Gummies made from apple cider vinegar (ACV) have taken social media and health enthusiasts' pantries by storm. Still, New Zealand's pioneering organic producer of ACV said the sweet treats don't stack up compared to the liquid version.
CoralTree Organics has been producing the country's most premium, oak-barrel-aged ACV for 25 years, with their products sought after both locally and overseas. The family business has recently been taken over by founder Kim Baker's daughter Zhana Baker, who said that it's important to know not all ACV is created equal.
"Apple cider vinegar is fermented, and my understanding of fermented foods is that they are both very stable and very delicate. Our ACV is unfiltered and unpasteurized, which means the living enzymes that make the vinegar and feed your gut are still intact and alive inside the vinegar," she said.
Just like us, they cannot survive being heated above about 50 degrees, and to make gummies, liquids have to be heated above that before being set. Meaning you may still benefit from the alkalization of the ACV in the gummies, but any living enzymes will not have survived".
"In my view, many people now reach for convenience foods over whole foods, so gummies have become popular, but they have a lot of additives.
"I'm not a scientist or nutritionist, but if I can't read or comprehend the ingredients of something or make it myself at home, I'm wary. Preservatives, colours, flavour enhancers and other additives can be very inflammatory for most people.
“I believe the benefits of ACV, especially when heat-treated and processed, will be negated by the extra additives".
When choosing your ACV in liquid form it's also better to choose quality. Lower-grade products can use apple juice concentrate, town water with its own chemicals in tow, and strong acidic fermentation aids and sell it as ACV.
"A product like that cannot measure up in flavour, quality, living enzymes and benefits to an ACV made from whole, tree-ripened apples that are cold-pressed.
"With the juice naturally fermented then aged in oak, with no water and no other additives, ever," said Baker.
So while reaching for the sweet ACV gummy treats might be easy, if health is the motivation, it's worth remembering that trending doesn't necessarily mean best.