Healthy Grain Ingredients

Insta Grains® ingredients are healthy grain ingredients that have been minimally processed to have a reduced cook time. For food manufacturers, that saves time in the process of soaking or precooking grains for baked good, cracker, snack food, soup mix, dry blend and other healthy food product. Simply incorporate Insta Grains® ingredients into your dough or dry mix for natural, healthy multigrain goodness and enhanced eye appeal.

here are a few things we love about Instagrains:
• No presoak or precook is required. This eliminates time and equipment.
• No enzyme activity means no interference with standard ingredients.
• To make incorporating a variety of grains into one food easier, we combine a number of these pregelatinized grains to create our BriessBlend™ line. These blends are whole grain, nutritional and exceptionally well suited for baking and cereal applications.
• Consistent water absorption. Raw grains can vary in hydration capacity and formulas may have to be adjusted per lot. BriessBlend™ ingredients maintain the same absorption rate from lot to lot, so reformulating is not necessary.
• Higher hydration rate. BriessBlends absorb and retain more liquid. This results in a more moist product and prolongs staling to increase shelf life.
• Improved flavor. Pregelatinized grains have no raw or bitter whole grain notes. In fact, processed grains carry a finished almost nutty flavor which is very appealing in baked goods.
• Soft, pliable particles. Eliminates tearing in sheeted products, is visually appealing and there are no hard whole grain particles in the finished product.

Insta Grains® ingredients are made using an all natural, heat process that pregelatinizes the starches in the grain. This creates a softer, more flavorful grain that no longer needs precooking or presoaking and can be directly added to dough matrix. It also makes the grains easier to digest. The Insta Grains® line offers a wide range of whole grain and multigrain ingredients that bump up the “healthy” appeal of foods, add flavor and are easy to use.

Joint Meeting – NCIFT and AACT April 2013

Thank you to AACT for hosting the NCIFT at a recent joint meeting in Fairfield, CA. We enjoyed a nice meal at the Blue Frog Grog and Grill, and were educated by the speaker, Brian Dunning, Director of Quality Assurance for Blue Diamond Growers. Brian also chairs the Almond Quality and Food Safety Committee of the Almond Board of California. So he taught us a lot about almonds!
Did you know that 80% of the world’s almonds come from California? There are 6000 almond growers in the State of California, and California produced a 2 billion pound crop in 2011! Brian’s talk covered Blue Diamond’s business as a grower co – operative, including food safety issues that they have faced in the past and some that they are dealing with now.

Brian mentioned that Blue Diamond has a new facility in Turlock, CA. Maybe the follow-up from this meeting will result in an NCIFT tour of their new facility!

Have you heard the one about the alcoholic baboons who took soy lecithin to prevent cirrhosis of the liver?

This study showed that when taken off the lecithin, there were no protective effects and the baboons developed cirrhosis! The work indicated that lecithin carries fat into the blood and assists in its metabolism, rather than depositing it in liver where it sits. This work was done in the 70’s and 80’s, conducted by the Bronx Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

In the latest issue of Food Technology magazine, Liz Sloan lists choline as a “hot nutritional ingredient for 2013”

A primary source of choline in our diet is derived from csonsuming lecithin. For more information about how to incorporate choline or a nutrient content claim for choline into your product, please contact your favorite SPI Group sales rep!

Happy National Soy Foods Month!

You’ve heard about the health benefits of soy – such as this recent study about soy protein displaying strong anti-cancer properties.
Wondering how to find soy in the grocery store? Check out this handy guide from Solae.

Are you trying to add more soy to your diet? I am not a vegetarian, but at my house we have “meatless Mondays” – we make the choice to eat meat-free once a week. I use this opportunity to focus on adding soy to meals. Usually this involves some sort of tofu with vegetables – sometimes I skewer chunks of tofu and whatever vegetables I have in the fridge for grilling, and other times I “press” tofu to drain excess water and pan sear it for a crispier texture. Occasionally I will pick up Yuba from Hodo Soy; and I always keep a bag of frozen edamame in the freezer for snacking and adding to pasta and salads.

For more recipes and ideas for healthier meals, check out