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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FUL®

What is FUL®?

FUL® comes from one of the most nutrient-dense natural substances on earth: Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae.

FUL® is the key ingredient around which the drink is designed – it’s what gives you that kick of vitamins and minerals... and, yes, that signature bad-ass aqua colour.

How is FUL® different from Spirulina?

We wanted to make all the goodness of Spirulina easily available without the very distinct and (dare we say unappealing?) taste. Our team has been working with some of the leading food technologists and flavor scientists in the world to transform Spirulina through a completely natural process into a tasty, unapologetically blue drink you can enjoy throughout your day.

Unlike Blue Spirulina (which consists of a single component in Spirulina – a protein-pigment complex called phycocyanin), FUL® contains a more complete nutritional profile (including chlorophyll), hence its turquoise color.

While Spirulina can be cultivated in a highly sustainable way, the majority of (Blue) Spirulina is not produced as sustainably as it could be and even risks contamination with heavy metals.

FUL® is derived from an ultra-premium locally grown Spirulina that is produced according to the highest quality and sustainability standards we’ve developed to ensure that we use more CO2 than we produce in the production process (more on this below).

Unlike Spirulina, FUL® doesn’t contain vitamin K or high amounts of beta carotene that more aggressively restrict the daily intake amount.

Why is FUL® blue? Is it natural?

Yes, the blue is all natural – we don’t add any artificial colorants to the drink (!) The blue is coming from an antioxidant in the Spirulina called phycocyanin, a protein-pigment complex known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps the body create red blood cells

Why is FUL® good for your health?

Yes. FUL® is a source of natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, electrolytes and proteins.

See page About FUL® for the complete breakdown of “What Makes FUL® ?”

What is the difference between Algae vs. Microalgae vs. Spirulina vs. FUL®?

Algae is a broader term used to refer to aquatic life forms that can conduct photosynthesis – similar to plants but without roots, leaves or stems. Algae range from macroalgae (aka seaweed) to microalgae (microscopic algae invisible to the naked eye). FUL® is an extract of Spirulina and can be grouped with microalgae.

Ok now let’s get technical…

We at FUL Foods – like many other experts – consider Spirulina in the microalgae camp, and algae camp more broadly. Spirulina is a cyanobacteria (technically the historical predecessor to microalgae) and is sometimes grouped separately because cyanobacteria are prokaryotic microorganisms (consisting of a single membrane without a nucleus), unlike other types of microalgae that are eukaryotes (where the DNA is contained within a nucleus). Spirulina lacks cellulose walls, which makes its nutrients simpler to digest compared to other types of eukaryotic microalgae.

Spirulina (like other types of algae and plants) can also photosynthesize, which means they have the ability to produce their own food by using sunlight (converting sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to biomass). Cyanobacteria are named after the word ‘cyan’ meaning a ‘turquoise blue’ color. Hence, they are also called blue-green algae.

Is FUL® in any other products besides a drink?

Not yet (!) but we are working on incorporating FUL® through other healthy and convenient products.

Sustainability

Why is consuming FUL® good for the planet?

For starters, FUL® uses fewer natural resources than most sources of nutrition.

✓ NO ARABLE LAND: Unlike plant-based staples such as pea or soy, FUL® does not require arable land – a limited and diminishing resource the pursuit of which often causes massive deforestation and the overuse of which often leaves the land unusable. FUL® can even be grown on top of buildings or even in the desert – turning underutilized and/or local space into nutrition-generation centers.


✓ NO FERTILIZERS AND PESTICIDES: FUL® uses no fertilizers or pesticides that can cause harmful chemical runoffs instigating algae blooms and destroying natural water ecosystems.


✓ LIMITED FRESH WATER: FUL® also uses very limited fresh water in its production. Unlike other types of crops which absorb water through the ground, FUL® is kept in a closed loop system allowing 85% of water used in the production process to be collected after harvesting and reutilized during the next cultivation.


✓ MORE NUTRIENTS: FUL® leverages on the potential of microalgae to produce nutrients. Thanks to its high photosynthetic efficiency, it produces more protein than soy beans.


But beyond doing “less harm” to our ecosystem, FUL® actually does some good!


FUL® uses more CO2 (coming from other waste streams or captured from the air) than it emits in the production process.

Our Spirulina uses 1.8x its weight in CO2

While other plants (and food sources) perform photosynthesis – turning CO2 into nutrients and oxygen – (micro)algae are more efficient at this process and can even capture more than 200 times the amount of CO2 than trees.

Why? Trees and other plants capture CO2 only through photosynthetic pigments such as chlorophyll-containing parts of its structure (i.e. leaves). Chlorophyll is essential to perform photosynthesis (in which CO2 is converted into O2 and other nutrients). Leaves are often only a small fraction of a tree (think Trunk! Branches! Stems!) limiting its ability to continually perform photosynthesis and thus take in CO2 and produce O2 and nutrients. On the other hand, algae can have a higher density of chlorophyll in its mass – allowing them to perform more photosynthesis and more consistently. Carotenoids and other types of photosynthetic pigments (like our beloved blue phycocyanine)that also transform CO2 into energy are also found in algae. Trees take years to grow and accumulate carbon in its various parts (trunk, leaves, fruits), whereas algae grow more quickly and therefore more efficiently convert CO2 into nutrients – not to mention that microalgae do not have a fixed size and - unlike trees - and can infinitely reproduce.

