Utilizing a State-of-the-art Grass Milling Process

Our greens are U.S. grown and milled to a fine powder. They mix well in liquids. If a customer requests, we can mill our powder so fine that 80 percent will go through an 80-mesh screen. We prefer not to mill to this talcum-powder consistency because extremely milled greens do not mix well in water. They form clumps instead of dispersing. The extremely fine particle size also results in much faster oxidization which leads to browning of color. Products with talcum powder greens usually provide about half the nutritional levels of green products sourced with our true cereal grass.

Regardless of milling, our true cereal grasses are known for their brilliant green color as well as a sweet aroma and flavor. By comparison, highly processed, aspirated flag grass from other growers is often made into a not-so-green talcum powder that doesn’t mix well, has a bitter flavor, a poor color, and a rather unpleasant aroma.

Major differences in nutrition also exist. Cereal grasses from other growers are made from the flag grass stage of growth. Flag grass has less than half the nutrition of true cereal grass from Pines/Cerophyl. This is clear by comparing nutrition panels of green food products sourced from other growers and those sourced from us.

As shown in the facts panel comparison to the left, cereal grass sourced from Pines is more nutrient-dense. The reason for this is simple. Other products are not true cereal grass, but they are often flag grass. Food scientists frequently research nutrition at the growth stages for cereal grass. Each time, they find the same results.

Cereal grass reaches peak nutrition for only a couple of days in its growth cycle. At that stage, it has a sweet taste and aroma. After that, the nutrition quickly drops, the vibrant color is lost, and the flavor changes. The data to the right is from scientists, who documented those changes.

The left panel shows the nutritional density at the jointing stage when Pines/Cerophyl harvests compared to the density at the flag grass stage when others harvest. The right panel shows how the fiber content increases as the nutrition decreases. It also shows how much taller the plant becomes each day after jointing.

Given this dramatic decrease in nutrition, why would any grower harvest after jointing? The answer is yield. Flag grass yields 1,000 kilos or more per acre. True cereal grass yields less than 200 kilos per acre.

When growers harvest at the flag grass stage, a high percentage of fiber results from stems that form in flag grass. As the stems form and the seed head moves up inside them, the true cereal grass is drained of nutrition to make the flag grass. In the picture on the reverse side, brown cereal grass is shown at the base of each flag grass stem. It is brown. It was drained of its high nutritional density to support the growth of the seed head inside each flag grass stem. Pines harvests before seed heads begin this journey and before flag grass stems develop.

The plant changes dramatically after the jointing stage. Pines/Cerophyl harvests only at the jointing stage (on the left). Compare that with the flag grass stage (on the right). True cereal grass no longer exists at that stage. The flavor and color are much different than true cereal grass. The nutrition drops to a fraction of what it was as true cereal grass.

These thick stems are a problem for flag grass. If not removed, they make up about 30% of dried material. Removing stems is easy with a process known as aspiration. Aspiration completely removes flag grass stems, leaving only the leaves. Unfortunately, as graph and nutritional facts panels on the other side show, flag grass leaves contain less than 50% the nutrition of true cereal grass shown in the picture to the left.

Big profits are on the side of marketing flag grass and claiming it is true cereal grass harvested at the jointing stage. Even if the stems these growers remove represent half their harvest, at 1,000 kilos per acre, flag grass growers can still achieve more than 500 kilos per acre yield. That’s about three times more per acre than Pines’ yield for true cereal grass at the jointing stage.

The kind of fiber in true cereal grass is exactly what is missing from most diets. It is the kind of fiber that causes tablets to expand 12 times their original size. The fiber in the leaves of aspirated flag grass doesn’t expand as well. The expansive nature of true cereal grass fiber results in what is known as “roughage.” Roughage is very important for intestinal health. The recent popularity of Vita Mixers, Magic Bullets, and other whole food blenders results from consumer recognition that low fiber foods are not “prebiotic.” Without enough fiber, a food or beverage does not support probiotic bacteria.

Juices and juice powders are increasingly becoming unpopular with the consumer, especially since 2016, when scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School showed conclusively that dietary-fiber-deprived gut microbiota degrades the colonic mucus barrier and enhance pathogen susceptibility. In other words, the expansive prebiotic fiber characteristic of the true cereal grass, grown and harvested by Pines/Cerophyl, helps prevent the conditions that enhance pathogen susceptibility. More specifically, low-fiber foods, juices, and juice powders encourage mucus-degrading bacteria in the gut while roughage foods like true cereal grass encourage the flora that results in a healthy digestive tract.

Having quality prebiotic fiber in food with expansive fiber alleviates the degradation of the mucus layer in the gut. Without it, deprived gut microbiota can cause aggressive colitis by an enteric pathogen. Juices, juice powders, and other low-fiber ingredients do not contain enough prebiotic fiber to function as a prebiotic food.

For Pines/Cerophyl, quality is more important than quantity. During more than 80 years of research, all scientists agree that only cereal grass harvested at the jointing stage provides the high nutritional components credited for the phenomenal results in the medical studies.

Pines/Cerophyl follows the science. Our farm grew the cereal grass and our laboratory was used as a part of the extensive body of medical research on these nutrient-dense foods. It all began on our farm in 1932.