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The Enduring Appeal of Ancient Grains

In a Packaged Facts survey, about a fifth of American adults say they’ve recently bought ancient grain items off of a menu or grocery store shelf. So what are ancient grains and what’s the appeal?

Ancient grains are a group of grains, pseudograins and pseudocereals that have remained unchanged over the last several hundred (if not thousands of) years. Most of the ancient grains are gluten-free. Those include amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff.

Mass-produced products are often easier to grow and mill, and they’re usually a little more impervious to insects. But they also contain lower nutritive value and tend to be over-refined.

Ancient grain products, as a group, are higher in protein and fiber than their modern counterparts.

Amaranth crops

At seven to 16 percent, grains are a good source of protein. This is often overlooked despite the fact that grains are the main source of protein for most people in developing countries.

Also found in ancient grains? High values of B-group vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. Plus a variety of interesting flavor profiles.

Highly nutritious and packed with flavor, it’s no wonder that ancient grains are in virtually every grocery category in the United States. Have you incorporated ancient grains into your formulations? Tell us what’s worked for you in the comments below.

If you’re interested in sampling any of our ancient grain products, contact us today to get started.


Our Favorite Experiences at Engredea/Natural Products Expo West

We asked the Firebird team on the ground in Anaheim what stood out to them the most from this year’s event.

Our friends at Tailormade Foods stopped by to celebrate their success.

Chris Krenzel, Sales: Connecting with our customers is my favorite part of the job, and at events like these it’s always incredible to see our customers and celebrate their successes with them.

Travis Greene, Procurement: Walking the floor, there’s a palpable feeling of excitement and energy. I enjoyed seeing the new products and talking with people about ways they are innovating.

Chris Cairo, VP: The Natural Products Expo is a good event for us all around, but I think what stands out for me is the quality of conversations we have at our after-hours networking event at Morton’s. This year not only did we have a great turnout, we had some insightful, productive talks. Those were the highlights of the week for me.


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Three trends to watch in snacking.

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