Food & Beverage Processors are listening to consumer demands for ‘clean’ foods and taking action to make their nutritional labels more appealing.
Foodprocessing.com is an eMagazine that bills itself as the information source for the Food & Beverage Processing Industry. They recently published an e-Handbook, “Food Processing: Food & Beverage: What’s next with Clean Label Ingredients?” in July 2016. They advised those in the industry to focus on providing consumers with ‘clean and compelling nutritional labels’ in order to drive increased sales.
What is ‘clean’ eating and how does the industry go about ‘cleaning’ up their foods and nutritional labels?
According to EatingWell.com, ‘clean eating’ focuses on choosing more of the “best and healthiest options in each of the food groups while eating less of the not-so-healthy ones”. It includes eating “whole foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It also means cutting back on refined grains, added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats.”
Cleaning up a nutritional label, according to the e-handbook, may be done by including trending ingredients and ‘super foods’ while taking out others that are no longer appealing to the consumer. Based on industry studies, these up and coming ingredients (see list below) make nutritional labels and products more palatable to those who are embracing cleaner eating.
I mentioned in a previous post about Health Claims by the Food Industry that the information coming out of foodprocessing.com should be mandatory reading for all North American consumers who are interested in eating healthier diets.
Here are four trending ingredients the food & beverage processing companies have been advised to use in making their nutrition label compelling to you, the consumer:
Sweet potato: This ‘super food’ will be making its appearance in cereals, nutrition bars, artificial sweetener replacements, condiments, sauces and desserts. Dehydrated sweet potato flour may be included as a component in gluten-free quick-breads, and used in just about any food segment to add fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
Turmeric: Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin (the natural phenol that lends that bright yellow color) are known for their “cognitive health maintenance and anti-inflammatory properties, healing abilities and support of joints and muscles”.
According to the e-Handbook, in April 2016 Kraft Foods announced it would “replace artificial colors or preservatives in its Original Macaroni & Cheese Boxed dinner in the US and switch to using turmeric along with annatto and paprika, also derived from natural sources.” Also look for turmeric in beverages.
Ancient Grains: These are grains such as quinoa, flax, farro, chia and teff which have been around for thousands of years. They are making a resurgence because they are whole grain, gluten free, non-GMO, high fiber, high protein and vegan.
Sprouted ingredients: this includes sprouted grains, bean and seeds.
Download your free e-Handbook “Food Processing: Food & Beverage: What’s next with Clean Label Ingredients?” (be prepared to hand over your email address and some profile information).