Archive for March, 2015

Sustainable Packaging Initiatives at MELT® Organic

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Among many sustainable initiatives we have spearheaded since our launch into test markets in 2010, we are proud to have been the first brand in the Butter/ Margarine/ Butter Substitutes category to package our spreads in sustainable square packaging. As with many new brands who bring innovation to a ‘status quo’ category, our launch resulted in nearly all other brands converting from round to square packaging over the past few years.

With a smaller footprint delivered via its structural package design, MELT® Organic revolutionized the way products are displayed in the dairy case and stored in the warehouse.

Compared to traditional round and oval packaging, square packaging increases refrigerator shelf and warehouse space efficiency.  Square packaging also achieves significant carbon savings by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the products’ packaging, distribution, and retail energy-use over the course of the product’s life cycle. Our packaging supplier also has innovated through the development of “thinnest-wall technology”, requiring less material to produce the packaging while maintaining functionality. Lighter packaging translates into lower shipping costs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions associated with transport.

This “first” by the brand was part of a collection of firsts related to our product formulations and reflect our company’s commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing. Other ‘firsts’ that solidify our leadership as the true innovator in this category include:

  • Perfect Blend of organic fruit- and plant-based oils made with:
    • Virgin Coconut Oil that is certified Fair for Life Fair Trade
    • Palmfruit Oil that is certified by the Rainforest Alliance and RSPO-IP (their highest certification)
    • Hi-oleic sunflower, flax seed and canola oils that are certified organic and Non-GMO Verified
    • Sunflower lecithin instead of soy lecithin
  • All MELT spreads are soy free, dairy free, gluten free, nut free
  • All MELT spreads have always been free from hydrogenated oils, artificial colors or flavors, and artificial ingredients of any kind
  • All MELT spreads are certified organic, Non-GMO Verified, Kosher Pareve, and Autism Hope Alliance certified

Since launching the brand more than five years ago, we have remained true to our Mission and are pleased to share it with you.

Prosperity Organic Foods, Inc., provides great tasting products of superior quality through innovative uses of healthy fats and oils that allow consumers to eat better, feel better and live better.

  • We will pursue practices that respect humanity and the environment.
  • We will cultivate a culture that fosters mutual respect, integrity, authenticity, fun and passionate talent
  • We will transform consumer and customer desires to marketplace wins.

As a result consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit and value creation allowing everyone to prosper.

Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Our coconut flour zucchini bread is a moist and delicious gluten-free treat lightly sweetened with maple syrup and made with Honey MELT®. Adapted from Detoxinista.com.

IMG_0591

Ingredients

6 eggs at room temperature

½ cup maple syrup

¼ cup Honey MELT®, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1½ cups grated zucchini, tightly packed

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard loaf pan (9 in by 5 in) with parchment paper.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, Honey MELT®, and vanilla extract.
  • Resting a sifter on a small plate, add the coconut flour, cinnamon, cardamom, and baking soda to the sifter.
  • Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, breaking up the lumps out of the coconut flour along the way. Mix well with a wooden spoon. The batter will be thicker than a cake batter.
  • Stir in the grated zucchini with either a wooden spoon or with your hands until it is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Scoop the batter into the lined loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula (or your hands).
  • Bake the loaf at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and firm. Cool loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Since this is a moist bread, we recommended storing it in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Health News: New Research Shows Common Food Additive Promotes Colitis, Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Looking for another reason to buy certified organic foods?

Emulsifiers are used in food products to improve texture, mouth feel, and extend shelf life. According to a new study, synthetic emulsifiers polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulsose – commonly use in non-organic processed foods – can induce intestinal inflammation by altering gut microbiota composition and promote the development of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.

Georgia State University Institute for Biomedical Sciences’ researchers Drs. Benoit Chassaing and Andrew T. Gewirtz led research efforts with contributions from Emory University, Cornell University and Bar-Ilan University in Israel. The research was published February 25, 2015 in Nature and was funded by the National Institutes of Health and Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, afflicts millions of people and is often severe and debilitating. Metabolic syndrome is a group of very common obesity-related disorders that can lead to type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular and/or liver diseases. Incidence of IBD and metabolic syndrome has been markedly increasing since the mid-20th century.

The term “gut microbiota” refers to the diverse population of 100 trillion bacteria that inhabit the intestinal tract. Gut microbiota are disturbed in IBD and metabolic syndrome. Chassaing and Gewirtz’s findings suggest synthetic emulsifiers might be partially responsible for this disturbance and the increased incidence of these diseases.

“A key feature of these modern plagues is alteration of the gut microbiota in a manner that promotes inflammation,” says Gewirtz.

“The dramatic increase in these diseases has occurred despite consistent human genetics, suggesting a pivotal role for an environmental factor,” says Chassaing. “Food interacts intimately with the microbiota so we considered what modern additions to the food supply might possibly make gut bacteria more pro-inflammatory.”

Addition of synthetic emulsifiers to food seemed to fit the time frame and had been shown to promote bacterial translocation across epithelial cells. Chassaing and Gewirtz hypothesized that synthetic emulsifiers might affect the gut microbiota to promote these inflammatory diseases and designed experiments in mice to test this possibility.

The team fed mice two very commonly used synthetic emulsifiers, polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulsose, at doses seeking to model the broad consumption of the numerous synthetic emulsifiers that are incorporated into almost all processed foods. They observed that emulsifier consumption changed the species composition of the gut microbiota and did so in a manner that made it more pro-inflammatory. The altered microbiota had enhanced capacity to digest and infiltrate the dense mucus layer that lines the intestine, which is normally, largely devoid of bacteria. Alterations in bacterial species resulted in bacteria expressing more flagellin and lipopolysaccharide, which can activate pro-inflammatory gene expression by the immune system.

Such changes in bacteria triggered chronic colitis in mice genetically prone to this disorder, due to abnormal immune systems. In contrast, in mice with normal immune systems, synthetic emulsifiers induced low-grade or mild intestinal inflammation and metabolic syndrome, characterized by increased levels of food consumption, obesity, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance.

The effects of emulsifier consumption were eliminated in germ-free mice, which lack a microbiota. Transplant of microbiota from emulsifiers-treated mice to germ-free mice was sufficient to transfer some parameters of low-grade inflammation and metabolic syndrome, indicating a central role for the microbiota in mediating the adverse effect of synthetic emulsifiers.

The team is now testing additional emulsifiers and designing experiments to investigate how emulsifiers affect humans. If similar results are obtained, it would indicate a role for this class of food additive in driving the epidemic of obesity, its inter-related consequences and a range of diseases associated with chronic gut inflammation.

While detailed mechanisms underlying the effect of synthetic emulsifiers on metabolism remain under study, the team points out that avoiding excess food consumption is of paramount importance.

“We do not disagree with the commonly held assumption that over-eating is a central cause of obesity and metabolic syndrome,” Gewirtz says. “Rather, our findings reinforce the concept suggested by earlier work that low-grade inflammation resulting from an altered microbiota can be an underlying cause of excess eating.”

The team notes that the results of their study suggest that current means of testing and approving food additives may not be adequate to prevent use of chemicals that promote diseases driven by low-grade inflammation and/or which will cause disease primarily in susceptible hosts.

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