Press release: ICE CASCARA regularization

A Lausanne-Based Start-Up, Ecocafe Sa, Obtains The Regulation For The Marketing Of Cascara In Switzerland; A First In Europe For This Pioneer In The Regulation Of Novel Food In Eu.Cascara Is The Spanish Name For The Pulp Of The Coffee Cherry. It Is Dried In Coffee-Producing Countries Before Being Brewed In Switzerland. It Is A Drink Rich In Antioxidants, Organic, Without Additives And Added Sugar And Promoting Sustainable Development And Circular Economy: Ice Cascara Infusion.

Under the impetus of the start-up company ECOCAFE SA, based in Lausanne, the Federal Office of Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (OSAV) recently regulated the marketing of CASCARA by applying Novel Food-type legislation, well before the rest of the EU countries. It should be noted that many countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, and of course the coffee-producing countries as a whole have already authorized it.

What is cascara?

The name “cascara” comes from Spanish and refers to the skin and pulp of the coffee cherry after the stoning of its bean (which after drying becomes a green coffee bean). This “cascara”, dried in the sun, is then brewed like a tea to produce a drink rich in natural antioxidants, with reduced caffeine content. Cascara” infusion is common in Bolivia under the name of Sultana and originated in Ethiopia with Hashara, then in Yemen, where the first written mention of Qishr, a traditional national drink, dates back to the middle of the 15th century.

Today, the western world is discovering coffee cherry infusion for its health benefits. Cascara, rich in polyphenols and potassium, described as a “superfood”, has a higher antioxidant score than pomegranate, which is praised for this quality. It is stimulating thanks to caffeine but contains no more than a classic cold tea. It also contains nootropic substances known to improve mental capacities, such as memory, concentration and other cognitive aspects such as mood and sleep. Without acting as an Instant Elixir of Youth, the consumption of cascara is nevertheless part of a modern lifestyle, sought after by an informed population and follower of a healthy life and well-being on a daily basis. What’s more, the fruity taste of the cascara infusion, without acidity or bitterness, is able to seduce young and old, and preferably ORGANIC in order to avoid the presence of pesticides.

Why is cascara durable?

After harvesting, farmers pulp the coffee cherries to remove and dry their pits, which is none other than the famous green coffee bean. The pulp of the coffee cherry is usually discarded, even though it is a superfood, rich in antioxidants, potassium, iron and fibre. By directly proposing to organic producers to valorize the pulp of their coffee cherries, ECOCAFE SA provides them with a new source of income, while promoting a responsible use of natural resources. After infusion, the pulp of the dried coffee cherries (cascara) is then transformed into biogas, working on the principles of the circular economy.

Ice Cascara Infusion?

This refreshing drink is unique in Switzerland and Europe. Infused in Switzerland (in the Valais) and available only in glass bottles, it is certified organic, without preservatives or stabilizers, no added sugars or sweeteners, no flavours or colours, gluten-free and vegan. This infusion, which comes in three flavours, Original, Moroccan Mint and Ginger, is in line with the trend of a market that is increasingly sensitive to healthy and environmentally friendly products, adhering to the values of responsible consumption and above all sustainable economy.

Who is ECOCAFE SA ?

A young start-up in Lausanne, the company promotes sustainable development values by favouring ORGANIC coffees and especially specialty coffees directly with the producers. From 2016, it has set itself the objective of developing the consumption of “cascara” coffee in order to promote a circular and ethical economy approach through the intelligent use of coffee cherry pulp. In 2019, when Switzerland announced its intention to adopt EU legislation on Novel Food, the young company pioneered the creation of an EU Novel Food regulation dossier.

After Switzerland, ECOCAFE SA is now in the process of doing the pioneering work of also regulating “cascara” at the European level.ECOCAFE SA also runs coffee shops and coffee boutiques, which offer a wide range of organic and specialty coffees.

The founding members are Fabio Bettinelli (CEO), Yves Currat (CFO/COO), Ennio Cantergiani (Food Scientist) and Philippe Carasso.

Why did cascara have to be regularized?

The EU has adopted very strict consumer protection legislation, which considers any fruit or new use of an existing fruit as a “Novel Food” requiring validation of the health risk. The coffee bean (the stone of the coffee cherry) is allowed, but the consumption of the pulp and the skin of the coffee cherry is not allowed to date (except in Switzerland!). Switzerland has recently declared that it wants to adopt the EU legislation concerning consumer protection and cascara, which was allowed under Swiss law, had to be regulated according to EU law.

Where to get the drink?

The company is actively working to expand the availability of its product in Switzerland, notably via Fooby from Coop, Globus, Jelmoli and in more than 60 sales outlets and restaurants in French-speaking Switzerland. Available online: www.icecascara.ch

The company is actively working on expanding the availability of its product in Switzerland, in particular via Fooby from Coop, Globus, Jelmoli and in more than 60 sales outlets and restaurants in French-speaking Switzerland. Available online: www.icecascara.ch