Entrees for Dogs
Some pet owners want dog food; others want food for their dogs. For the latter, Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., St. Louis, Mo., offers Beneful Prepared Meals. The family-style pet food contains beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and/or lamb with wholesome grains, such as wild rice and barley, and vegetables. Eight varieties include Beef Stew with peas, carrots, rice, and barley; Simmered Chicken Medley with green beans, carrots, and wild rice; and Roasted Pork Entree with green beans, barley, carrots, and wild rice.

The entrees come in clear, 10-oz ready-to-serve containers with resealable lids. The single-serving product has a suggested retail price $1.59. "With the humanization of pets, dog owners have become more interested in the food they feed their dogs, including the ingredients on the label and the way the food is packaged," said Steve Crimmins, Vice President of Dog Food Marketing. "We are the first pet food manufacturer to put a clear container on the shelf that enables pet owners to actually see the quality of the product."

Spooning Yogurt with Whole Grains
Yogurt has gone way beyond its days of "fruit on the bottom" with many new functional additives, such as omega-3 fatty acid and different live cultures. Brown Cow Farm, Antioch, Calif., is adding to the mix with Brown Cow Low Fat Yogurt with Fruit & Whole Grains. In addition to whole grains (i.e., rolled oats, hulled barley, and quinoa) and fruit, the all-natural yogurt contains sunflower and flax seeds.

Another product plus is its live and active culture blend of Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidus. These cultures are not only beneficial in digestion—they also help create a mild flavor and creamy texture. Each 6-oz cup serving contains 150 calories.

Made with milk from farmers who pledge not to use the artificial growth hormone rBGH, the low-fat yogurt comes in four fruity flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Raspberry Pear, Summer Fruits, and Blueberry. As part of its corporate mission, Brown Cow Farm donates 10% of its profits to environmental protection efforts.

Smart Label Senses Meat Spoilage
A smart label from Food Quality Sensor International, Lexington, Mass., detects foodborne bacteriological levels in packaged fresh meat and poultry, right through the flexible film. Called freshQ, the stick-on freshness sensor label is applied by the meat packer, distributor, or grocer to the outside of fresh-wrapped meat and poultry packages.

The economical sensor, which is made of food-grade materials, costs less than 1% of the total value of the average meat or poultry package. When the product is fresh, the color inside the "Q" on the label is tangerine orange. When the bacteria count in the package builds to a critical level, the orange turns to gray to indicate spoilage.

The label is being test marketed by an independent grocery distributor and organic beef processor in the United States. Other organizations involved in the product’s development include supermarket chains, meat and poultry processors, and academic food science departments.