The legalization of cannabis in Ecuador has opened the door for many new investment and business opportunities, one of them being in the food industry. It is reported that food companies are starting to use hemp as an ingredient in their products, from toppings to burgers, in order to offer their customers a new, healthy and revolutionary option that will help their bodies.
Chocolates, ‘toppings’ and vegan burgers with cannabis are some of the products that are already made in Ecuador. That, after the legalization of hemp, which opened up great opportunities in the food industry.
“The coupling of hemp seeds will be much easier in the food industry than in others because it already has processors for the production of products,” said Farith Pino, founder of the organization Cáñamo Industrial Ecuador.
The company distributes it from the beginning with a sanitary registration. This ingredient has a flavor similar to that of walnut. It is used as a ‘topping’ for salads and desserts. It can be used similarly to sesame. It is also a good replacement for pine nuts in pesto sauce, and it is also used in sweets and beverages.
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Cannabis is revolutionizing the food industry
The Mayu Ecuador company launched the Chocomedical bar two and a half years ago. This is a bar of dark chocolate made with Ecuadorian organic cocoa. It is sweetened with panela and free of dairy and additives.
This is a product for therapeutic use, explained Lizbeth Fajardo, the corporation’s commercial director. In addition to CBD, it is enriched with vitamin B6 and tryptophan. The formula is ideal for treating disorders such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, premenstrual syndrome, among others.
In September 2020, Mayu will launch gummies and a CBD-infused drink. The gummies are vegan and are made with turmeric, ginger and citric acid that replace chemical stabilizers. The drink will have flavors of medicinal plants, including lemon verbena, mint, and lemon balm.
“These products are not directed to pathologies, but to regulate our body,” said Fajardo. Their consumption is recommended in times of great stress, such as mourning or a presentation. It is also recommended that athletes take it after workouts, to help them in physical recovery.
Hemp is also being used to produce Vegan burgers
In September 2020, the vegan fast food restaurant “The Vegan Spot” will launch ‘Hemp Burger’ and a pesto sauce made with cannabis seeds.
“Hemp provides us with nutritional values to replace meat. The flavor is rich and has a very pleasant texture,” said Shadia Haboud, owner of the establishment.
The burger will be served on a ciabatta bread made with extra virgin olive oil and vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi (two types of sauerkraut). Although traditional vegetables such as lettuce will also be used.
The law is in favor of this cannabis food revolution
The decriminalization of non-psychoactive cannabis in Ecuador has been in force since June 21st, 2020. The regulations of the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Agency for Health Regulation, Control and Surveillance (Arcsa) must be published until October 19th, 2020.
The Draft Regulations for the Human Use and Consumption of Cannabis and Derivatives prepared by the Arcsa contemplates aspects of the food industry in articles 14, 15, 17 and 18. This is disclosed by the lawyer Cecilia Falconí, part of the hemp cluster of the Chamber of Commerce of Quito.
These articles indicate that in Ecuador they will be able to reach food hangers and supplements made with any part of the non-psychoactive cannabis. Furthermore, the amount of THC may not exceed 0.3%. Advertising images will also be regulated and the attribution of therapeutic properties in food and supplements will be prohibited.
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First published in El Comercio, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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