The state fairs which take place across the US are an opportunity for each state to promote its wares, and for its citizens to let their hair down and enjoy the sideshows and the junk food.
But this year's Florida State Fair will be a little different, as alongside the junk food will be a range of information about nutritional and healthy eating, sponsored by the HJ Heinz food company. The main focus will be on lycopene, found in many Heinz products such as tomato ketchup and spaghetti sauce.
Lycopene is an antioxidant believed to reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer, and it is found in abundance in processed tomato products. Heinz said that studies from institutions such as the University of Toronto, Harvard Medical School and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggested there are health benefits from a lycopene-rich diet.
"We're excited to be presenting the public with important information about the disease-fighting benefits of lycopene," said Dr Ida Laquatra, co-ordinator of the Heinz Scientific Advisory Board. "Many people don't know that lycopene is already in some of their favourite foods. We're here to help people understand how easy it is for them to incorporate this important antioxidant into their diets."
Visitors to the HealthExpo exhibition at the Florida fair will be treated to daily culinary demonstrations, sponsored by Heinz, which are intended to illustrate how easy it is to incorporate lycopene-rich dishes into the daily diet.