I want to share my knowledge of the quality ingredients that the SenCha bar has. I gained this knowledge because I am the one who gathers every single raw ingredient contained in them and it is I who make sure that microbiological test results are satisfactory for the well being of our end consumer. Of course, this couldn’t be done without a strict Quality Control Department and arduous effort from our formulator. Since our bar is for the most part uncooked, we have to make sure that the finished product is low in microorganisms and free of harmful pathogens.

For those who are not familiar with these terms, microorganisms are the basic living form of life and they are incredibly diverse: including bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists. They usually can’t be seen by the naked eye and while some microorganisms are widely used in different industries, others have adverse effects on humans and animals. Some harmful microorganisms, called pathogens, can be found in food, such as e.coli, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus.

Depending on the treatment used to eliminate pathogens, foods are categorized organic & non organic. Organic foods are free from conventional pesticides and artificial fertilizers. While these are considered more natural, organic foods may be open to the risk of carrying pathogens if not cultivated properly. I was surprised when purchasing seeds and nuts for our meal bar to find out that several suppliers don’t use micro testing to guarantee the non existence of these pathogens. Some didn’t even know the term micro testing. Lucky for us, after an intense search- and sometimes use of our own private lab – we were able to acquire these ingredients with successful results. In this process, some raw materials were discarded, like our pistachios. We wanted to use raw pistachios, but ended up having them roasted due to the high incidence of micro count and the possibility of pathogens in the raw ones. With this I am not saying that eating raw food is bad. If your body has a strong immune system you have nothing to worry about. But I wouldn’t take any chances with children and elderly consumers. Their immune systems are sometimes vulnerable so that ingesting just one one of these pathogens may be fatal.

And so this is my quest for every batch of bars we manufacture. Every month or two, I contact the suppliers to find out if they still have the ingredients in stock or if new batches have arrived with proper documentation. We are always looking for new suppliers or finding ways to guarantee these raw materials in stock. It’s easy to get lost in front of shelves that have huge variety of bars in the supermarket. But it’s good to know that our bar is one of the best choices available, not only because of the health benefits of its ingredients but because it’s safe to eat. Plus, it has a bonus – each bar has a base of green tea!

Editor’s note: Last Friday, T Ching reviewed Sen Cha’s green tea whole nutrition bars. This post was written by Sencha Naturals Director of Operations.

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Image 1 and Image 2 courtesy of the author.