MINNEAPOLIS -- America’s food and beverage manufacturers can positively impact today’s rising healthcare costs by developing products that address specific health and lifestyle issues, according to Cargill Health & Food Technologies (HF&T) President Ted Ziemann.
In his presentation entitled Health through Foods … an Economic Solution, given at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at the University of California-Davis, Ziemann provided his insights into the health and economic benefits of innovative food and beverage products that address some of Americans’ most common and serious health concerns.
“Health expenditures represent the largest component of the $11.7 trillion U.S. economy,” said Ziemann. “That translates into approximately $4,500 per person annually. Obesity is an epidemic, affecting 64 percent of Americans and is contributing to serious health risks including diabetes and heart disease. New healthy foods that help address these health conditions offer promising solutions for consumers of all ages.”
Ziemann noted that functional food sales now exceed supplement sales, driven by an aging population and a fast-paced lifestyle, as well an increased reliance on convenience foods and simplified meal planning. Further, Americans are becoming increasingly independent about their healthcare decisions, depending more than ever on their own resources to stay healthy. “Through better consumer education, our industry is helping Americans understand that functional foods offer ingredient fortification, assistance with weight management and help with disease management. We believe that’s why we’re seeing greater acceptance by mainstream consumers.”
“It is imperative that the food industry continues to respond with efficacious products that have credible benefits, and sophisticated ‘natural’ solutions that taste good,” Ziemann said. “Cargill has already successfully collaborated with food and beverage manufacturers on a number of mainstream consumer products.”
In January, Cargill announced that it is accelerating its development of new health-promoting ingredients and ingredient systems to help food and beverage manufacturers develop consumer products that meet the dietary and nutritional recommendations included in the U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.
Cargill’s solutions range from ingredient systems for orange juice, yogurt and smoothies that may promote heart health and lower cholesterol (when consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol), to inulin, resistant starches, soluble fibers for healthy breads, and whole wheat flour and whole corn products that increase fiber intake and provide other health benefits as well. In addition, Cargill offers an all-natural, no calorie sweetener that makes lower calorie, sugar-free chocolate and refreshing frozen drinks possible
Cargill Health & Food Technologies (H&FT), based in Minneapolis, is a leading developer, processor and marketer of science-based, healthy ingredients for food and dietary supplements worldwide. Cargill H&FT is part of Cargill’s Food System Design initiative in which Cargill businesses work with customers to produce ingredient solutions for affordable, nutritious, convenient and appetizing consumer products. Cargill H&FT is a business unit of Cargill, an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. With 105,000 employees in 59 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed. For more information, visit http://www.cargillhft.com or http://www.cargill.com.