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(NewsUSA) - Three square meals a day are a thing of the past. Busy schedules, diverse dietary preferences and the flow of modern life necessitate more flexible and convenient meals. Luckily, snacking is in the midst of a revolution. Traditional snacks like chips and pretzels have given way to bigger, better and healthier options that deliver both convenience and nutrition in one tasty package. Whether clean-label, organic, vegan or nutrient-added, it's up to ingredient suppliers and manufacturers to develop products that meet all of these demands. That's certainly a tall order.
While there are no standard requirements for clean label snacks, naturally derived gums, hydrocolloids and colors are generally accepted in such applications and have become increasingly popular. You might see these ingredients listed as carrageenan, a soluble fiber from red seaweed, or cellulose gel, which is a refined plant fiber. In many foods and beverages, these ingredients improve shelf life and nutritional value without diminishing taste -- like giving drinkable low-fat yogurt that distinctive creamy consistency with every sip.
They also prove quite functional in products that meet strict dietary requirements, like gluten-free and vegetarian options. Hydrocolloids and gums like carrageenan, alginates and cellulose gel can be sustainably sourced from nature and are perfectly suited for vegetarian and vegan foods. Either by improving the flavor and fullness of meatless sausage or producing non-dairy ice cream with that definitive indulgence and delectability, these ingredients are making new snacking options both possible and palatable.
Reducing the number of ingredients in a recipe is one challenge and, more recently, adding ingredients has become another. We want foods and beverages with added value, but it's important to understand that introducing vitamins or nutrients to any product can significantly affect flavor and texture. Enriched, shelf-stable snacks that boast added protein need a stabilizer to maintain the quality of the product. Without the added ingredients like carrageenan, similar products might separate, taste chalky or be less effective than their claims imply.
Food companies are adapting their product formulations and rolling out new products to meet demand for healthy snacking solutions. Naturally derived ingredients that help reduce fat and sugar content but maintain product integrity are changing the way we snack. They deliver that indulgent experience we all appreciate. For more information on ingredients that give us a variety of snacks for a wide range of diets, please visit www.FoodScienceMatters.com.
(NewsUSA) - "Made in America" matters; almost 80 percent of Americans would prefer to buy an American-made product instead of one made abroad, based on data from a national survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The findings appeared in an article in the February 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
In addition, more than 80 percent of the survey respondents cited keeping American jobs and maintaining America's strength in the global economy as reasons to support American-made products.
Henry Repeating Arms, maker of repeating firearms based on the design that was patented in 1860, is one example of a company that takes pride in its American roots and gives back to the country and communities.
The company's Guns for Great Causes program includes a range of activities that benefit individuals and organizations of all sizes.
Examples of how the company has made a difference include a donation of two Henry rifles to a Missouri high school fundraiser to send the school choir to perform at Carnegie Hall, as well as a donation of 100 Henry rifles custom embellished with the Kansas state flower to benefit a sick 4 year old girl from Sedan, Kan. Henry is the lead sponsor of the Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jam 40th Anniversary to benefit The Journey Home Project program for veterans. It has made donations to many medical charities, including the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, the Roger Maris Cancer Center and the Ronald McDonald House. Within its industry, Henry supports the NRA, as well as many wildlife conservation and youth shooting sports organizations.
Henry Repeating Arms is one of many companies that support American troops via the USO and a multitude of charitable military organizations -- such as the Marine Corp Scholarship Fund, Operation Homefront and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Anthony Imperato, president of Henry Repeating Arms, has personally thanked many veterans for their service with a gift of a Henry Military Service Tribute Edition rifle.
Extraordinary customer service is a key foundation of the company's success. Henry's Extreme Customer Service policy means that all customer service issues are handled in-house by a staff operating with a mandate from Mr. Imperato to do whatever it takes to make certain the customer is satisfied. The policy includes an unlimited lifetime guarantee on products, and Mr. Imperato responds personally to customer emails seven days a week.
For more information on Henry's Guns for Great Causes program, visit www.henryrifles.com.