Moringa Could Be the New Matcha

ME Corporation’s farm, photo courtesy of ME Corporation

ME Corporation is striving to make more Americans aware of moringa’s antioxidant-rich, superfood status.

Moringa, also known as the “Ben oil tree,” is a deciduous tree that grows rapidly in warm climates in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The tree’s leaves, stems and seeds can all be consumed.

Jeanne Ngo Yockbag, photo courtesy of ME Corporation

Jeanne Ngo Yockbag and her husband, Manfred Walter Schmitt, founded ME in 2010 in Msambweni, Kenya. Yockbag is from Cameroon in West Africa. She and her husband decided to cultivate and sell moringa after visiting a farm in Kenya. Yockbag was impressed with moringa’s properties and wanted to share it with the world.

They started their own farm on the south shores of Kenya on the Indian Ocean. It has nearly 500,000 thousand moringa trees. There are plans to add an additional 148 acres.

Growing and processing are done on this property.

“The quality control and traceability is very tight,” said Louis Antoniou, an ME Board member.

The moringa leaves are plucked by workers who are assigned to oversee specific sections of the farm. The leaves are washed, then dried in chambers in a temperature, humidity and contamination controlled facility. Then machines separate the stems from the leaves, which are either packed in bulk or canned.

“We believe we have the highest quality moringa produced in the world,” Antoniou said. “I’ve been to various farms and I’ve seen nothing close to this farm’s operation.”

The company is called ME because its philosophy is about taking care of oneself and one’s health.

Antoniou spoke of moringa’s health benefits, “It has a lot of nutrients. For example, studies indicate if you take 1 gram of moringa and 1 gram of an orange, you’ll see the quantity of vitamin C in moringa will be 7-times that of the orange.” He went on to state moringa has 10-times the amount of vitamin A than a carrot, 17-times the calcium of milk, 9-times the protein of yogurt, 15-times more potassium than bananas and 25-times more iron than spinach. “So it’s very, very rich.” Moringa does not contain caffeine but still provides energy.

Photo courtesy of ME Corporation

ME’s products include moringa tea, powder, capsules and tablets. ME’s loose-leaf collection consists of six functional blends of tea, herbs and moringa: SKINNYme, DEFENDme, POWERme, CHANGEme, BALANCEme and BEAUTYme. INSPIREme is 100 percent moringa. The company plans to introduce the entire line in sachets this spring.

ME has formulated protein bars with moringa, protein powder, ready-to-drink teas and a cosmetic line. All of the products are organic, non-GMO verified and Rainforest Alliance Certified.

The company distributes to France, Italy, Germany and Japan. The company launched its website for the United States market in 2017. The goal for 2018 is to share existing product lines with the U.S., Canada and South America markets and to launch new lines.

Additionally, ME helps the community in its area of Kenya by being the largest employer in the region and by donating to local schools and orphanages.