Saturday, 17 September 2011

Start a Whole Grain-Based Food Business

(62) Start a Whole Grain-Based Food Business

Health experts advise everyone – men and women, young and old – that grains are a healthy necessity in every diet, and that it's important to eat at least half our grains as "whole grains."

But what IS a whole grain? And why does it matter?

Whole Grains

Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye – when these foods are eaten in their "whole" form (more on that later). Whole grains even include popcorn!
You may already be eating whole grains. When you munch popcorn in the theater, or give Toasty-O's to your toddler, or enjoy a bowl of hot oatmeal, you're probably focusing more on the delicious taste than on the fact that these foods are whole grains.

Antioxidants, Vitamins and Minerals

Consumers are increasingly aware that fruits and vegetables contain disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants, but they do not realize whole grains are often an even better source of these key nutrients.
Moreover, whole grains have some valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables, as well as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber.

Health Benefits of Whole Grains

The medical evidence is clear that whole grains reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Few foods can offer such diverse benefits.

People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity, as measured by their body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios. They also have lower cholesterol levels.
Because of the phytochemicals and antioxidants, people who eat three daily servings of whole grains have been shown to reduce their risk of heart disease by 25-36%, stroke by 37%, Type II diabetes by 21-27%, digestive system cancers by 21-43%, and hormone-related cancers by 10-40%.

Help is On the Way

Even consumers who are aware of the health benefits of whole grains are often unsure how to find them and prepare them. The programs of the Whole Grains Council will help you:
  • Understand what whole grains are
  • Learn how to identify whole grain products
  • Find easy ways to enjoy more whole grains
If you'd like to know more about whole grains, here are just a few more websites with good information on whole grains:
  • Wheat Foods Council
  • Kansas State University
  • General Mills
  • Kashi
    Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.

    List of whole grains

    The following, when consumed in a form including the bran, germ and endosperm, are examples* of generally accepted whole grain foods and flours. Click here to learn more about each one.
  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn, including whole cornmeal and popcorn
  • Millet
  • Oats, including oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Rice, both brown rice and colored rice
  • Rye
  • Sorghum (also called milo)
  • Teff
  • Triticale
  • Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut®, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheatberries
  • Wild rice

Your questions, answered:


Is there money to be made in the healthy-foods industry?
Short answer: Yes. The demand for healthier foods grows each year and being at the forefront of a future mass-market movement can mean huge financial successes if health products are marketed wisely.

Why focus on grain-based foods for a new business proposition?
Access to the product is vast—the US has been growing grains for hundreds of years. Grains are the base of our diets and the primary vehicle for delivering added ingredients. Business-minded individuals who can see an opportunity in creating healthy grain foods hold the power for making gradual improvements to the overall health of the food supply.

How can I use grain-based food business opportunities to promote my brand or target my health-conscious consumers?
Creating a healthy, grain-based food product makes choosing between products a no-brainer for the consumer: whole grain wins out every time. Foods including healthy grains entice health-conscious consumers to purchase your product and increase the demand for additional healthy products. Healthy, grain-based foods demonstrate a company’s commitment to health and wellness and support the entire grain industry as they ramp up their supply of whole grains to the mass market.

How can Grains for Health Foundation support our research and development department to forward healthy, grain-based foods?
We are the crucial connection to both the current researchers in the grain and health industries as well as grain scientists and producers. We’re the needed liaison, opening channels of communication so you can get ahead in your grain-based business venture. Grains for Health also works to create the supply chain infrastructure and consumer environment supporting the demand for healthy products so businesses can be profitable while carrying a healthy food portfolio.

Where should I start?
First, get familiar with our Board of Directors and our Scientific Advisory Committee. For specifics call 952-500-9012 or email us at info@grainsforhealth.org.
www.wholegrainscouncil.org

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