A NEW "genre" of healthy sauces and dips has been released with Yandina-based CO YO's invention of fermented coconut yogurt, thanks to the imagination and hard work of co-founder Sandra Gosling.
"The genre of fermented vegetables, which is a huge innovation in itself, is not new, of course," Sandra said at a recent Food and Agribusiness Network presentation.
"Fermenting vegetables is age-old."
Fermented foods such as Korean kimchi and German sauerkraut boost the level of beneficial bacteria in the bowels, aiding digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
"It's a wonderful way of preserving food, and a wonderful way of releasing enzymes in food and creating nutrition that can be very, very easily absorbed," Sandra said.
"From a gut health perspective it's a wonderful food."
Sandra was speaking at FAN's first networking event for 2016, which focused on innovation in food and agribusiness.
CO YO founders and owners Sandra and Henry Gosling are no strangers to innovation, having launched the first ever yogurt made from coconut milk in 2010.
As Henry and Sandra were "forerunners" in their field, learning and innovating became a big focus, Sandra said.
A key discovery for the pair was the fact that CO YO's main market was among people who were intolerant to gluten or dairy.
"We were amazed at how many people were intolerant to the (other) yogurt products, for whatever reason," Sandra said.
"We soon learned that that is where our market was."
Sandra explained that the idea for CO YO's innovative fermented product came to her at a workshop on gut health held by Donna Gates, author of the international bestselling book The Body Ecology Diet, which promotes sugar-free, gluten-free, casein-free eating.
Casein is a protein found in milk, cheese and processed foods.
"I thought how can we combine this with what we're doing?" she said.
"I so believe that we need to replace or enhance the flora in our gut…a lot of our chronic illnesses and diseases are related to that."
Over the past few months Sandra recreated a fermentation process in the CO YO factory and has combined pureed fermented vegetables with CO YO yogurts.
The result - CO YO With Fermented Vegetables - is a dip or dressing and can be used to enhance food flavours.