Founded in 2009 and at the forefront of the small batch, artisan ice block movement Flyin' Fox ice blox have reinterpreted the Australian ice block tradition, hand crafting our award winning ice blox's in Murwillumbah, Northern NSW.
Ice Blocks! the company behind Flyin' Fox ice blox are a boutique, family owned ethical business who are seriously passionate about fruit and proud of our relationships with local farmers.
Whilst others may hide their ingredients list on the back of their packets, in shame, behind folds and seals, we display ours proudly. Our Organic Lime & Mint (Mojito) for example contains locally produced (Myocum NSW) organic lime, locally produced organic (Tyalgum NSW) mint and even a slice of organic lime. Compare this to the competitors "Lemonade" which does not even have lemon in it's ingredients.
Our Flyin' Fox ice blox are divided in three main categories; milk (organic milk or organic milk and cream) and juice (fruit juice, pulp and often slices of real fruit. i.e. as much of the edible, tasty and healthy parts of a real fruit as possible). Juice further divides into those with added sugar such as Organic Lemon and those without such as Organic Pomegranate & Blueberry. Juice flavours are vegan friendly and milk based are (lacto) vegetarian friendly. We operate a retail menu of eleven popular flavours.
Careful consideration of ingredients is important to us and our Flyin' Fox ice blox contain no food additives what-so-ever, no reconstituted juice, no gluten, no glucose syrup. no alcohol, no eggs, no undisclosed “processing aids” , and definitely no GMO derived “ice structuring protein”.
Some of the best fruit in the world grows in Australia, yet most ice blocks sold in Australia are machine produced foods dating from the 1980's. It's a market dominated by Unilever (Streets) the worlds biggest ice cream manufacture and the worlds largest food companies. We think we can do something better and something uniquely Australian.
Where possible we prefer to use organic ingredients. For example we use certified organic milk and most of our fruits are certified organic. Our relationships with local organic farmers enables us to guarantee quality and improve consistency of supply. This has excitingly advance to commissioning local organic farmers to produce crops specifically for us and to a position where we can specify the variety of Watermelon.
Where fruit processing is performed entirely on site we prefer to maintain the nutritional value and natural fibre of juice and pulp by producing Flyin' Fox ice blox in the "fresh frozen" or raw state. Organic Mango & Orange, Organic Orange and the bulk of Watermelon, Organic Lemon and Organic Lime & Mint (Mojito) are an examples of "fresh frozen" products. With these we aim to convert the fruit to a frozen juice ice block in approximately 15 minutes.
We share many peoples concerns about the openness of our foods supply chain. That's why our ingredients are identified to the town and state, of the source farm, for Australian produced fruit e.g. Uki NSW organic Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra). Where the Australian climate is not suitable for a crop or there is no organic equivalent we endeavour to source the best fair trade organic produce indicating the country of origin e.g. Peruvian organic fair trade cold pressed Criollo cacao powder (Theobroma sativum). This information is obtained by accessing our database using the on pack QR code for your ice block.
Because we only produce single served ice creams or ice confections we fall under two unique FSANZ Food Standard Codes (220.127.116.11.(1).(i) and 18.104.22.168.(a)) that exempt us from a best before dates and lot numbers. We have chosen to keep lot number for traceability but decided to drop using a best before date as the real determinant of whether our ice blocks are safe and merchantable is that they have been stored correctly. You can tell that by looking at them. If they have melted their quality is compromised. We object to the practice of opaque packaging for our class of goods which does not allow purchasers to see what they are buying.
Our ice blocks are great for people trying to limit sugar intake as all contain less or equal sugar than a ripe banana of a similar weight. Many contain half that and rely entirely on the natural ripeness of the fruit used to make them.
Ideally we would not like to add refined sugars of any form to Flyin' Fox ice blox. Some fruits and juices are naturally sweet enough to enable us to achieve this goal. Organic Mango & Orange, Organic Orange, Organic Pomegranate & Blueberry, Organic Cherry and Apple & Chamomile are examples of this. Others require minimalistic enhancing, with for example our own in house organic Lime zest syrup, to make a balanced experience and because taste buds are less responsive when cold.
Sugar poses us additional ethical problems. Whilst we live in a sugar growing region and Australia is a sugar exporting nation there is no local organic sugar. Thus our policy is that where we need to add sugar, we will use organic sugar in the hopes of stimulating a local supply.
Our entire retail range is low calorie: 21-46 cal non-dairy; 70-146 cal dairy-based.
