How does Lush use fresh fruit in their products? p writes: I just stumbled upon Lush's youtube channel, and I found a video you might find really interesting. It's on how they make their Avobath Bath Bomb (a citric acid - baking soda bath bomb with fresh avocado). The video shows them cutting up real fresh avocados, squishing them, and adding them to the mixer containing the other bath bomb ingredients! AND there are no preservatives listed on the label!
Here are the ingredients for their Avobath Bath Bomb:
* Sodium Bicarbonate,
* Citric Acid,
* Fresh Avocado (Persea gratissima),
* Olive Oil (Olea europaea),
* Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogan flexuosus),
* Bergamot Oil (Citrus bergamia),
* Rosewood Oil (Aniba rosaeordora),
* Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides),
* Green Lustre (Potassium Aluminum Silicate, Titanium Dioxide, FD&C Yellow No.5 and FD&C Blue No. 1).
You can see in the vid that there are only a few avocados in gallons of bath bomb, but still, no preservatives? As far as I understand, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, olive oil, and the essential oil and essential oil fractions shouldn't have any hidden preservatives, as they're stable on their own. Maybe preservatives are hidden in their "perfume"? But still, would it really be enough to preserve those fresh avocados?
Hi p! Thanks for the comment and all the work that went into it.
The browning of the avocado is an oxidation reaction, so we need something to prevent that. Citric acid works well as an anti-oxidant, so this might be the key to the product. If we use put avocado into an environment with a lot of acid, maybe it won't go brown on us!
In this article, they preserve avocado paste with acidic ingredients - it made it taste bad, but it keeps it from browning. And in this article, it is noted: "The combination of reducing substances, organic acids, and sequestering agents in refrigerated products has shown to be effective in delaying guacamole and avocado paste browning." One of those organic acids and sequestering agents is - you guessed it - citric acid. (The other is EDTA, and that seems to work as well, according to this article, but we don't see EDTA listed.)
As a side note, a few cooking sites I googled have indicated that olive oil might work to prevent browning, which is supported by this patent.
Having said this, none of these things will keep the avocado from going off - they just keep it from browning. I think there might be a preservative lurking in the "perfume" section of the ingredient list, although Lush claims they don't use preservatives. I don't believe they can make these products without preservatives, and I've seen rumours they are using things like honeysuckle extract, preservatives that can be called "natural".
As a quick aside, I don't think this is a self-preserving or a well-preserved product. I think it's a very poorly preserved product and the avocado probably goes off, but we don't notice it because there really is very little of the fresh product in the bath bomb. If you're familiar with my philosophy, I am a firm believer in preserving our products well! I'm just trying to figure out why the avocado might not go brown in this product!
I think the key here is the relatively low level of avocado in the product. The green of the product is deceptive - the video shows the bath bomb mixture is green before the avocado enters the picture and we see the colourants on the ingredient list. That Hobart mixer is anywhere from 30 quarts to 140 quarts (about 30 litres to 140 litres) - it looks like it's at least the 80 quart mixer - and there's maybe 2 litres of avocado in there, so we're looking at a 1:40 ratio of avocado to bath bomb mix up to a 1:70 ratio. I think it would be easy to keep 1.4% to 2.5% avocado from going brown with at least 30% citric acid. I still think it will be a great environment for beasties and other yucky things, but it will remain green. (Or perhaps it goes brown, but we don't notice it for all those other colourants?)
Does anyone else lust after that mixer? (No? So it's just me then.) And did anyone notice olive oil is considered one of the essential oils in the blend? And does anyone find it slightly inappropriate that employees are using the industrial sinks for bathing?
Thanks for giving me something to research first thing in the morning, p!