KALE - THE GREEN HERO
„Superfood“ kale - the journey of the big trend
Kale (a.k.a. Brassica oleracea) is a leafy green vegetable from the Brassica family (in-cludes also cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts). It is easy to grow and a light frost will even produce especially sweet kale leaves. Curly kale, ornamental kale and lacinato or tuscan kale, all differ in taste, texture, and appearance.
While kale is not a recently discovered vegetable (originated in Asia, brought to Europe around 600 B.C.) it took it a while to become a trending superfood and finally reach an ear-ly mainstream status. The trend started spreading in the US and much of this can be credited to celebrities like Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow who have been promoting Kale in various ways (including cameo appearances in videos). More and more chefs and restaurants have been adding kale to their menues and take-away meals.
Kale soon became an „it-food“ and was flooding the social media of health-conscious foodies. It was declared the #4 Top 10 Food Trends by TIME Magazine. Kale has become even popular enough to have its own „National Kale Day“ on October 1st in the US. Kale’s reputation as a super-nutritious ingredient has supported a broad range of food and drink innovation. It has been added to meals and salads and also opened a whole new range of snacks, like kale chips. But also new beverages have been introduced to the markets, from pure kale juice, to smoothies. Japan even launched drinking yogurts with kale in 2014.
Consumers convenience-seeking behaviour will continue to demand kale combined products that deliver time-saving attributes.
Figure: New food and drink products featuring kale, by top 6 categories, by top 5 countries and global, 2010-2014
But the kale frenzy is much more than just the work of a good PR campaign and convenience. Kale is packed with vitamins, calcium, fiber and lots of iron. Kale is a food with some unsurpassed health benefits, if for no other reason than for the exceptional nutrient richness.
Also there has been lot of research on kale especially when it comes to the relationship to health conditions like cancer. The focus lies on the following areas:
- Anti-cancer nutrients
- Antioxidants nutrients and
- Anti-inflammatory nutrients
The unusual concentration of at least 45 different antioxidant flavonoids antioxidants are believed to be the reason behind Kale’s alleged cancer preventive benefits. Based on all the numerous benefits kale one can clearly say - Kale is here to stay!
At AGRANA Fruit we pay special attention to the quality of vegetables. We use them either frozen or dried in form of cubes, granulates or powder. Find our more at our productfinder.