Protein and Flax in nutrition bars

Sometimes I am asked what is the highest protein level nugget we can offer. I am always happy to say it is a 90% soy protein nugget.

On the other hand, I am also asked what is the lowest protein level nugget we have, and I am happy to answer it is 30%. We also have a variety of protein contents in between.

It is nice to be able to offer such a range of protein levels in nuggets or crisps, made with soy protein (Solae/DuPont) or whey protein (Grande Custom Ingredients).

Nuggets or crisps are a convenient way to add protein to nutrition or performance bars. Additionally, these provide particulate texture with different densities and some are variations that include multigrain or fiber, for convenience.  The texture ranges from that similar to a rice crisp (but with higher protein content) to some that are more protein dense or a little more rigid.

Our flaxseed flour/meal from Heartland Flax is also used in bars. It is added as an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein and lignans.  It is also a good source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Heartland’s flaxseed flour/meal truly cold milled process allows for its RCM Flax (Real Cold Milled) to have a shelf life of more than 20 months.  Its proprietary milling method does not grind, crush or liberate oil, like other processes, making it unique and stable.

Let your salesperson at SPI Group know if you have any product or application questions. We will certainly be happy to assist you.

Healthy Snacking Makes it to School

The 2013-14 school year marks the beginning of USDA’s “Smart Snacks in School” program.  This means foods and beverages outside of the National School Lunch Program which are offered for sale in public schools.  The new standards aim to align for sale foods or “a la carte” foods with the new NSLP which require less fat and sodium, and more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

A few key details of the Smart Snack allowances for food content:

  • Grain products must contain 50% or more whole grain by weight
  • The first ingredient must be a whole grain or one of the non-grain major food groups (fruit, vegetable, dairy or protein – protein also means nuts which are exempt from fat requirements)
  • Must contain ¼ cup of fruit or vegetable

Nutritional guidelines for Smart Snack foods:

  •  <200 calories per serving (entrée items sold a la carte may not be more than 350cal)
  •  Must be 35% or less total calories from fat and <10% saturated fat
  • <230mg sodium and July 1, 2016 moves to 200mg
  •  Total sugar may not be more than 35% by weight (fruit and vegetables with no added ingredients are exempt)
  • Through June 30, 2016, an allowable food must contain 10% DV of a public health concern nutrient such as calcium, potassium, Vitamin D or dietary fiber

Beverages also follow guidelines and serving sizes vary based on age.   The end game on beverages is that low fat milk and 100% juice juice is OK.  High schools may offer calorie free flavored water and carbonated water.  The rule seems to allow diet soda, which appears to me as a grey area.

This is a summary of details taken from Food Business News, July 2, 2013 “School snacks to get a makeover” 

Great times on SPI Group’s first trip to the SMA Annual Convention!

SMA is a trade organization called the Southwest Meat Association – what a great organization!  I particularly appreciate the sense of community for the meat industry in Texas and surrounding states.  SMA and their industry members work hard to continue to add value to their businesses and the industry through this informative conference.

All the speakers were great with notable participation by FSIS and USDA making sure we know what is new to the regulatory system.  With three speakers from USDA and a lawyer on food safety policy from Washington DC., food safety was always first at SMA.

My favorite speaker was Mr. Daren Williams, Executive Director of Communications from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association –  speaking on, “Media 101: What You Have to Know.”  With tips on how to manage the media, he gave these important tips (which we all thought were good for interviews and meetings too!):

  • Media is supposed to be hard on you – keep it professional
  • Decide on your key message and always bring answers back to that message
  • The story of your company is part of your message, say it at least 3x for the audience to hear
  • Communicate that you’re capable and care (say your values, commitments and promises)
  • If the reporter uses a negative word, never repeat the negative word, be positive

 Check out this clip on how to do it right.   Matt Lauer interviews Ford CEO Alan Mulally – Pay attention to his key messages, avoids negative words, and communicates his company is capable and cares about it’s customers.