Guacamole Kit
With limited skilled labor and the demand of quicker order fulfillment, foodservice operators are constantly looking for convenient food preparation. One product that offers convenience is Guacamole Especial from J.R. Simplot Co., Boise, Idaho. Packed in a vacuum-sealed poly bag, the product contains ripened and peeled Hass avocado halves with pre-measured ingredients—jalapeños, cilantro, onions, garlic, tomato, and seasonings.

To prepare, operators thaw the frozen product, mash the ingredients in the bag to the desired texture, and serve. "It is so easy to use. Just thaw and blend, no waste, no labor, 100% usable," said Mark Hill, Simplot Corporate Chef. "Since the operators blend the product, they determine the texture and degree of natural-looking lumps. Guacamole Especial is for the operator who wants to have consistent, great-tasting guacamole throughout the day."

Labeling Touts Health Benefits
As part of a nationwide educational program to promote the health benefits of its fresh and frozen fruits, Dole Food Co., Westlake Village, Calif., is labeling its products with a "Superfood" logo. For example, packaging for frozen Dole Whole Strawberries bears a "Superfood for your Brain" logo, while Dole Pineapple Chunks carries a "Superfood for your Joints" logo. On fresh fruit like bananas, the Superfood logo takes the form of a sticker.

Dole is producing a Superfoods guide called "What You Need to Eat and Why." The guide is available as a brochure and poster for placement in supermarkets and schools. The company also is distributing a new Superfoods cookbook.

Dole’s Nutrition Institute, a research and education foundation, is a big proponent of the Superfoods program. It maintains a state-of-the-art phytochemical laboratory that culls research data from over 40 food scientists from around the world. The institute also produces health and nutrition segments that run on airline in-flight TV and a hardbound food encyclopedia.

Water Fortified with Calcium
Propel Fitness Water from Gatorade is expanding its presence in the enhanced waters arena with the launch of Propel Calcium. An 8-oz serving of the beverage contains 10% of the DRI (daily reference intake) for calcium. The drink’s source of calcium is FruitCal®, a patented calcium ingredient composed of calcium and two organic acids: citric acid and malic acid. According to research, FruitCal is better absorbed by the body than calcium carbonate (the calcium source frequently used in supplements).

"According to the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, approximately 79% of Americans do not consume the recommended Adequate Intake (AI) for calcium, which is 1,000 mg/day for individuals 19–50 years of age and 1,200 mg/day for people 50 years of age and over," said Stella L. Volpe, Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Propel Calcium will be available nationwide in both 500-mL and 700-mL sizes in three flavors (Mango, Mandarin Orange, and Mixed Berry) starting in January 2006. Like regular Propel Fitness Water, Propel Calcium contains only 10 calories/8-oz serving.