Incorporating fruits and vegetables in baked foods

Advice on which ingredients are healthy and which are not may be confusing at times, but views on fruits and vegetables seem clear. Federal agencies recommend increased consumption, and consumers agree, saying in at least one survey that they are trying to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Grain-based foods companies should know ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their products are bountiful.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans cite the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern, which recommends 2½ cup-equivalents of vegetables and 2 cup-equivalents of 
fruit at a daily 2,000-calorie level.

The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2016 Food and Health Survey found 28% of Americans who responded said they began trying to eat more fruits and vegetables in the past year and 53% said they had been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables for more than a year. Groups likely to be eating more fruits and vegetables included people age 35-80, college graduates, people with higher incomes, women, and people in better health.

The polyphenol content of grapes, the fiber levels of prunes and the vitamin A found in sweet potatoes are some of the health attributes of fruits and vegetables. Companies should promote benefits consumers understand, however. For example, the IFIC survey found 83% said they rated vitamin C as healthy while 21% rated ascorbic acid, the chemical name for vitamin C, as healthy.

For more information on the health benefits of these baked food additions, please visit Food Business News.