Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I love oats. Oatmeal and fruit cobbler are some of my favorite ways to use oats. But who'd think of putting oats in their drinks? Oatworks would. Oatworks are new drinks made with fruit juices and purees along with oat soluble fiber.  I got really excited about their drinks when I saw them at a food show and asked them to send me samples. After thinking more about them, however, I'm feeling lukewarm.

I love that there is oat soluble fiber in each bottle which improves heart health by lowering bad cholesterol. They also say that the viscous gel formed by oat beta glucan entraps nutrients and slows down digestion, avoiding sugar “highs” and ensuring longer-lasting energy.

The flavors are pretty tasty too. The Pomegranate Blueberry was my favorite. The flavors are smooth and free of gritty oat texture because they are just made with the oat fiber. What I don't like is that the juices are from concentrate or purees and there are preservatives. For example, the ingredients in this bottle consist of: reverse osmosis water, apple juice from concentrate, pear juice from concentrate, raspberry puree, blueberry puree, pomegranate juice from concentrate, oat soluble fiber, guar gum, natural flavor, fruit and vegetable juice for color, xantham gum.  Natural flavor could mean anything. Why do they need both guar gum and xantham gum?

So my excitement was quickly slipping as I thought more about the ingredients.

The same is true of the Strawberry Banana. This one was a bit too sweet for me anyway.

And the Peach Mango too. All of the ingredients were quite similar.

They advertise that they are gluten free, vegan, non-GMO, and Kosher, which is great. But, why aren't they organic as well. It is so hard to find a good smoothie that is organic. Who wants to drink pesticides?

I guess this review is taking a negative turn at this point. All in all, I like the idea of supplementing a fruit smoothie with oats, but why not use natural cold-pressed fruit juices without many preservatives or flavorings and make it all organic as well? I know it is expensive, but that is what will make a healthy drink. This one is only halfway there. To try them for yourself, order them here.

Full Disclosure: Although the products were provided to me for free to review, that in no way influenced my veracious opinion. 

1 comment:

  1. Angela,

    It was great meeting you at the Fancy Food Show in New York earlier this year! Thank you for sampling our products and sharing your feedback with your followers on your blog. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the smooth texture and delicious taste of Oatworks but we’re sorry that you weren’t enamored with all our ingredients. We’d love to explain a little about why we chose to work with these ingredients and clarify some of the factual information about them.

    Before we do that, we’d like to confirm that Oatworks products do not contain any preservatives. You wrote in your review that they did but that’s absolutely not the case. How do we manage to do that? Well, we use a production method known as aseptic production, which means that all the nutrients are locked into the bottle in a totally sterile environment. That means we don’t need to use any preservatives and that the juices and purees retain their nutritional content.

    Moving on to the ingredients, let’s start with the gums. Both guar gum and xanthan gum are stabilizers and thickeners, which are derived from naturally-occurring organisms: guar beans and a friendly bacterium respectively. In Oatworks, the gums are used to stabilize the oat soluble fiber (preventing it from separating), as well as to create a smoother mouthfeel. However, the vast majority of the mouthfeel and viscosity of our products comes from the oat beta glucan soluble fiber. That’s really important, because it is the viscosity of the gel that is formed by the oat beta glucan that is responsible for the satiety effect and cholesterol-lowering effect.

    Regarding the use of concentrates or purees – well, yes, in an ideal world, we’d be using cold-pressed, freshly-squeezed juices. But then we’d have a shelf-life of one week and would need to keep the products refrigerated during transportation, storage and retail. That would add massively to both our costs and our carbon footprint. The same goes for the use of organic ingredients – we’d love to use them but they would increase the cost of our ingredients by almost half. Should we be trying to create products for the 0.001% of consumers who can afford to pay $10-$12 per bottle or doing our best to improve the health qualities of beverages that can be enjoyed everyday at an affordable price by the majority? We thought there was a greater need for the latter, especially given the epidemic levels of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

    We know we’re not perfect (who is?) but we’re doing our best to create a genuinely healthy oat and fruit smoothie that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. We’ll keep striving to be better and as we grow, we hope to be able to incorporate some of your ideas.

    The Oatworks Team