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Well, this is the problem you see. People think that 120 days, or 200 days or 300 days of access to the outside means "grass-fed". Or that eating silage in a barn means "grass-fed". What are the cows eating when they're not on the grass...it could be corn or grain....who knows! Is silage or hay as good as fresh pasture...of course not! So why should any animal that is not raised on pasture 24/7, 365 days per year, be considered grass fed? Simply put, it shouldn't, because anything less is rubbish.

Yes, if it's too cold for them, and it puts them in danger. But NZ isn't like parts of the US where it gets freezing cold. It is a temperate to subtropical climate so the cows can stay outdoors all year, roaming freely and eating as much grass as they please.

Yes, it does. Cows are ruminants which means that they are made to eat and digest grass and other pasture plants. When they are put onto a diet of grain or corn, they get sick more often which leads to unhealthy and unhappy animals and increased use of antibiotics. While those antibiotics don't end up in your food (all milk is tested and must be free of antibiotic residues), what it can cause is an increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria in animals, which has a knock on effect to other animals and therefore can impact our food chain and eventually, us.

There is no international standard that defines the term ‘Grass-fed’. For our suppliers, ‘Grass-fed’ means that our cows in New Zealand have access to pasture year-round and their diet consists predominately of grass and grass products such as grass silage, hay and forage crops (mainly legumes and brassica). For our suppliers cows in NZ, 96% is the current grass-fed percentage on a ‘as consumed’ basis. This data is reviewed annually and the average is measured over the previous three seasons data and subject to minor variation.

Because our suppliers farm the way that nature intended, they are subject to environmental conditions and there are times when grass growth is low e.g. if New Zealand experience a drought. During these times, pasture management practices and/or feeding of supplements may be used. Supplementary feeding ensures cows receive adequate nutrition and animal welfare requirements are met. Supplementary feeds mainly used on our supplier's New Zealand farms are maize silage, concentrates and palm kernel extract.

To substantiate the Access to Pasture Claims our supplier has compared their dairying system in New Zealand to major dairying competitor countries. Our supplier identified the top 15 dairy exporting countries (including New Zealand), based on their annual dairy product export volumes in 2017. Of these top 15 dairy exporting countries, only Ireland operates a similar pasture-based model to New Zealand. Other countries with non-pasture grazed farming systems will not compete with New Zealand or Ireland in terms of time on pasture due to the amount of time spent in housed environments. Our supplier has data that supports that their dairy cows in New Zealand spend more time on pasture than dairy cows in Ireland. Based on Irish data presented in O’Brien et al. 2018, dairy cows in Ireland have access to pasture, on average, 255 days per year. In New Zealand, data from our supplier 2017-18 dairy season Farm Dairy Records show that our our suppliers New Zealand cows spend, on average, 97% of their non-milking time outside on pasture which is more than 350 days of a year.


It's printed on the underside of the canister. Because our powder products are low in fat, they will typically last for about 2 years.

We recommend a 30g serve, which is approximately 2 tablespoons. There is a scoop in the canister but sometimes if gets buried in the powder, so you might have to take a fork and dig around for it!

Yes, please follow our link to our store if you prefer to buy off Amazon.

We recommend that Pounamu Protein products are kept in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight (i.e. your pantry!), and ideally are stored at temperatures not exceeding 25c/77F. However, we have not seen any issues where temperature has impacted the product quality to date.

For our Whey Protein Concentrate and Isolate, you can find it here.

It’s a question we get asked quite a lot….and the answer is “it depends”.

Other than rare sources of raw milk (e.g. raw milk cheese) that aren’t relevant to Pounamu Protein products, all commercially available milk and dairy products in the USA are heat treated for food safety reasons. This process is called pasteurization and is done to remove pathogenic (i.e. harmful) bacteria with a quick heat treatment of 161°F for 15 seconds. Food law also requires milk and dairy products to be pasteurized to be exported from New Zealand. Pasteurization is a heat step, but it has very little impact on milk proteins and all major milk proteins remain in their original/native state.

Our supplier of whey proteins has a variety of ingredients specially designed and processed for optimal nutrition and functionality in the finished products you receive. For ready to mix powders the processing is as gentle and cool as possible to ensure optimal solubility so you can enjoy a smooth shake. On the other hand, whey protein for nutrition bars makes for a more enjoyable eating experience with higher heat processing, hence in our bar proteins the processes are hotter, but the nutritional benefits remain the same.

