Enjoying food at any age

Last month, we highlighted an article in the Harvard Business Review focusing on clean label and sustainability practices, most particularly as it related to the worldview held by Millennials. Those issues don’t pertain exclusively to Millennials, although that group is more ardently attached to the principals behind clean labels and corporate transparency than other demographic groups.

Amidst all the discussion about clean label, there are other qualities consumers look for in their foods and beverages and this can change according to lifestyle, eating occasion or age.

For example, Dutch scientists from Wageningen University recently conducted an extensive literature study and found that the older adult population constitutes an area ripe for further research. Relatively few studies have been performed to examine the food perception of older adults.

Taste and textural perceptions change as we age, in addition to sense of smell—which has a direct impact on flavor perception. Yet, researchers say, research on product improvements has focused mainly on flavor and ignored the other sensory aspects.

They urge a more holistic approach that takes into account the food’s flavor, but also a broad spectrum of sensory aspects in addition to packaging design, and even the social context in which the food might be eaten.

Other research confirms the facts that “the majority of new products that are introduced are positioned to a younger demographic, or shoppers aged 21 to 49 years.” Whereas the world population from 2000 to 2050 is projected to grow by 54%, the global population of those aged 65 or older will grow at more than four times this rate, according to a study published by the International Union of Food Science and Technology.

What this points out is that amidst the industry’s overall objectives, to make foods healthier, to keep ingredients simple and more natural, there are always going to be market segments that demand specialized attention and depending on their needs and the market potential, are well worth investigating. Giving consumers what they want as well as what they need—whether they’ve identified the need themselves or not—is a tricky balancing act. However what makes it easier is the drawing from the right portfolio of functional, flavorful ingredients like REAL eggs.

For more information about the nutritional requirements of older adults and the relationship to eggs, The Australian Egg Nutrition Council contains a comprehensive position statement for healthcare professionals on this topic. Read the statement here.

2016-02-29 08:33:08

Egg supply rebounding

The U.S. egg supply is rebounding well after a tough six months for the egg industry brought on by an unprecedented outbreak of avian influenza. A number of factors are at play in the supply rebound beyond affected farms beginning to repopulate. Egg imports, fewer exports and unaffected farms increasing production have all contributed to help with the supply gap.

Furthermore, the Egg Industry Center in Ames, Iowa, reports half of the layers lost in 2015 are already replaced, and if recovery continues at the current rate, by late 2016 the flocks should be at or near 100 percent pre-outbreak levels. With egg supply returning to more normal levels, egg prices have responded by dropping during this first quarter of the year.

As the supply of egg products continues to recover, there will be ample availability for use in the food industry. And barring any further incidents, we expect supply and pricing to regain their previous consistency.

And just a note, egg ingredients continue an unbroken record of food safety for the past 45 years. All further processed egg ingredients are pasteurized, and there have been no incidences of foodborne illness attributed to egg ingredients since this safety step was implemented.

We look forward to fielding your inquires about formulating with one incredible ingredient that supplies so many different, beneficial functional properties to so many different types of applications. We offer a number of sample formulations here for appetizers, breakfast sandwiches and main dishes through desserts that might help spark some ideas.

2016-02-15 14:50:47

Good News for an Incredible Ingredient

By now you’ve probably heard the federal government published the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Good news for eggs is good news for consumers and formulators alike. The guidelines removed a daily limit on dietary cholesterol and include eggs in all three of its recommended healthy eating patterns, which have been shown to reduce the risk of major chronic health conditions facing Americans.

The three healthy eating patterns include: the Healthy U.S.-style, the Healthy Mediterranean-style and the Healthy Vegetarian-style.

These healthy eating patterns are part of the Guidelines’ encouragement for Americans to adopt a series of science-based recommendations to improve eating patterns in order to help reduce obesity and help prevent chronic diseases, such as type-2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. 

The federal government updates the Dietary Guidelines every five years. With this latest update, the United States now joins other nations in a consensus opinion on dietary cholesterol by removing this limit, while still emphasizing the fact that a diverse assortment of nutrient-dense foods helps increase the chances of better health.

The Guidelines urge Americans to follow a healthy eating pattern across their lifespan; to focus on variety, nutrient density and amount; to limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake; and to shift to healthier food and beverage choices.

Eggs supply varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs are also one of the few natural foods that are a good source of vitamin D, which was identified by the 2015 DGA as a nutrient of concern for under-consumption and necessary for helping to build strong bones

The removal of a daily dietary cholesterol limit and inclusion of eggs within all recommended healthy eating patterns supports regular consumption of eggs along with other nutrient-rich whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

And egg ingredients supply the same functional benefits today as they did 10, 15 and 20 years ago. In fact, egg ingredients supply 20-plus functional properties, with one or more benefits per use, depending on the application. Formulators seeking to create foods that fit within the three recommended healthy eating patterns, whether U.S.-style, Mediterranean, or Vegetarian, can rely on egg ingredients for form, function and flavor. 

2016-02-01 14:18:48