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NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Vitasti, Inc., based here, a food company specializing in the health-and-wellness sector, has developed a new line of vitamin-rich granola with an antioxidant supplement and a hip new featured ingredient -- the acai berry. Harvested in the Brazilian rainforest and touted by the media as "nature's perfect food," the acai (pronounced "AH-sci-EE") has been used for thousands of years by Brazil's indigenous peoples, who attribute various healing and nutritional properties to the fruit.
A list of the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids bursting from each berry shows why nutritionists have been sitting up and taking notice: vitamin B1, (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin C, vitamin E (tocopherol), iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium, in addition to the essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-9, all of the essential amino acids, and more protein than an average egg.
"The special ingredient in our new granola is very cutting-edge and innovative, and it is the company's firm belief that it will take the industry by storm," notes Vitasti c.e.o. president, Tammy-Lynn McNabb.
According to Julie Miller Jones, a professor of nutrition and food science at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn., the fruit could prove helpful to Americans seeking to improve their overall health. "The acai berry, like many dark-red and purple-colored berries and fruits -- red grapes, blackberries, and black currants, for example -- is filled with antioxidants and other plant constituents that impart important health properties," she told Progressive Grocer. "Is this magic? No, but most diets fail to include the recommended eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, [and people] could use a greater quantity of these important phytochemicals."
Vitasti, which spent nearly a year developing the cereal, has come to an agreement with Woodbridge, Ont.-based Higgins Cohn Brand Management to distribute Acai Berry Granola and several other Vitasti product lines scheduled to launch this fall.