Virtual Tour of a Californian Kava Facility
Vinaka vaka levu Travis and Tyler (rootofhappinesskava.com) for giving up your time, knowledge and taking us behind the scenes to tour your GMP Compliant and FDA Approved Facility. In addition to paying hommage to the South Pacific culture which was reiterated by Bruce who had the opportunity to get a physical tour of the facility and kava bar. Massive respect to the work you've done to date and also the new age of kava, leading the way by setting the standard and supporting others in the industry.
The facility itself is essentially to import, quarantine, test the kavalactone, microbiological and heavy metal content to ensure it's clean and pure, adherence to processes and measures to follow state and federal guidelines for the protection of their business and consumers, there is a food grade wet room, clean room
Notes that I took away from the virtual tour if you don't have time to view it in it's entirety:
- Communication, Record Keeping and Traceability: the need to communicate the regulatory measures throughout the facility to ensure that it's in compliance with all GMP guidelines which results in a lot of record keeping. Recording of every lot and batch that comes in to ensure traceability back to the source.
- Documentation: maintaining an expansive SOP/Hassett plan which is essential to a food or dietary processing facility.
- Quarantine Area: all kava passes through this area
- Wet Room: food grade set up with a high standard of cleanliness with the use of stainless steel equipment, sterilisation station, clean air, storage area for barriers to partition off various sections of the facility
- Clean Room: this section of the facility is only entered after going through the wet room processes and there are hepa micro-air scrubbers in the ceiling.
- Testing Room: analytical equipment for in-house testing to determine microbiological consistency, chemotypes and kavalactone levels. UV steriliser and heat machines to remove any possible microbiological contaminants. Kava samples are tested for e coli, staph, chloroform, salmonella, plate count, gram negative bacteria, mould and yeast. It was important to note that mould and yeast cannot be treated, once they fall outside of acceptable ranges the kava has been rendered unusable. The nature of mould is that it spreads by spores which are heat resistant and like seeds which produce more mould, which creates micro-toxins.
- Production: kava is only moved here once it's been through testing.
- Repetition: the compliance can be overwhelming but you take it by degrees/stages and break it down, ensure you maintain your record keeping and you'll get there.
Also thanks to those that joined us on Zoom:
- Amena - Fijian Kava Farmer (Tailevu) and Civil Servant based in Suva
- Ava (@kavaqueen808) based in Hawaii and living that kava lifestyle
- Bruce (@ofaskava) based in both Utah and California
- Charles (@uovkavafarm) based in Auckland and importing Tongan Kava
- Manase based out of Auckland and an avid kava consumer
- Maka who is also an importer of Tongan Kava into New Zealand
- Politoni (@chasingmoana/@moana_kava) based in Sydney and farming kava in Tonga
- Sam (@bigg_kava_bowl/@bigtokoz_kavareview) based out of the Bay Area
- Mike (@bayviewkava) based in Australia with a farm in Fiji