Ice blocks. They take me back to childhood, and are hard to beat on a hot summers day, no matter what your age.
The other day I met the inspiring woman behind the organic ice block brand Flying Fox
Benna and her husband John launched their ice blocks back in 2009. Originally from the UK, they were in awe of the top quality fruit available here in Australia and identified a gap in the market for a range of quality ice blocks. Patience and determination lead to their success (the plethora of food regulations and red tape certainly did not make it easy).
Living in Mullumbimby they have built relationships with local farmers, using organic, locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Where the Australian climate is not suitable for a crop or there is no organic equivalent they source the best fair trade organic produce (like Peruvian organic fair trade cold pressed cacao powder). Their ingredients are identified right down to the town and state of the source farm, e.g. Uki NSW organic Elderflowers.
No food additives
Many of the ingredients used by companies like Nestlé (Peters, Mövenpick) and Unilever (Streets, Ben & Jerry’s), like the emulsifier Guar Gum (Guaran, E412) or Agar (E406), are used so shipment, storage and mass production of iced confectionery is possible.
In 2005 Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approved Unilever’s (Streets) application to use genetically modified yeast to grow “ice structuring protein”, more correctly Type-3 ice-structuring protein HPLC 12, with a gene from the ocean pout (Macrozoarces americanus) fish and use it to improve the consistency and storage properties of its ice creams. Between 2003 to 2007 Unilever (Streets) sold more than 47 thousand litres of ISP containing ice cream confectionary in Australia and New Zealand. (The EFSA Journal (2008) 768, 1-18) Since FSANZ approved it as a “processing aid” it does not even require labelling as an ingredient. (Information sourced from Flyin’ Fox website)
By contrast Flyin’ Fox ice blox contain no food additives, no reconstituted juice, no gluten, no glucose syrup, no alcohol, no eggs, and no undisclosed “processing aids”. Benna and John have developed a ‘fresh frozen’ process which means fresh fruit is converted to a frozen juice ice block in just 15 minutes!
Their range includes flavours like blood orange, lemon, pina colada, coconut, coffee, watermelon and strawberry milk – and the ice blocks include chunks of fruit, fruit pulp, fruit skin, zest, rind, and seeds. Instead of wrapping their ice blocks in plastic, Flyin’ Fox use a marine safe, compostable cellulose film derived from wood pulp. Their sticks are made from Australian Hoop Pine trees harvested from pesticide free sustainable forests in Queensland.
You can find Flyin’ Fox in health food shops, organic shops, delicatessens, grocers and cafes in north eastern NSW, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Adelaide, Brisbane and Alice Springs.
Next time you need to cool down, find yourself a Flyin’ Fox ice block – your tastebuds will love it!