface and was only completed after many attempts and over many generations. The guide and inspiration for these ancient mariners was migrating sea birds making a seasonal journey towards what would one day be the Hawaiian Islands.

map of Hawaii and French Polynesia in south pacific

Each fall travelers followed the birds out to sea using the stars and ocean currents to mark their position along the way; moving closer towards an unknown destination in the endless blue of the south pacific with each attempt.

By passing on navigational knowledge from tribal elders to new youth, each generations’ sojourn reached out further from home and closer to Hawaii. Long distance sailing brought many new challenges to the Polynesians. Food, water and other life necessities had to be refashioned for travel as did the basic goods needed to rebuild a new life once they had arrived.

Eventually fleets of better vessels were made with floating gardens allowing them to grow food as they sailed, and while still limited to the essentials, also now carried live plants (known as canoe plants) and seeds for native fruits and vegetables, building tools and materials, and a single cherished fruit for medicine.

The medicinal fruit was Noni and was known as the “queen” of all canoe plants for its healthful properties and its essential role in establishing new villages. So in 400 A.D., Hawaii Loa, a Polynesian chief brought Noni as one of the canoe plants on the 2,400 mile journey from Tahiti to a new island chain that eventually took on his name, Hawaii.

Today Hawaiian Ola is continuing this inspiring tradition by bringing the benefits of Noni to new parts of the world through a line of refreshing drinks that taste great and keep you energized for your long journey. Organic Hawaiian OLA is made without any unnecessary sugars or stimulants, and is fair trade, GMO-free and here to support the local farmers of Hawaii.

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Dr. Oz on Noni

Anti-Aging secrets of the Noni Fruit. Dr Oz says “one of the goals of the show is to put things that seem exotic or unique on the map”. In this episode, Oz teams up with Chris Kulham a “medicine hunter”, who searches the globe and foreign cultures identifying traditional remedies. Chris believes nature provides a natural cure for everything. When he was little he became so sick that his family thought he was going to die. His grandmother began giving him fresh juice made from the Noni plant and he believes it brought him back to good health.

As a traditional Polynesian remedy, “Noni’s health properties can help us on the inside and out” says Dr. Oz – and through the fruit’s potent anti aging properties that can help you look younger and live longer too. Mr. Kulham says the Noni Berry lowers inflammation, is really good for your immune system and can also be good for skin ailments which could be a natural effect of the plants powerful phytochemicals, including alkaloids, polysaccharides, flavonoids, fatty acids, and catechin just to list a few.

After extensive research both Chris and Dr Oz agree that many over zealous claims have been reported about Noni on the internet and other sources. Chris says that contrary to these claims Noni is not a cure for diabetes or cancer; however Noni is very good for you and has measurable benefits for your heart, pancreas, and joints through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood-sugar stabilizing compounds.

Watch a clips from the original episode on Youtube.

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