Bakers Journal

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Consider Non-GMO sunflower kernels, a nut-free alternative for healthy snacks and bakery innovations

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March 13, 2024 in Features

(CREDIT: National Sunflower Association)

Over 3 million Canadians suffer from a food allergy and according to Health Canada nut allergies are amongst the topmost prevalent allergies. Canadian consumers are constantly searching for nut-free products. This is the perfect time for food manufacturers to consider switching to sunflower kernels, a healthy nut alternative for snack foods, plant-based products, or baked goods.

Due to their low moisture content, USA-grown sunflower kernels function like most other nuts and seeds and can be a cost-effective substitute in product formulations. They are rich in healthy fats, protein, fibre, minerals, vitamin E and phytochemicals – all important to the nutritional quality of a balanced diet. In addition to the health benefits, sunflower kernels add a pleasant crunch to foods and have a neutral flavour profile.

In today’s market, sustainable development is a key concern for Canadians, who seek greater transparency regarding the ingredients in their food products. USA-grown sunflower kernels perfectly align with this preference, finding applications in a variety of foods such as baked goods, granola, snack bars, salad toppings and herbal products.

The long taproot of the sunflower helps enrich and rejuvenate the soil. In addition, sunflower crops consume much less water than other crops and reduce soil erosion, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sunflower kernels are:

  • offered raw, roasted or ready-to-eat
  • light in flavour and give a pleasant crunch to foods
  • a good source of fibre, vitamin E, zinc and folic acid

Exploring how sunflower kernels can be a cost-effective addition to your product innovations is a step towards meeting the rising demand of nut-free alternative foods. Click here to learn more or contact a sunflower kernel supplier here.

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