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Research confirms pomegranate’s health benefits, POM sales on the rise

BY Melissa Valliant

LOS ANGELES Recent research has affirmed pomegranate’s various health benefits, and the juicy, red fruit’s sales have soared in response. POM Wonderful, the leading seller of pomegranate products, has dished out approximately $25 million on research in order to authenticate its nutritional perks.

In response, the fruit has been added to more than 400 new food products in the past year, including salad dressing, power bars, vodka, cereal and tea. “Ten years ago, only 10 percent of the (U.S.) population had ever tasted a pomegranate,” said Tom Tierandsen, manager of the California Pomegranate Council. “Now, we see no slowing in demand. People are using them in so many different ways.”

Besides being loaded with antioxidants, the pomegranate has been found to improve blood flow, promote prostate health and slow aging. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B5 and potassium.

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Campbell’s, New Jersey governor Corzine celebrate opening of expanded company headquarters

BY Jenna Duncan

CAMDEN, N.J. Campbell Soup Company today held a groundbreaking ceremony for the newly expanded portion of its world headquarters in New Jersey.

The celebration took place at Campbell’s world headquarters at 1 Campbell Place, Camden, N.J. From 10 to 11 a.m. Campbell’s executives were joined by New Jersey governor Jon S. Corzine and other  local community leaders, and Campbell’s president and chief executive officer Douglas R. Conant to discuss details of Campbell’s future business plans and dedication to the Camden community.

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Beverage makers eager to release soft drinks with naturally-derived, zero-calorie Stevia

BY Melissa Valliant

ATLANTA and, PURCHASE, N.Y. Diet beverages may undergo an ingredient makeover within the next few months as a new sweetener called stevia hits the market. Stevia contains no calories or carbohydrates and has a glycemic index of zero.

The sweetener, which originates from a Latin American plant, has been marketed for years as a food and beverage additive as well as a stand-alone sweetener in outside countries, including Brazil, South Korea and Japan. It was introduced to the U.S. in the 80s, but the FDA limited it to a dietary supplement in 1995. Now the FDA is making moves to permit its use in food and beverages.

Naturally, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have jumped on the opportunity to use a sweetener with natural origins and zero calories in their products and are currently in talks with the FDA. So far, Wisdom Natural Brands’ SweetLeaf stevia sweetener is leading the stevia brand, according to a new Packaged Facts study, and is currently the only stevia product with the FDA’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) label, which assures consumers that competent scientific research has found the product to be safe.

Coke and Cargill have teamed up to sell their own version of stevia, called Truvia, as a tabletop sweetener, and the Wall Street Journal has reported that Coke may introduce a new beverage containing Truvia within the next few months. PepsiCo has followed similar steps and joined forces with Whole Earth Sweetener Company to create a stevia-based tabletop sweetener called PureVia. Both Coke/Cargill and PepsiCo/Whole Earth Sweetener Company have filed requests for a GRAS label in May with the FDA, which has 180 days to respond.

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