The “Cold Processed” question seems to arise from a belief that heating denatures (or unravels) protein molecules, and that it may impact its nutritional goodness. Some extreme heat steps will lead to amino acid loss (and therefore nutrition loss), but these are not used in the dairy industry today and so are not applied to our ingredients.

For more about protein denaturation, see our comments in the next Q&A post…

This is another question we get asked quite a lot….and the answer (again) is “it depends”.

Protein denaturation is the term used to describe a change in the form of a protein from its original ‘native’ state, to a new form. Imagine a ball of string unravelling. This can be caused by many things, including acid, agitation, and heat.

Milk protein is made up of 2 types of proteins– casein and whey. Casein is unstable and gels (i.e. denatures) when exposed to acid (like when you add lemon juice to milk, or when fermentation produces acid to make delicious, nutritious yogurt), however it is heat stable. In the case of whey proteins, they are sensitive to heat, and that is the main cause of whey protein denaturation. You may have seen this already when you heat a cup of milk and there is a skin left on the top as it cools – that is the whey protein denaturing with heat.

Our supplier makes a whole range of different whey proteins for different purposes. Some are not denatured (aka “native proteins”) and some are highly denatured. Each has different benefits depending on the application that they are being used in i.e. powdered drink mixes vs bars, and all are still highly nutritious.

Denaturation of protein impacts the solubility of the protein i.e. how it dissolves when added to liquid. Heavily denatured protein is often insoluble, meaning that if you mix it in water, it won’t dissolve. If a heavily denatured protein is used in an RTM shake, it wouldn’t be very nice to drink. That doesn’t mean that your body can’t digest it or use the nutrients and amino acids that it provides. It may change the speed at which your body digests it, but a lot of the time that remains the same too, which is the case for our proteins.

Many common proteins are denatured to provide a more enjoyable eating experience – think about cooking a steak, or frying an egg where the texture and the taste both change when you cook them. They both are still nutritious and the cooking process provides the key to unlocking the nutritional benefits of that protein by making it more desirable to eat. Controlled denaturation is a good thing in some applications as the highly denatured protein provides enhanced texture, a better flavor, or makes the product more digestible. For example, the protein that is typically used in bars is often highly denatured so that it retains the soft texture and structure of the bar over time, where a regular WPC goes much harder and is much chewier, making the bar less enjoyable to eat.

Yes our dairy protein is tested for Heavy Metals via a national testing program NZ and also periodically tested in independent labs in NZ and in the US.

Below is further information on the NZ testing program:

New Zealand's raw milk supply is monitored through the National Chemical Contaminants Program (NCCP), operated by New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The program has been effective in confirming that dairy products are free of chemical residues at levels that could pose a threat to human health or to international trade. NCCP testing has shown that raw milk is very low in heavy metal contaminants and provide assurance that the entire NZ Dairy Industry being free of harmful levels of heavy metals.

Our dairy protein is periodically tested by IANZ accredited external laboratories for heavy metals and other elements of interest. Our products have shown to be very low in these contaminants. Pounamu Protein confirms that no heavy metals are added to products and any levels detected are naturally occurring in milk.

Link to general information about the program: here

Link to the elements tested under the NCCP and the limits allowable: here

Yes, the mono and di-glycerides in our product are plant-derived.

Yes, our cocoa/cacao provider is committed to sustainable and transparent sourcing of cocoa. They have a program in place that tracks the exact name and location of the farms that the product comes from. They are also members of the Cocoa and Forest initiative and are RSPO certified.

They have commitments focusing on the following three areas:

People: including efforts around women's empowerment, child protection and family health to enhance the overall living conditions of their farming partners. They respect human rights and promote a safe and decent work environment throughout the supply chain.

Planet: safeguarding the environment, addressing climate change, and preserving the planet for future generations. They promote reforestation, water conservation, and the improvement of soil fertility.

Prosperity: Creating economic opportunities by improving farm management, supporting skills development, encouraging entrepreneurship, providing literacy trainings and increasing access to village savings and loan associations.

We have thoroughly reviewed their programs and feel it is a good approach to the issues that can surround cocoa farming in developing countries. They are committed to the cause and do a great job which gives us confidence that they are a good fit for our brand.