Georgia Pecans: Natural Nutrition in a Nutshell

Unintelligible names for ingredients. Trans fats. Anything that sounds like it’s not found in nature or in someone’s home pantry.

American consumers, ever savvier about what they’re eating, are more frequently demanding food with “clean labels”—nothing artificial or difficult to understand—and companies are racing to drop synthetic artificial ingredients from their products. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has ruled that trans fats must disappear from the American diet by 2018.

The public wants natural ingredients – and that’s where Georgia pecans come in.

“Pecans can’t fill every gap, but they certainly have their place as a healthful ingredient in consumer food products,” says Margaret Lisi, program manager of the Georgia Pecan Commission’s Center for Pecan Innovation in Atlanta.

Delicious, rich-tasting pecans have so many health benefits that they are often referred to as “nutrition in a nutshell,” and science backs that up:

“Companies looking for natural ingredients that deliver taste, texture, fiber and nutrition should consider pecans—they aren’t just for pies,” Lisi adds. “Pecans are very competitive nutritionally with other nuts like almonds, and the many forms of pecans we offer—pecan flour, meal, pieces, butter and oil—can be used in just about anything consumers want to eat or drink. All it takes is imagination.”

Georgia is the largest producer of pecans, and the Georgia Pecan Commission has taken a leadership role in promoting pecans. The Center for Pecan Innovation, funded by the Commission, has developed its own products to show the versatility of America’s only native tree nut at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2015 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. The Center for Pecan Innovation, based in Booth 1927 at FNCE, will offer samples of:

“Pecans meet the needs of today’s food manufacturers—rich taste, great mouth-feel and an unbeatable ingredient with loads of natural nutrition,” says Lisi. “There’s nothing fake about pecans.”