NSW Food Authority licenced and following a HACCP food safety plan, we make significant effort to ensure Flyin' Fox ice blox are a safe and a pleasing experience and strive to maintain and improve flavour and ingredient quality. But because Flyin' Fox ice blox are hand crafted and natural their appearance does vary. This is how they are meant to be. You can also expect to encounter whole fruit, fresh juice, real fruit slices, chunks of fruit, fruit pulp, fruit skin, zest, rind, seeds, pits, etc... It comes down to either multinational machine made or hand made from local ingredients, it's your choice.
Coconut won the Silver Medal Sydney Royal Dairy Show 2013
Lemon and Lime & Mint won Delicious Magazine finalist 2012
We have a no food additive whatsoever policy. That's all of them (natural and artificial) i.e. E100 to E1599 and FSANZ food additives 100 to 1522 inclusive. i.e. no acids, acidity regulators, anti-caking agents, anti-foaming agents, antioxidants, bleaches, colours, emulsifiers, firming agents, flavour enhancers, flavour solvents, foam stabilisers, foaming agents, gelling agents, glazing agents, humectants, improving agents, packaging gas, preservatives, propellants, raising agents, resolving agents, sequestrants, stabilisers, sweeteners and thickening agents.
This is possible because we freeze very quickly and keep Flyin' Fox ice blox frozen. There is no need for flavour enhancers if you use enough correctly ripened fruit and many fresh fruits have more than enough natural antioxidants if processed quickly. We also hold the opinion that if its natural ice crystals form, that's how the Flyin' Fox ice blox should be (avoiding gums, thickeners and “ice structuring proteins”).
Many of the ingredients companies like Nestlé (Peters, Mövenpick) and Unilever (Streets, Ben & Jerry's) use, such as the emulsifier Guar Gum (Guaran, E412) or Agar (E406), are added to make possible the shipment, storage and efficient mass production of iced confectionery. We reject that rationale and add only what is entirely necessary for a recipe.
Our citrus tastes are derived from real citrus fruit. If you see “natural” citric acid (E330) as an ingredient it comes from an industrial process using the Aspergillus niger or black mould fungus. Citric acid was the first food additive that was produced on a large scale biotechnically. Commercial production of citric acid started in 1919 by Pfizer by the surface fermentation of A. niger on sugar. Genetically modified A. niger exists and is utilized to obtain higher yields but manufacturers regard its usage information as proprietary.
The only colouring we use comes from the ingredients that are a necessary part of the recipe for our Flyin' Fox ice blox Many companies can and do add “natural” E120 Carmine (pink, red or purple) for example. However we don't believe Mexican cactus dwelling cochineal insects (Coccus asctis) are an entirely “natural” ingredient of any of the products it appears in. Natural is when we use red or pink stalks for a rhubarb for example or fresh red strawberries.
Some artificial colourings with proven problems, are still in use in Australia and NZ when they are banned in many other countries. For example E122 Azorubine / Carmoisine (red) is banned in USA, Canada, Japan, Norway, Sweden, UK and is being phased out in the EU. Azo dyes generally have been known to be carcinogenic for over 45 years.
On 24 November 2005 Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approved Unilever's (Streets) application to use genetically modified yeast to grow “ice structuring protein”, more correctly Type-3 ice-structuring protein HPLC 12, with a gene from the ocean pout (Macrozoarces americanus) fish and use it to improve the consistency and storage properties of its ice creams. Between 2003 to 2007 Unilever (Streets) sold more than 47 thousand litres of ISP containing ice cream confectionary in Australia and New Zealand. (The EFSA Journal (2008) 768, 1-18) Since FSANZ approved it as a “processing aid” it does not even require labelling as an ingredient.
We intend to invest excess profits into carbon offsetting our entire refrigeration and freezing electrical demand, this includes the demand of all our on-loan freezers. We will do this by purchasing solar panel generating capacity as this method of generation closely matches our refrigeration electricity demand.
Finally what do we do with Watermelon, Organic Lemon, Organic Lime & Organic Orange skins? Feed them to a local farmers calfs. You have never seen a herd move so fast as when 200 kg of Organic Orange rinds hit the turf. Gone in 5 minutes of pure indulgant joy.
Flyin' Fox ice blox are not packaged in plastic they are wrapped in a marine safe, compostable cellulose film derived from wood pulp. This film has passed the internationally recognised tests to confirm full biodegradability in in marine and waste-water environments and home compost heaps. Normal plastic degrades in sunlight by slowly breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic. Thus plastic which hasn't either been recycled or burnt still exists somewhere in the enviroment.
Most of us recycle and put things in bins, but lets face it packaging for this kind of product does not always get disposed of properly and much of that end up spoiling our natural environment, in some cases for hundreds of years. We don't believe that's acceptable when compostable films are available which are designed to bio-degrade to natural nutrients in a year. Just because our packaging is compostable however does not mean you should be irresponsible with litter. What it does mean is that those accidents that do happen don't have long lasting consequences.
