Food and Beverage Technologist Reviews Trends

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Foodconsultant.biz Promotes Product Development Innovation

One thing we know for sure is that Americans are becoming more health conscious. One of the big trends in 2007 for the food industry is creating foods and beverages that provide health benefits to the consumer and meet market demands.

Foodconsultant.biz, a food and beverage product development website, reviews some of the biggest trends in the industry. The website, owned and operated by food technologist and expert industry consultant Pete Maletto of PTM Food Consulting talks about unknown carcinogens found in fried foods and how to reduce them, as well as infusing antioxidants in functional foods and beverages to provide consumer health benefits.

Current food and beverage trends are low glycemic and sugar free, as it seems the public is becoming carb conscious once again. While low glycemic was relatively unheard of just a few years ago, these foods and beverages are establishing themselves as a viable niche in the mainstream U.S. market, with expected 2007 year-end sales reaching $350 million, according to Low Glycemic Index Food and Beverages in the U.S., the latest market research from Packaged Facts.

"The world seems to be reducing carbohydrates once again and it's resurfacing as sugar free and low glycemic trends. But it also seems like low carbohydrate foods overall are making a comeback (eggs and meats) as the obesity and diabetes numbers continue to rise. If food manufacturers would just eliminate the high fructose corn syrup and use healthier alternatives it would really help a reduction in these diseases. As a food technologist, I have utilized the alternatives in new product development with some responsible manufacturers I work for. They have seen their profits increase dramatically by making their foods healthier and replying to consumer demand," said Pete Maletto.

Functional foods and beverages are also seeing an increase in sales across the board and identifying itself as a new trend. Functional foods are foods that have specific micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) or macronutrient (protein, fat and carbohydrate) content that is designed to extend the health benefit beyond basic nutrition of the product.

Examples can include functional foods infused with antioxidants, omega fatty acids, fiber and/or protein enriched whole grain foods, and nutrient fortified beverages. Biologically active components of the nutrients and antioxidants used in functional foods usually impart health benefits or desirable physiological effects. New functional food ingredients are being discovered every day and consumer demand for "food with a healthy function" is another growing trend.

"Highly rated, antioxidant infused, functional foods and beverages can absolutely extend life and the public is becoming more aware of these foods everyday. These include antioxidants from berries and fruits, green foods and dark chocolate. All these super foods have phytochemicals such as polyphenols, and flavonoids. Clinical studies have shown that consuming these phytochemicals in foods and beverages is associated with the benefits of creating optimal cardiovascular health, the prevention of cancers and mutations, and also helps decrease the aging process," said Maletto.

Twenty years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find any scientific papers highlighting the importance of our certain foods in our diet in relation to our health. Today, the medical journals are filled with such references and it appears that consumers are finally recognizing that the foods we eat play a key role in the optimal health and disease prevention.

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PETE MALETTO
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