POSTED: Feb 23, 2016

Food Navigator USA - Is "raw" still a hot trend in food marketing?

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA as the San Jose-based brand prepares to launch a new line of protein bars which get their protein from sprouted watermelon-seeds, Freeland said: "it used to be that people said that under 113°F is "raw".

"But basing the definition on a temperature threshold is kinf of arbitrary, as what really matters is have you killed the enzymes or not, and some things can be heated to higher temperatures than others before that happens. The food also has to be safe.

"The most important thing about raw food is that it's easier to digest, and sprouted foods are easiest to digest because they are packed full of active enzymes help you to digest foods. But you can't create a standard test that all manufacturers can use [to detect enzymatic activity] on their finished products, because the enzymes will be different in every product. The proof to me is whether you can put it in the ground and grow it."

If you plant our products in the ground they will actually grow

If "raw" is a little nebulous as a term (and one that has also been the subject of some lawsuits), agreeing on a definition of "sprouted" might be more valuable, however, he said. 

A lot of products that are marketed as "sprouted" might be using sprouted grains [grains that have been soaked in water so that they start to germinate], but then they are cooking the product afterwards (eg. baked goods and fried snacks), so while they might be a bit better for you [than comparable products not made with sprouted grains], many of the benefits are lost.

"If you plant our flax crackers in the ground they will actually grow, so that's how I know we are not killing off the good stuff in them. They wouldn't grow if they had been cooked", added Freeland, who makes all of his products in-house at a 65,000 sq ft facility in San Jose.

"We have a very low temperature proprietary de-humidification process [which takes the moisture out of a seed that has started  sprouting/germinating]."

Most people don't really identify with raw foodism


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