Brief

No pills, please: Consumers would rather eat their nutrients

Dive Brief:

  • Today, more consumers want to receive minerals from the foods they already purchase and eat rather than take mineral supplements, according a Prepared Foods article.

  • Advances in medical and mineral science also reveal that consumers cannot rely on plant and animal products alone as their source of minerals. Because of this, they are working to create new versions of plants and enhanced animals that have more easily absorbed minerals. 

  • Scientists working with food processors are trying to find convenient ways to add minerals to food to survive the manufacturing, storage and retail stages of production, as well as maintain desired flavor and consistency. 

Dive Insight:

Minerals impact nearly all human cellular functions, making them a critical point of nutrition for consumers. Among the reasons humans are living longer, healthier lives is the fact that scientists have continued to find more efficient ways of ensuring that prepared foods contain the nutrients consumers need since the latter part of the 19th century.

Mineral delivery through processed foods is a complex and often changing business. It evolves as more is understood how to keep humans healthy. It's also important to know when too much of a certain mineral might be harmful, particularly to people with special dietary needs. For example, diabetics, who make up 9.3% of the U.S. population, have health problems when they consume too much sugar. People with chronic kidney disease make up 10% of the U.S. population and need to monitor their intake of sodium, potassium and other minerals.
 
Plant scientists are increasingly working to build better nutritional values into leafy green and other vegetables in ways that, in time, could make the processed food scientists' jobs easier.
Filed Under: Manufacturing