Friday, March 14, 2003

The food industry just loves its broccoli
By Thomas Lee Post-Dispatch
updated: 03/13/2003 10:55 PM

"Dennis Gierhart is a big fan of the stuff most kids - and more than a few adults - dread at dinner time: spinach, broccoli, collard greens. But those much-maligned vegetables might yet get their day in the sun. Gierhart believes that zeaxanthin, a compound found in green leafy vegetables, along with some fruits and eggs, can help to prevent an eye disease that causes blindness in people 55 and older. Such a benefit, however, might not be enough to convince broccoli haters. So, Gierhart, chairman and chief executive of ZeaVision LLC in St. Louis, envisions a line of tasty foods and beverages that contain the appropriate amounts of zeaxanthin. "I think this is going to be the new frontier in the food industry," he said. Gierhart has good reason to think big. Functional foods, also known as nutraceuticals, have attracted considerable interest from the U.S. food-and-beverage industry." [Good business overview of the industry; mentions DHA and ARA in infant food. - JC]