We work with an extremely talented and dedicated group of New Zealand oat farmers, known as the NZ Oat Industry Group. This group of collective farmers grow for NZ's only oat mill, a 150 year old family owned company, called Harraways. We love our growers and we love our millers. Without them we wouldn't have this superfood on our doorstep and access to making the best oat based products in the world. Cheers to that. When it comes to Glyphosate use, let's be honest, like anywhere in the world NZ has been sold on the use of this chemical and we as a nation have used it widely. It's well publicised the effects of this chemical especially in our food chain. So, we are extremely lucky that the Oat Growers Group, and Harraways, have banned the use of Glyphosate in the oat growing process. F*k yeah.
All of our oats are proudly Kiwi grown. Southland and Otago, New Zealand, to be precise. (If you haven't visited, get down here - it's beautiful). There are around 60 to 70 oat growers that produce the world's most nutritious oat variety, the L5. All of these oats are processed at Harraways Mill in majestic, sunny Dunedin, NZ.
Oh we’re pleased you asked, one of our favourite topics! Not all oat milk contains beta-glucan, but our special process means we lock this good stuff in! Beta Glucans are a soluble fibre, they form a gel-like substance when it mixes with water. This gel coats the stomach and digestive tract, and also feeds good bacteria in the gut, which increases their growth rate. It soaks up water like a sponge and helps to keep our bowel movements regular so it can pass through the gut more easily. As a result, carbohydrates are absorbed slower, resulting in more steady blood sugar. In addition, it moves slowly through the digestive tract, taking cholesterol with it as it goes as well as many other great health benefits.
There are many benefits of Beta glucans that we could rattle off but the main ones are:
- Assisting the reduction of blood cholesterol levels
- A feeling of ‘satiety or fullness’ which helps to keep our weight under control
- Stabilising glucose – which is especially important for those with diabetes
- Reducing the risk of other conditions (such as heart disease and some cancers)
So yeah, that’s the key rundown on our wee fibrous friends!
Well, we might be ever-so-slightly biased in this department, but heck yeah, oat m!lk is where it’s at!
We see oat m!lk as a real wonderkid of the ‘dairy’ space’, as oats create diversity between both the crops and animals on our land. Not only do they pull carbon from the air, they’ve also been shown to pull excess nitrogen from the soil, which we know is having a detrimental impact on our waterways. Global research even shows that the oat m!lk footprint is much lighter, with one litre of oat m!lk production requiring 11 times less land and 13 times less water than producing one litre of dairy m!lk. That one litre of oat m!lk also emits 3.5 times fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its dairy equivalent. If you’d like us to throw some more numbers at you then take a look at our ‘Why Change’ page.
To really see what the oaty fuss is about though, you should just grab a carton and just give it a try for yourself. It’s great for your health, excellent for the environment, a feel-good choice for the mind and soul – and of course it’s tasty too!
Oh really? Fabulous news, Otis and the oat growing community of NZ would love to have you on board! For a bit of background information on our supplier situation, we work with the NZ Oat Industry Group, a collective made up of approximately 60 to 70 oat growers who produce the Southern Gold L5 variety. They supply to Harraways for processing, which is who we then purchase from. To join in on the fun, your best bet would be to contact Harraways directly for further information about becoming a grower. If you don’t have any luck, then contact us and we can point you in the right direction.
Well, this is a tricky one, it depends who you ask! To make sure we cover the most important definition, we will use the recommendation by Coeliacs New Zealand. They advise that it is impossible for oats to be genuinely gluten-free. Gluten is the name given to a protein found in barley, rye, oats and wheat. The individual proteins are hordein (barley), secalin (rye), avenin (oats) and gliadin (wheat). According to Coeliac New Zealand, avenin is an essential part of oats so because avenin is gluten, oats can technically never really be gluten-free. The current tests for gluten can measure gliadin, hordein, and secalin but not avenin as it is a slightly different protein. So, when people discuss gluten-free oats and laboratories advise that oats are gluten-free, it should be said that they are free from wheat gliadin (plus rye and barley) with no measurable contamination. Avenin is an essential part of oats (as gliadin is with wheat). Oats will never be gluten (i.e. avenin) free, even if they are described as gluten (i.e. gliadin) free. Are we making some sort of sense here?
In layman’s terms, always consult your health professional if you're unsure. If you're Coeliac, oats aren’t for you. If you're Gluten intolerant, oats maybe aren't for you. If you're Gluten free, holy moly you should try oats and specifically oat m!lk – oaty things are great!
The sugar in our oat m!lk is produced during our enzymatic production process. Basically, we use natural enzymes to liquefy our oats, which enables us to create a really creamy product that retains a lot of the nutrition from the original oat (like protein, unsaturated fats, fibres and carbs).
As part of this process, the enzymes break the starches in our oats down into smaller components, including simple sugar like maltose. It’s comparable to how the human body uses enzymes to break starches down into sugars during digestion.
Yes, we add some sugar beet to our chocolate oat m!ilk to help balance out the bitterness of the cocoa. However, we opted to use the least amount of added sugar as possible, so we landed with 2.5% added sugar in our chocolate m!lk.
