13

--

PHYTOfied - certified phytonutrient contents for food products.

Seventeen years ago, after finishing college, I was floundering and working odd jobs, when I stumbled into a career in food science. I became well educated in the field, and then began a career in food science and food safety. Every meal time was (and still is) an opportunity to think about my work. What's in that product? Why that ingredient? What else am I eating that isn't listed? I became fascinated with the healthful benefits of food that aren't well communicated to consumers on nutritional panels or labels on certain foods. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and grains in particular just don't get the credit they deserve for containing high levels of micronutrients and phytonutrients.

PHYTO what? Phyto is a Greek word that means "plant." Nutrient, of course, is a chemical substance that provides nutritional value and enriches the body [For those turned off by the word "chemical" (agast!), please realize we are made of biochemicals]. According to "America's Phytonutrient Report: Quantifying the Gap", on average, eight out of 10 Americans have a "phytonutrient gap" – that is, they fall short in consuming key phytonutrients from foods that could benefit their health (Exponent for Nutrilite, February - March 2010). While some take supplements to combat these deficiencies, PHYTOfiedTM was created from a belief that fruits, vegetables, herbs, and grains contain all the phytonutrients humans need plus other forms of nutrition such as fiber, macronutrients (like carbohydrates), and micronutrients (like vitamin C). Plus, plant-based foods taste good and enhance dietary enjoyment and culinary creativity. 

The average consumer is confused by what appears on food product labels or other forms of packaging or advertising. Nutritional statements or claims can be vague, misleading, qualitative (rather than quantitative), dubious, and remiss concerning phytonutrients. So, there really is a need for some way to highlight the phytonutrients in food that is clear and credible. It may even increase consumer choices of healthy plant-based foods. 

PHYTOfiedTM provides aservice to food product brand managers, marketers, retailers, trade groups, governments, and other entities that would benefit from identifying and quantifying the phytochemical components in plant-based foods and food products.  In order for a food product to become PHYTOfiedTM it must undergo laboratory analysis of phytochemicals/phytonutrients to identify and quantify certain key phytochemicals.  The PHYTOfiedTM service will rely upon laboratory partners to conduct testing for phytochemicals in food products in a timely manner.  The PHYTOfiedTM research group will coordinate food sample collection and submission to the laboratory partners.  Participating laboratories will conduct analyses and report results to our management staff, who will present results to our clients. The small, green graphic the clients receives back is informative yet concise, attractive and recognizable, adaptable to different products, and transportable to marketing materials. It also tells consumers where to find out more by listing a website at the bottom (www.phytofied.info). Below are examples for a grain-based product and a tea.

Comments

Please sign in or sign up to comment.