This generation is trying to slow the ageing process, maintain youthful health and appearance, and chase the 'next big thing' that can provide this miracle cure for us.
The attraction to pure, natural foods that are premium in quality yet within our budget, and present the increasingly popular 'clean label' with health claims that can be backed by science, has had to be acknowledged by the food and beverage industry.
The industry has responded with an array of innovative products that claim to rejuvenate the skin, maintain bone health or make even the laziest among us motivated, athletic machines.
These products have been developed using a number of scientific processes carried out in a laboratory, and in some cases, clinical trials to back up their health claims. However, perhaps it's time to rely on good old-fashioned nature by taking the 'natural' trend and not tampering with the primary ingredient, but allow the forces of nature to perform their God-given health benefits without any artificial interference from man.
The problem with this theory is limited shelf life. 'Natural' goes hand in hand with minimal shelf life due to a decline in live enzymes when exposed to heat, light or bacteria, which can make it just about impossible to present on retailers' shelves.
This is the case for wheatgrass, which is increasingly being incorporated into functional products for its wide range of health benefits (reducing blood pressure, stimulation of the thyroid gland, weight loss and improved digestion), but as a standalone product, it tends to be dismissed because of the rate of degeneration.
The solution: a new technology that utilises pressure to eliminate unwanted bacteria, yet doesn't use heat, which can reduce the antioxidant value of a product.
Michael Reynolds claims to have developed a system that includes some methods of doing this that, as of yet, no one else has.
His company, Vegus Foods, has found a way to keep wheatgrass juice fresh in the store for weeks, without refrigeration and without sacrificing content.
Reynolds set up a farm in 2008 when he arrived in Ireland from California, with the aim of starting a new company to produce juices.
Vegus Juices is located at its farm in Foulksmills, Ireland, where the company grows broccoli sprouts and wheatgrass and turns them into healthy organic juices.
By the end of 2011, Vegus Juices was selling products not only in Ireland, but exporting worldwide to Britain, the US, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Slovenia, Greece, Romania, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus, and as far afield as Singapore, Taiwan and Australia.
This technology may pave the way for natural and functional to be successfully combined without the need for those 'added extras', which actually make a 'natural' product rather artificial.
To read more about the technology and process used by Reynolds click here.
Rebecca is editorial assistant of FoodBev.com
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