Avocado fans: Have you ever wondered what to do with the seed?
Sheetal Bahirat and Zuri Masud, two food science graduate students from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA did. And it sparked a delicious idea that is now a full-fledged business.
The two figured out how to extract the seed’s beneficial antioxidants into an innovative new brew they named Reveal. Launched in August 2020, the product not only seeks to provide a healthy and unique beverage alternative, but to address food waste as well.
Food sustainability was a focus for both Bahirat and Masud during their time at the Drexel Food Lab. In fact, it was in that lab while making a giant bowl of guacamole that the idea was sparked. “We found out that 15 million pounds of avocado seeds are going in the trash every single week in the U.S.,” said Bahirat. Avocado seeds became her masters thesis topic, where she learned they had the same antioxidants found in tea and wine, which could be extracted for human consumption and turned into a drink. After graduation, she teamed up with Masud and the Rutgers Food Innovation Center to bring the idea to scale.
The extract of about two seeds per bottle is combined with apple cider vinegar, monk fruit and other natural flavors. Health benefits range from boosting immunity, aiding digestion and fighting free radicals, all while upcycling food waste from the environment.
That’s all well and good, you might be thinking, but how does it taste?
The two women describe Reveal as light and refreshing, “more elevated and interesting than an iced tea” but more “approachable” than kombucha. They currently offer three flavors: Grapefruit Lavender, Mango Ginger and Rose Mint, all uncarbonated with no added sugars, so they aren’t too sweet or overpowering.
Since they launched during a pandemic, distribution remains local to the Philadelphia area for now with plans for regional expansion in the near future. They also ship nationally from their website, even offering a small sampler pack for those who remain skeptical of the idea but want a taste. And of course, this duo isn’t quite done with the avocado just yet. Much more can be done with the seed and the skins, and the two food scientists say they have a ton of ideas ready to brew.
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