Chewing for Energy
Research suggests that gum chewing may reduce situational stress, manage weight, increase mental performance, and improve oral health. With the launch of a new gum by VE2, Chicago, Ill., energy may the next benefit of gum chewing. VE2 Energy Gum contains caffeine, niacin, vitamins B6 & B12, ginseng, and guarana. Two pieces of gum contain about the same amount of caffeine as one 8-oz energy drink or one cup of coffee. Because caffeine is absorbed rapidly through oral membranes, VE2 delivers energy quicker than energy drinks. The gum is also easier to store or tote around than bottled beverages. A 10-piece pack of the sugar-free gum carries a suggested retail price of $1.69.

Peanut Butter with Beneficial Fats
Hearts&Minds LLC, Chicago, Ill., has made peanut butter even healthier by replacing 40% of the peanut oil with olive oil and also adding omega-3 (EPA/DHA). Ocean Nutrition Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, supplies the omega-3 fatty acid, which is made from fish oil containing EPA and DHA. A 32-g serving of peanut butter contains 100 mg of omega-3 with EPA and DHA. The patent-pending peanut butter formulation with olive oil and omega-3 allows Hearts&Minds peanut butter to use the health claim: "Limited and inconclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about two tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains six grams of olive oil." Available in crunchy and creamy varieties, the product is sold in stores in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Wyoming.

Natural Sweetener from Stevia
Cargill, Minneapolis, Minn., rolled out Truvia natural sweetener in New York City in July and plans national distribution in the United States this fall. The zero-calorie tabletop sweetener is made from rebiana, part of the stevia plant. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar. One 3.5-g packet of the crystalline sweetener provides the same sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar. The product is kosher certified (Parve circle U). The tabletop sweetener will initially be available in 40-, 80-, and 140-sachet quantity packaging. The manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing is $3.99 for 40-count carton, $6.49 for 80-count carton, and $10.99 for 140-count carton. The 40-count package also will be available for purchase online for $3.99 plus shipping/handling at

In addition to its use as a tabletop sweetener, Truvia will be sold as an ingredient for foods and beverages. Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Ga., who partnered with Cargill to develop the product, maintains exclusive rights to use Truvia in beverages.