MEETING THE DEMAND

Consumer demand for value-added edibles is being met by new company divisions, products and labeling.specific foods and nutrients that would help prevent and manage specific diseases," Anthony Hebron, spokesman, told SN.Likewise, early this year, Campbell Soup Co.'s Center for Nutrition & Wellness, Camden, N.J., launched the "Intelligent Quisine" line to meet the dietary needs of noninsulin diabetics

Consumer demand for value-added edibles is being met by new company divisions, products and labeling.

specific foods and nutrients that would help prevent and manage specific diseases," Anthony Hebron, spokesman, told SN.

Likewise, early this year, Campbell Soup Co.'s Center for Nutrition & Wellness, Camden, N.J., launched the "Intelligent Quisine" line to meet the dietary needs of noninsulin diabetics and patients with heart-related problems.

Under the mail-order program, a variety of meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner are delivered to customers at home. Most of the items in the line are frozen, with the exception of several canned lunch selections.

Intelligent Quisine carries language saying it was developed in consultation with the American Diabetes Association and has received certification from the American Heart Association.

The company has been testing Intelligent Quisine in Ohio, where it has been enormously successful, according to David Macnair, the Center's vice president and general manager. It is not known when the line will be rolled out nationally.

Meanwhile, the Mars' new Sports division, Hackettstown, N.J., launched the sports bar VO2Max in 10 Western states. It is being billed as the nation's first scientifically formulated energy bar, containing vitamins, minerals and "a unique patented blend of antioxidants."

Manufacturers have been quick to jump on the functional foods bandwagon. Earlier this year, acting on a petition from Quaker Oats, the Food and Drug Administration allowed health claims to be printed on certain whole-oats foods. The claim states that such products can reduce the risk of heart disease. Along with Quaker Oats, General Mills is using the claim on its Cheerios boxes.

And there are many other efforts under way. The wine industry, for instance, is pushing for labels that refer to the health effects of moderate wine drinking.

Kellogg has a petition before the FDA to approve a new health claim that dietary fiber from wheat bran or whole wheat may reduce the risk of colon cancer. If approved, wheat bran will become the 10th health claim sanctioned by the FDA that can be used on food packaging.

Further, there is legislation before the Congress that seeks to speed up the health claim approval process. In addition, a broader interpretation of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act allows manufacturers to make claims for the potential benefits of some nonconventional foods, as well as dietary supplements.