Hummus with Extra Protein
Hummus—a dip or spread popular in the Middle East—has taken America by storm as a healthy snack or meal component. Nasoya, Ayer, Mass., has launched Super Hummus, which delivers twice the protein and half the fat of the leading hummus brand in the United States. The nutritional advantage of Super Hummus comes from substituting low-protein chickpeas with soybeans, which are naturally high in protein. The formulation also reduces the amount of added oil and replaces water with protein rich soymilk.

The top national brand of hummus has 2 g of protein and 6 g of fat in every 2-tablespoon serving, while Super Hummus has twice the protein (4 g) and half the fat (3 g) for the same size serving. In addition to cooked soybeans, the ingredients in Super Hummus include sesame tahini, soymilk powder, cooked chickpeas (for flavor), soy sauce, lactic acid, water, vegetable oil, and natural flavors. Super Hummus comes in two all-natural varieties: Classic Original with a rich, nutty flavor and Spinach Garlic. Each 10-oz variety carries a suggested retail price of $3.99.

Yogurt Cups Made from Plants
Stonyfield Farm
, Londonderry, N.H., makers of organic yogurt, is replacing its petroleum-based polystyrene (PS #6) multipack cups with cups made from plants, which slash the package’s greenhouse gas emissions by 48%. “Sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement and this plant-based cup is our latest step forward. Now consumers can feel as good about the cup as the organic food inside,” said Gary Hirshberg, President. The cups are made primarily (93%) from polylactic acid (PLA), a derivative of corn. NatureWorks, Minnetonka, Minn., supplies the PLA. Clear Lam Packaging, Elk Grove Village, Ill., developed the plant-based plastic (rollstock) to run on the form, fill, and seal machine, supplied by Arcil, Cedex, France.

“The long-term outlook for recycling our new packaging is far brighter than the polystyrene it is replacing,” said Nancy Hirshberg, Vice President of Natural Resources. “While most plastics are ‘down-cycled’ when recycled and go into lower value materials like carpeting, PLA can be completely closed-loop recycled back into the same material, which is a huge step toward the green economy we strive for.”

Snacks for At-Home Entertaining
The recent recession sent many consumers back to the home kitchen for everyday meals and snacks and for preparing foods to entertain friends and family. Recognizing this shift in consumers’ food habits, Circle Foods Group, San Diego, Calif., has launched La Terra Fina Gather Rounds, a line of frozen appetizers consisting of bread rounds and dips. Varieties in the line include Paprika Focaccia with Cheddar Beer Dip, Italianstyle Garlic Bread with Basil Marinara and Melted Mozzarella Dip, Potato Bread with Asiago Bacon Dip, Olive Bread with Sun Dried Tomato & Roasted Garlic Dip, and Rosemary Bread with Spinach Parmesan Dip.

To prepare the appetizer, consumers heat the pre-baked bread in the oven at 325°F for 20–25 min. The dip can be micro-waved for about 4 min with midstream stirring. The bread rounds are designed to pull apart and dunked into warm creamy dips. Each 19-oz variety serves about 4–6 people.