What is carbon neutral vs. carbon negative vs. climate positive?

There are many terms floatings around there coming from companies ranging from Shell to Microsoft to Nike to Starbucks. At a high level, a lot of companies are pledging to offset their operations through investing in greener technologies, more sustainable practices and carbon offsets (projects that reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere such as planting trees). Many of these companies have pledged to be carbon neutral which means that their offsets equal their emissions.

Carbon negative” companies or products commit to offset more than they emit through their operations. Similarly, “Climate Positive” aims to do more good than harm. In our view, climate positive is less about mitigating the impacts of a product or company, but more about the proactive benefits that product or company can have on the climate.  

In our case the way we grow our FUL® can help free up arable land, avoid using harmful fertilizers and pesticides, avoid using fresh water and natural resources and utilizing monoculture practices that lead to desertification. Most importantly we aim to use more CO2 than we emit throughout the process of growing spirulina. 

If microalgae is so efficient at capturing CO2, why don’t we let it serve as a carbon sink?

Microalgae are indeed more efficient at capturing CO2 than trees and could be explored as carbon sinks. Like trees, algae can be grown to capture ambient CO2, remove carbon dioxide and sequester it in the form of biomass. 

We at FUL foods also see significant potential in microalgae as a low carbon footprint food source – especially when you calculate the significantly lower environmental impact of growing microalgae for food vis-a-vis the other key sources of animal and even plant based nutrition.

Unlike trees and plants where only the fruits or leaves can be consumed, all the microalgae biomass can be consumed by humans. Microalgae contains an immense amount of nutrients (protein, minerals and vitamins) that are directly bioavailable by the human body. Microalgae, basically, transforms CO2 and sunlight into available nutrients. With over 60% of protein content, microalgae is a high quality plant-based protein source.

FUL® Revive

Why does FUL® use glass bottles?

We did an extensive evaluation of all the available packaging options and selected glass because it has the highest recycling rates in the current markets we are serving in Western Europe. While PET has a lower carbon footprint (for example) than glass, we looked more holistically at the environmental impact and potential long term damage of the packaging. In the end, there is no packaging solution that is ideal from a sustainability perspective (yet!) and this requires continued investment in new innovations which we are keeping a close eye on.

Why is FUL® Revive blue? Is it natural?

We don’t add any artificial colorants to the drink (!) The blue is coming from the goodness of an antioxidant in the microalgae called phycocyanin. Phycocyanin is a protein-pigment complex and has known anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps the body create red blood cells

When should I drink FUL® Revive?

FUL® Revive can be consumed at any point of the day. Many people seem to like it as a midday pick-me-up, after a workout (“nature’s replenishment”), with a meal or as a social refreshment. #bluedrinking

What pairs well with FUL® Revive?

Like other tonics, FUL® Revive can be excellent in cocktails (including non alcoholic options). We suggest substituting FUL® Revive in any cocktail recipe that calls for tonic if you are looking for a blue/greener and lower calorie options. 

Plus all the vitamins and minerals the FUL® Revive help keep you hydrated and feeling good ...

Can my children drink FUL® Revive?

Yes! FUL® has no added sugar or artificial flavors/coloring like a lot of other refreshing beverages kids tend to like. Plus, it is a great way for the little ones to get their vitamins and minerals. Maybe you even score some cool points for offering such a sustainable and crazy-blue colored drink??

Can I drink FUL® Revive if I’m pregnant?

Yes, there are no adverse effects.

Can I replace a meal with FUL® Revive?

FUL® Revive has 20 or fewer calories, so no.

Why isn’t FUL® Revive organic?

As you might have seen, most of the ingredients we use are certified organic. However, the microalgae that we use is not. This is a very conscious decision in order to minimize the carbon footprint of our products. Microalgae grown organically has to comply with certain requirements that increase the carbon footprint of the cultivation process and this is something that at FUL Foods we are not ready to give up on. We are actively working with leading biologists in the world to find a sustainable organic replacement for some of this requirements. 

There is some sedimentation at the bottom of my drink – what is this?

Given that this is a natural product, like other natural juices or beverages, some of the nutrients from the spirulina or the added juices (ginger, lemon or lime) can separate and drop to the bottom. Best to give the drink a bit of a gentle shake to make sure you get all the flavor and nutrition in your next gulp!

Buying FUL®

Where can I find FUL?

For now, you can buy FUL® Revive online (if you live in the Netherlands or Belgium) and in select stores, cafes, bars, fitness studios and restaurants. Check out our Instagram @ful_superfood for more details on where to drink blue.

FUL is not available in my area, what can I do?

Send us an email at info@fulfoods.com

I am stockist: how do I buy FUL?

Send us an email at info@fulfoods.com