Flyin' Fox ice blox pioneered the use of this film for frozen food. We were the second user of the film in Australasia (first being Gingerbread Folk) and were the first to use it for this type of application. The aim is that no animals marine or otherwise will be killed or maimed with this packaging.
Our sticks are made from Australian Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) a native to north eastern Australia, harvested from pesticide free sustainable forests in Queensland. The plantations are controlled by the State of Queensland Government and have sustainable forest management certification AFS/01-21-03 recognised by PEFC. Hoop Pine ice block sticks decompose naturally after being discarded and exposed to the elements.
We are also proud that some of our advertising material is made from recycled waste in particular snapped surf boards. The broken surfboards are cut to look like x100 sized versions of our Flyin' Fox ice blox, a hoop pine wooden stick is bolted on and they are used to display menus or as large signs.
Research by the University of Queensland's Moreton Bay Research Station found that found that plastic marine rubbish was the leading cause of sea turtle deaths. http://www.uq.edu.au/. Plastic constitutes the most common type of rubbish found by Clean Up Australia (32%) and of that plastic rubbish the most common is confectionery wrapping (17%).
The Australian use of the term ice block is peculiar to Australia and New Zealand. From newspaper records it is possible to see the term used to describe frozen water from the size of an ice cube to an ice berg. It is with little surprise therefore that journalists in 1879 applied the term as a description of frozen fruit used to demonstrate the “refrigerating apparatus” of the new Strathleven steamship. The success of this vessels subsequent first frozen shipment from Australia to the UK probably cemented the terms use for iced confectionary as refrigeration became more common.
The heyday for the ice block as confectionary, in terms of word usage frequency in newspapers, appears to date to around the 1930's. This coincides with freezers starting to become available to retail outlets often fitted with "ice block makers". The general expense of refrigeration at that time made such confectionary a prestigious treat. GST and it’s precursor Federal Sales Tax specifically on ice blocks of 20% dates from that time (October 30, 1941).
Unfortunately the early industry was poorly regulated which resulted in a number of food safety and adulteration issues. This lead to the success of larger manufacturers who made food safety and “hygienic factory conditions” a priority and who's early advertising was based around that.
The Australian term has recently been regarded as a word which is dropping out of common usage. Lets hope we can revitalise this small niche of Australian culture.
English: ice pop or popsicle (US, Canada), ice lolly, lolly ice, ice-cream bar(UK), ice block, iceblock, ice pole, icy pole (Australia, New Zealand). German: wassereis, eis am stiel, eislutscher Dutch: ijslolly, ijslollie, waterijsje, eis-pops, ijsco, ijs, ijsje. French: glace à l’eau, glace parfumée, sucette glacée, sucette de glace, esquimau, bâtonnet glacé, bâtonnet de crème glacée . Spanish: paleta (Mexico), polo, barra de helado, paleta de helado (Spain), chupete, helado de agua (Chile, Peru). Portuguese: picolé, gelado de chupar, gelado com pauzinho, gelado chupa-chupa. Italian: ghiacciolo, cremino, gelato da passeggio. Pig Latin: iceay iollyay. Norwegian: ispinne. Swedish: isglass, isglasspinne, chokladdoppad glass. Danish: ispind, sodavandsis. Manx: kibbin millish. Irish: líreacán int reoite. Polish: lizak. Czech: nanuk. Latvian: auglu saldējums. Finish: mehujää, jäätelöpuikko. Estonian: pulgajäätis. Hungarian: jégkrém. Turkish: meyveli çubuk dondurma. Israel: kartiv, artic, קרטיב, ארטיק, שלגון. Morocco: eskimo. Arabic: (الاسم) نوع من الحلوى Chinese: 冰棒. Indonesian: es loli. Korean: ice keki, 아이스캔드. Japanese: ポプシクル Greek: παγωτό γρανίτα Russian: леденец на палочке Maori: poro hukapapa.
JUICE (NO ADDED SUGAR)
Flyin' Fox ice blox are processed and packaged in Murwillumbah, Northern NSW by Ice Blocks! ABN 37 732 820 605
Unit 4, Building 6,
87-95 Quarry Rd,
PO Box 446,
Benna on 0406 075 266 for wholesale enquiries
Ashley for sales and orders on 02 6672 2257
or to get more information.
The Calmer Collective
622 Hawthorn Road,
Caitlin on 03 9596 8460
We sell through a widening variety of health food shops, organic shops, patisseries, delicatessens, grocers, kiosks and cafes in north eastern NSW, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Adelaide, Brisbane and even now Alice Springs.
Can’t find us at your local? Let them know about us and let us know about them; if it works out you may get a box or two as reward!