Branston baked beans now brainy with omega-3

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Premier Foods has given canned baked beans a makeover and enhanced
their healthy profile by adding omega-3 fatty acids.

The company today launched a new line of its branded Branston baked beans with fish oils. 'Branstein' baked beans are designed to support cognitive development, amongst other benefits. This is the latest innovation in the omega-3 product category, where formulators have think up increasingly competitive and novel approaches in order to harness the benefits of the profitable industry. According to Frost & Sullivan, the European omega-3 market - worth around €160m (£108m) in 2004 - is expected to grow at rates of 8 per cent on average to 2010. The packaged goods market has been left wide open for health and wellness trends to make their mark following the demise of the low carb trend in recent years, according to ProductScan Online. The Datamonitor division highlighted omega-3 among the four trends set to characterize health and wellness trends in packaged goods. Branstein baked beans taste like the regular version of the product, but a 210g serving contains 17 per cent of UK's recommended daily intake of omega-3. An entire can of Branstein beans contains 34 per cent. While it acknowledges that omega-3 enhanced products can bolster intake of the fatty acids, the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) still recommends a varied consumption of oily fish. "For people who don't like fish, alternative products can be useful,"​ BNF nutrition scientist Anna Denny told NutraIngredients. The new types of value-added products could be especially practical for children, she added, as they often do not like the types of oily fish that are high in omega-3. This in turn is part of the marketing plug behind Branstein baked beans. "Branstein Baked Beans is the smart choice for parents who are keen to get more of the goodness of omega 3 in to their kids,"​ said Rob Stacey, marketing manager for Branston. The company has not said whether the omega-3 is derived from fish oil or vegetarian sources. In the past, there has been concern over foods containing the shorter chain fatty acid ALA, from plants, flagging omega-3 content, when the main benefits have been seen to relate to longer chain DHA and EPA. According to Denny, consumers must choose omega-3 manufactured foods with the same caution they should use in choosing all foods - paying attention to variables such as salt and caloric content. "Choose products that are already recommended as part of a healthy balanced diet,"​ said Denny. Branstein Baked Beans are launching nationally this week and have a recommended retail price of 55p.

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