For decades, the baby food aisle has been dominated row after row of shelf-stable jarred varieties, mostly by a few recognizable names. As consumer tastes are shifting, however, that may soon be changing. Parents have become more aware of, and increasingly uncomfortable with, the limitations of traditional ready-made baby food and are now looking for a healthier alternative – one that nutritionally is closer to homemade baby food – that still provides the convenience they are used to. Baby food may be the next category where HPP brings sweeping changes to the consumer landscape.
Health Benefits of Cold Processed Baby Food
For health conscious parents, the only nutritionally optimal solution to feeding their babies has long been from their own kitchen, making their baby food by hand. This is because traditional baby food is heat pasteurized. This processing method was necessary for two reasons: killing food borne pathogens and extending shelf life. Unfortunately, while pasteurization sterilizes the product and kills the microorganisms that infants are especially susceptible to, it also destroys or significantly reduces many of the nutritional components of the food, such as vitamins and minerals. As consumers these days are much pickier about what they eat, it is no surprise that many of them are not willing to feed nutritionally compromised food to their children either.
Baby food that has been treated with HPP, on the other hand, retains its pre-processed nutritional value, as HPP kills off the pathogens without destroying vitamins and minerals. This means that the food that parents are feeding their infants is virtually identical from a nutritional standpoint to the food they would make their babies at home. For busy, health-conscious parents that may not have time to make every meal by hand, this is a godsend.
Another important, and often less appreciated aspect of HPP baby food is that it retains the taste and texture of the original product. Parents and parenting experts now emphasize the importance of developing good eating habits from infancy. Part of this consists in learning to appreciate the taste of natural foods. Eating foods that retain their authentic taste and texture, like HPP processed baby foods, supports this important objective.
HPP is Catching on With Parents
Understandably, parents are extra cautious when choosing what to feed their babies. In the past, HPP may have been too unfamiliar for consumers to feel comfortable with it when choosing food for themselves or for their children. That is rapidly changing, as more and more people learn about high pressure processing and the unique benefits it provides in terms of both health and convenience. HPP is an FDA authorized kill step, meaning that you can rest assured that food treated with HPP is safe to eat, each and every time. Major retail chains like Target, WalMart, and Kroger, just to name a few, have now begun carrying HPP baby foods. As more parents become familiar with the overwhelming benefits of these products, the category will continue to grow and claim a larger and larger share of the market.