UPDATE: As much as I love the concept of Kencko, if I drink them too fast they make me vomit, even when very diluted. I reluctantly withdraw my seal of approval.
Sometimes the modern economy really delivers.
As longtime readers know, I have two strikes against me when it comes to food: it requires both chewing and digesting. Chewing is painful for me due to nerve damage in my jaw. Digesting… well some of the problems with digestion are caused by insufficient stomach acid, but those are easily treated with a pill. I still have problems when I take the pills and no one knows why. So I eat a lot of things that require minimal chewing and are easy to digest. This set of things has very little overlap with the set of things my nutritionist wants me to eat, such as produce. I eat some fruits and veggies, especially in the summer, but not nearly enough.
Kencko produces small packets of powderized fruits and vegetables. This requires no chewing and substantially less digestion. They taste fine. Not amazing, but fine. You could probably make them taste better by adding sugar or honey. Because they’re produced by freeze drying, they’re better nutritionally than other preserved fruit. Not as good as fresh, but, in the words of my nutritionist, “better than anything you’re actually going to do.”
Nutritionists are hit-or-miss, so I double checked the nutrition claim myself. Based on a rushed review (primary source), I find that freeze drying has some nutritional loss, exact amount depending on the nutrient, but within the range that could conceivably counterbalanced by the increased digestibility of powder (this also means the sugar hits faster), and also the fact that I’m eating them at all. I suspect the biggest loss is the absence of probiotic flora in the sterilized powder packets.
There’s the issue of price. I was originally going to apologize for the price, chalk it up to convenience, and plead necessity for myself, but it turns out the packets are not that expensive relative to comparables. Ordered in the largest size, Kencko is $3.07/ounce. I spent 45 minutes finding prices for other freeze dried fruit powders, and that’s as good as you can do short of wholesale (spreadsheet). There are cheaper powders, but they’re inevitably something other than freeze-dried.
How about compared to actual fruit? It takes .44 lbs of fruit to produce one 20 g Kencko packet (price: $2.16-$3.30, depending on quantity ordered). According to this USDA report (chart on page 3), .5 lbs is $0.66-$0.90 cents worth of apples, $2.16 worth of blueberries, or $2.10-$2.85 worth of cherries. Note that those are advertised prices, so probably less than what you’d pay on average and certainly less than what you’d pay out of season, and for conventional produce rather than the organics Kencko uses. Kencko is definitely more expensive than in-season, on-sale produce, but not ridiculously so. Plus it never goes bad so you’re not paying for produce you throw away.
The worst thing I will say about Kencko is that their mixer bottle sucks. It mixes less well and is harder to clean than a Blender Bottle (affiliate link), buy one of those or use a spoon.
Obviously if you can just eat a vegetable you should do that. But if you find that untenable for some reason, Kencko is a reasonable way to turn money into consumed produce. This is an incredibly good trade for me and I’m really happy it exists.
[Kencko has not paid me for this post and I’m not in contact with them beyond ordering the product and following them on Twitter.]
7 thoughts on “Kencko Fruit Powder: Better Than Anything I’m Actually Going to do”
I would not necessarily trust concentrated food stuffs manufactured in China:
at mealsquares we have the luxury of testing our suppliers, but individuals aren’t going to lay out the ~1k per test on this. I kind of wish there was a consumer food review site that specialized in lab testing.
do you know for sure kencko is using chinese produce (I didn’t see one way or the other)? D
does consumerlab.com do what you’re thinking?
Yes, consumerlab is the biggest in the space I know of.
The sourcing is obvious from the english on the website. Different countries have different characteristic language errors.
Could you point out these errors? The company is based in Lisbon and NYC, the founders all have Latin names, and none of the sources listed at https://www.kencko.com/pages/health-benefits are China (the closest being ginger from India and pineapple from Vietnam).
Weird, I initially saw a page full of the prose like this seen at the bottom of the shop page but now can’t find it:
Carrying unnecessary weight. And for what? Today’ technology allows ingredients to remain true to itself, far away from chemicals, while bringing the convenience of a longer longevity. That means you no longer have to carry long and heavy lists of bottles. You don’t need to plan ahead your stock or trips to the market. You don’t need to peel, clean and wash, nor to have a mixer to have high quality nutritious juices.
Would smoothies work for you? I have about a pound of frozen fruit most mornings in a smoothie. I’m told you can also add vegetables, I have plenty from other sources so I don’t. No idea on digestibility, but part of the reason is that the rest of my diet requires enough chewing that I was running out of time at work.
+1 I’d be inclined towards adding one of the supergreens mixes to frozen fruit and seeing if it is cost competitive.
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