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On the Shelf - October/November 2007

Oct. 8, 2007
This month's On the Shelf features a product review of gluten-free “Better Bites” sweet soy snacks, and information on natural salmon franks, tuna filets, and all-natural premium sweetened iced teas.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Microsoy Better Bites Sweet Soy Treats

A review by the Wellness Foods staff

The Microsoy Corp. (www.microsoyflakes.com), Jefferson, Iowa, launches its gluten-free "Better Bites" sweet soy snack. The product drew mixed reviews, but most negatives were qualified.

Typical was, "Yummy. Light and crunchy. They have a bit of an aftertaste - not bad though." "Me like!" exclaimed one fan, but backpedaled slightly with "flavor is subtle with a slight aftertaste - would buy for the texture and the crunch (more than) the flavor."

The aftertaste was more pronounced for some: "They start out tasting good, sweet, crunchy and fresh. But then they have a weird, chemical taste, which is hard to like. But that goes away again and they go back to being tasty and, "They taste like they have fake sweetener, and a lot of it, yet they don't." A few thought the texture dry, but most found the texture to be one of the bites' best attributes. Other positive comments on taste came with suggestions, including "needs cinnamon" (note: the company recently released a cinnamon flavor[, pictured]) and a call for a chocolate version.

Size matters. One reviewer, who liked the flavor of the bites, commented that the small discs "look like dog biscuits." Another said they resemble bottle caps. A third commented on the small serving size, but also that the fat content was still high for the amount. However, for those seeking to add more healthful soy to their daily diet, the snacks provide the recommended 6.25g soy protein per serving.

Suggested retail price is $1.50 per 6-ct., 8 oz. package.

Play Misty for Me

ABF Beverage LLC (www.drinkherbal.com), Cedarhurst, N.Y., rolls out Herbal Mist, a new line of all-natural premium sweetened iced teas infused with yerba maté and other botanicals.

The beverage comes in six flavors - White Tea, Black Tea, Green Tea, Peach, Lemon and Raspberry - and is sweetened with natural cane sugar.

According to the Yerba Maté Assn., yerba maté provides many health benefits, such as antioxidants, that aid in mental clarity, enhanced immune system functions, weight control and proper digestion.

Suggested retail price is $5.49 per 6-ct. 8 oz. package.

Feel-Good Fish

Tonnino (www.tonninotuna.com), San José, Costa Rica, introduces its gourmet line of filets of yellowfin tuna from small sized fish. Hand-packed in glass jars, the dolphin-safe, wild-caught tuna is has no additives or preservatives and is rich in omega 3 oils.

It has been proven that yellowfin or "light" tuna, have mercury levels that are three times lower than canned albacore tuna (also called white tuna), according to a Department of Health study. The company is a part of the Earth Island Institute (www.earthisland.org) and supports sustainability and environmental responsibility. The Central American company also contributes to the social development of the underprivileged area where its facility is located, making donations to hospitals, schools, orphanages and homes for the elderly.

Suggested retail price is $6.95 to $8.95 per 7-oz. jar.

Frankly Speaking

A & B Famous Gefilte Fish Inc. (www.gefiltefish.com), Paterson N.J. introduces its line of 100% Natural Salmon Franks. The 100% salmon product look like standard meat hotdogs on the outside, but are made from heart-healthy, omega-3-rich salmon filets.

Extremely low in cholesterol and carbohydrates (including sugar), the pups come in three flavors: Regular, Dill and Tarragon.

They have about half the calories of traditional beef and pork varieties and contain no trans fats, MSG or nitrites. All A&B products are certified kosher or kosher parve.

Suggested retail price is $5.49 per 6-ct. 8 oz. package.

New Joe on the Block

Houston-based Voyava Republic Corp. (www.spavacoffee.com) has infused health-based supplements into a new coffee line called Spava. Made from premium Arabica beans, the fortified coffee comes in five varieties: Clarity (fortified with gingko biloba and white tea to increase alertness and short-term memory); Flexibility (fortified with chondroitin sulfate to improve overall joint health); Immunity (fortified with rose hips and echinacea to strengthen the immune system and promote better overall wellness); Metabolism (fortified with green tea extract to promote natural weight loss); and decaffeinated Calm (fortified with passion flower and B vitamins to reduce stress and promote overall total body wellness).

Suggested retail price is $12.99 per 12-oz. bag.

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