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Natural Products Expo comes to Anaheim

March 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Talk about a food fest -- Imagine 50,000 people getting together for one of the biggest taste tests in California.What is new in the way of natural products can be found at the Natural Products Expo West in Orange County. What's the next food trend to hit your plate? Here's a look.

The sights, smells, and tastes of future food. At the Natural Products Expo there were more than 3,000 products all claiming to be "natural."

"I would love natural to say directly from nature, but unfortunately it doesn't," says dietitian Ashley Koff.

And keep in mind: There are no government regulations on exactly what is "natural."

Just like fashion, food also has its cycles. This year one of the biggest trends is fat. Fat is in favor -- really omega-three fats that are good for boosting mood and heart health. You've seen them before, but now you will find them in everything from cereal, chocolate truffles, oatmeal, energy bars and more.

Organic continues to skyrocket along with obscure ingredients. This year it's ch- ch- chia. Yes, the same chia seeds used for Chia Pets took center stage. Like hemp and flaxseed, they're chock full of omega-three's and easily absorbed antioxidants.

Other "stars": gluten-free foods, energy drinks and "wacky" waters.

Like Y Water: Bone Water, Brain Water, Immune Water and Muscle Water.

"We are proud to introduce here at the show, the world's first coffee berry juice," says Rodrigo, an exhibitor.

Coffee comes from berries that were once simply a waste product of making java. Now it is bottled as a refreshing source of vitamin C, with as much caffeine as a cup of green tea

And while the Expo is geared for retailers, experts like Dietitian Ashley Koff come to read labels with a scrutinizing eye.

"It is really hard and important for us to be clear with the communication of what provides true nutrients and what is nice packaging with a lot of sugar and other things in there," says Koff.

For more information on the companies featured in this story:

Nature's Path Organic Chocolada Almond Hot Oatmeal, Chia Razz bar

O.N.E. One Natural Experience Coffee Berry Juice, Cashew Juice

Navitas Naturals Chia powder

The Fresh Ideas Group Natural Products Expo West assistance

 

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