Consumer demand for functional foods that help sustain a wide array of dietary needs continues to cause consternation and innovation within the food industry. Consumer packaged goods companies can enhance new and existing brands by taking advantage of emerging healthy ingredients that differentiate products from the competition. Snacks need to evolve to better address satiety, the push from some consumers to move away from soy, and the opportunity to incorporate diverse plant based ingredients from ancient grains, pulses, and seeds and inputs with higher nutrient density.
Addressing these issues head on, Firebird Artisan Mills developed the Firebird Artisan Crisp family– healthy ingredients utilizing buckwheat, red lentils, sorghum, fava bean, pea protein, Suntava Purple Corn™ as well as natural colors to bring crunch, texture, and a health halo to a wide range of product applications.
The Firebird team selected these inputs due to their versatility, neutral taste and superior nutritional profile when compared with traditional snack ingredients. Buckwheat, a very healthy, nutty, and versatile whole grain/seed, is high in protein and contains all eight essential amino acids, while being low in fat, high in fiber, as well as many vitamins and minerals. It is easy to digest and has the highest levels of manganese, magnesium, copper and zinc of any commonly available cereal grain.
Purple corn features antioxidants and anthocyanins essential to better health and well-being. In addition, the combination of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals found in purple corn can be used to enhance gluten-free products such as healthy snacks, cereals, protein/snack bars and more. Sorghum, commonly used with its outer layers, retains the majority of its nutrients when processed. The wax surrounding the sorghum grain contains compounds called policosanols, that may have an impact on human cardiac health.
Fava beans, also known as broad beans, offer an uncommon combination of protein and fiber. Fava beans have surprised food developers based on their nutrient density. In addition to serving as a lean protein choice with abundant fiber, fava beans contain vitamin K, vitamin B6, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium and are one of the leading high-folate ingredients available.
Firebird Artisan Crisps deliver carefully sourced ingredients which are certified gluten-free, non-GMO, and derived from whole grains, seeds and pulses.
“The crisps can contribute to a healthier, more protein-rich product without affecting overall taste,” said Mike Hallman, vice president of sales for Firebird. “With protein levels of 50-60%, a snack can actually do what it’s supposed to—tiding you over until the next meal.”
Products that visually demonstrate differentiation, resonate with buyers. The pleasant, unique red, yellow, purple and cocoa colors of our crisps generate immediate association with ingredients more natural and authentic than commoditized corn, rice, or potato ingredients.
“These tones are naturally associated with nutrient dense foods and may be harmonized with other primary and tertiary colors for unique product presence, branding and packaging,” said VP of Marketing and Sustainability Bradford Warner.
Ingredients with high protein levels may contribute to numerous health benefits including helping in muscular contraction and coordination, strength and development, and even renewing and restoring cells and tissues.
“We invite customers to explore using our crisp family for applications ranging from nutrition bars to salty snacks to cereals to baked goods,” Hallman added.
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