No, our products contain no thickeners or gums to help stabilise them. That’s that.
Yes, yes it is. All our products are made using vegan and vegetarian friendly ingredients, right down to our fortified vitamins. We even produce in a facility where no dairy containing ingredients are allowed on site.
We fortify our oat m!lk with vitamins and minerals because we want to offer our vegan friends a delicious dairy alternative that is also nutritionally balanced. We add calcium, potassium and vitamins D2, B12 and riboflavin, all of which are 100% vegan-friendly and make for valuable additions to the diet.
Dipotassium phosphate is a mineral and another carefully considered addition to our oat m!lk formulation to help with stability in coffee. As you may know, coffee is quite acidic, so this can sometimes cause separation when paired with the more neutral Oat M!lk. In this situation, Dipotassium Phosphate comes in to act as a buffer and help these two pair perfectly together!
Additives and preservatives are often seen as scary words in the context of food products and we can sympathise with this scepticism too, so we only use the bare essentials in our products. Dipotassium Phosphate is a necessary yet completely safe addition that allows us to nail the acidity regulation of our Barista M!lk, to prevent any nasty surprises when you’re making your morning cuppa.
When formulating our perfect version of Otis, we didn’t add any extra ingredients just for the sake of it. Everything found within our oat m!lk has a key purpose and was a carefully considered addition to the recipe. We are always trying to find a balance between sustainability, function, taste and health, and we believe that rapeseed oil enables us to deliver on all those values.
You will find 3.0g of fat per 100mL of m!lk in our Barista M!lk, which takes into account both naturally occurring fats and a very small amount of added rapeseed oil. On the other hand, our everyday m!lk contains half the amount of oil and 1.5g per 100mL of M!lk. We add oil to our products as it helps with the creamy flavour and plays a large role in both the froth-ability and the texture of our m!lks. Because of this, the barista version contains more to make it the perfect m!lky companion for a shot or two of espresso.
We specifically chose rapeseed as our ideal oil because it has the significantly lower levels of saturated fat when compared with other options, and it has a neutral taste profile that lets the flavour of our gorgeous oats be the centre of attention. It is high in essential fatty acids and abundant in Vitamin E.
We are very happy to report that our current Swedish manufacturer oil supplier is dedicated to non-genetically modified production, so we only use non-GMO rapeseed oil. All raw materials, ingredients and additives at the production plant are of non-GMO origin.
As you may know, Otis so far has been New Zealand’s biggest cheerleader for using only homegrown oats for m!lk and supporting New Zealand farmers to grow more oats. We want to help farmers lead the way in farming for the 21st century - a way of farming that’s more diverse, more plant based and works in harmony with nature not against it.
Much has been written about our desire to see oat m!lk manufacturing take off in NZ, and it’s no secret we have been working hard at setting up a NZ factory that produces the country’s first dairy-free, and plastic free oat m!lk.The road to building a NZ factory has been a four year journey for Otis, we’ve completed several in depth feasibility studies across various sites, have detailed process designs drawn up and have it costed down to the nut and bolt. However to protect our future plans, we won’t be commenting further on the factory until we have good news to announce with our partners.
NZ production is first and foremost the very top priority for Otis, so to get this weight off our shoulders will be an enormous relief. You can be rest assured that we will shout it from the rooftops once we’ve finally got this mammoth project across the line.
Recycling / Packaging
Rather than answering your question here, we’d like to politely re-direct you to a fantastically informative page on our website that is solely dedicated to the very topic of recycling. We are conscious that FAQs are meant to be short and snappy, so for everything you could possibly want to know on this subject,please click here!
We love it when people want to know about the nitty-gritty details of our decisions, because who doesn’t love to talk about stuff that they’re passionate about?!
This is best answered with more in-depth information, so click here to find out more.
We’ve formulated our Barista Edition to work particularly well in hot beverages and steam beautifully for a flat oat or cappuccino. The Barista one has a higher fat content—3g per 100ml, which makes it extra creamy. It’s perfect in espresso and coffee, and also great for baking and cooking. Our Everyday one has a fat content of 1.5g per 100ml and is delicious on cereal, in smoothies, or served straight from the carton.
At the moment, we are really trying to temper our enthusiasm and resist getting too carried away with the variety of our product offerings, not until we have NZ manufacturing underway. After that momentous milestone, we’ll be able to go to town, so keep your eyes peeled and watch this space.
If we answered this question, we’d have to kill you.
We will let you in on a little secret though - anything you can make out of cow’s milk, you can make with oat m!lk. We’ll let you ponder that one for a while and begin to imagine the enormous possibilities that can be found within the oat-sphere – it’s quite overwhelming don’t you reckon?
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Unfortunately due to courier costs, we don’t directly deliver to any offshore locations including Waiheke, the Chathams and Great Barrier. We do however supply to selected stores and cafes such as Countdown, Gulf Foods, and The Island Grocer (all on Waiheke) as well as Stonewall Sisters (Great Barrier).Just between us and you cool island folk though, no-one should ever be deprived of oat m!lk, so if you get in contact with us then perhaps we can make some special arrangements firstname.lastname@example.org