I recall a day visiting my son in elementary school; I wanted to bring him a surprise snack. Peanuts are light and healthy, yet yummy. I brought a bag big enough to share with classmates and friends.
I placed the bag of nuts on the classroom counter, proud of my purchase, and waited for the other moms to enviously glance over. First a quick glance, followed by a second look of horror! Moms rushed to the bag of nuts, threw them aside and into a nearby wastebasket, then panicked, grabbed disinfectant spray and a towel and began furiously cleaning the area where the bag of nuts once laid.
It was an eye-opening lesson learned that day. Nut allergies are quite prevalent, and are becoming even more common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of food allergies increased in children under age 18 years from 3.4 percent in 1997 to 5.1 percent in 2011.
As such, innovations in “free from" foods are on the rise from gluten-free to lactose-free. For nut-free applications, Ampak Company/Inclusion Technologies recently launched Nadanut™, a line of nut analogs. The nut analogs are available in five different flavors and shapes: plain nut, pecan, walnut, cashew and pistachio. In addition to being nut-free, the wheat germ-based analogs contain no trans fat and are GMO-free.
However, as we know, taste trumps all, even in specialty products like “free from" foods. I’m looking forward to tasting these during the Natural Products West/Engredea trade show in Anaheim, California, March 6-8, where the company will be showcasing this new Nadanut Naturals line.