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Lxccutlvc gummed This century has witnessed tremendous advances in OH herds of human endeavor, particularly the sciences. Our daily lives have been enriched, our standard of living improved, and the average h~ span pro- longed. This report examines the changing interface between agriculture and human health tam gelds that have been progress- ing geometAcaHy during this century and the role of animal products in the diet. Animal products contribute more than third of the calories and between ~ third and aH of the other major nutrients in the Cod supply. They also contribute more than half of the total fat, three-~urths of the saturated fatty acids, and all the cholesterol, Mod components that may adversely Tact an individunfs health. The Mod industry in the Ended States began during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Then the population began to shiR Com rural communizes to urban centers. Early Mod companies up- phed the scientific knowledge of the day to produce products that would meet the needs of the consumer? changing he-style. ~ur- ing those early years, the major innovations in the industry included canning, reRi~er ution, and Fc~'in~cchniqll~s that arc taken far granted today. bc major public heath pr~LLms ~ the turn of the century Aura very dirt koln those scan today. Nutr~ionu1 deGciencics and incus discuses mare responsible far latest of the disaLiLty JI1] death. With the implementation of phallic health measures and the development and widespread rise of antibiotics and vaccines, moist oF the infectious diseases prevalent decades a~o have been J1 hut eradicated today. Im- prov~m~nts in economy status Bong with the enrichment and ~rOAcation of ~ variety of Mods and improvements in product quad fly and disthhution have reduced the oc- currence of nuthtiona1 deficiencies in the Unhed States to ~ pectin of That was commonplace 9Q years ago. The nutrit~n-related health problems cx- perienced by ~ large segment of the L. S. population today arise Tom the rjvercon- sumption of b~ saturated fatty acids, and ch~desterol. For another group the Inuin dietary problems canter around undercon- sumption of iron, calcium, and calories. The incidence of nutr~ion-reluted health proh- l~ms is si~niOcuIlt, Pectins either directly
2 or indirectly nearly every American family. For example, it has been estimated that 34 million adults in the United States are overweight; nearly 1 million adults die each year of cardiovascular disease;* IS million to 20 million adults are afflicted by osteo- porosis; 8 million adults and 12 million children go hungry due to inadequate diets (Physician Task Force on Hunger in. Amer- ica, 1987~; and iron deficiency has been cited as the most common form of childhood anemia. The following specific target levels for caloric intake ant] nutrients in the diet were chosen by the Committee on Technological Options to Improve the Nutritional Attri- butes of Animal Products on the basis of the dietary recommendations of major na- tional health organizations and the health findings of federal surveys. These targets are used as the foundation of this report and the committee's analysis and recom- menciations. · Caloric intake matcher! to individual needs and appropriate to achieve and main- tain desirable body weight (American Can- cer Society, 1984; American Heart Associ- ation, 1986; National Institutes of Health, 1984; National Research Council, 1980, 1982; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health ant! the Surgeon General, 1979; U.S. De- partment of Agriculture/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1985; U. S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, 1977~; · 30 percent or less of calories from fat for adults (American Cancer Society, 1984; American Heart Association, 1986; National Institutes of Health, 1984; National Re- search Council, 1982~; · 10 percent or less of calories from * In 1985, 948,145 people in the United States died of cardiovascular disease, including 771,169 from dis- eases of the heart, 153,050 from cerebrovascular dis- eases, and 23,926 from atherosclerosis; 461,563 indi- viduals died from cancer (National Center for Health Statistics, 1987~. DESIGNING FOODS saturated fatty acids; 10 percent or less of calories from polyunsaturates] fatty acids; and 15 percent or less of calories from monounsaturatec] fatty acids for adults (American Heart Association, 1986~; · 300 mg or less of cholesterol per day for adults (American Heart Association, 1986~; · Calcium intake of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for age and sex (National Research Council, 1980~; and · Iron intake of the RDA for age and sex (National Research Council, 1980~. These targets are chosen by the commit- tee as constituting the consensus of dietary and nutrition recommendations made by the government and nongovernment agen- cies cited. It is not the intention of the committee to establish new dietary guide- lines. The Food ant] Nutrition Board of the National Research Council is currently un- dertaking a major study of diet and health issues, and a new National Research Council report may eventually be published that makes specific recommendations. In evaluating how well the current U.S. foot] supply and marketplace options match these target levels, the committee relied upon several sources of data. Food supply data (also known as per capita disappearance (lata) from 1965 to 1985 provi(le(l informa- tion on tren(ls for individual commodities. Federal dietary survey data from 1977 to 1978 and 1985 were used to study dietary habits for selected segments of the popu- ration. (The Nationwide Food Consumption Survey is conducted every 10 years. The data from the 1977 to 1978 are used in this report, as well as data from the linking survey in 1985.) Data on supermarket food sales for 1984 and 1985 provided insight on the latest trends in the marketplace. In addition, the nutritional compositions of individual animal products, both traditional and modified versions, were evaluated. Food supply trends varied markedly from product to product during the Midyear ne _ ~ r . ^^ r . ~ '~ ~ ~ ~ You tram ~o to ~ Ace. ~ nere was a rise in
EXEC UTIVE S UMMARY the consumption of some reduced or natu- rally low-fat animal products, such as low- fat milk and fish, but there was increased use of high-fat foods, such as hard processed cheese and baking and frying fats of both vegetable and animal origin. One of the fastest growing food items, according to dietary survey data and supermarket sales, was meat mixtures entrees containing one or more types of meat, poultry, or fish as a major ingredient. The intake of processed foods in general also increased; consumers were eating more frequent, smaller meals but buying foods that required less prepa- ration time. These trends indicate a shift in the con- sumption of fats, with a decrease in the intake of visible, separable hits and an in- crease in the intake of fats in processed foods such as mixtures, baked goods, carr~v- out food items, and partially prepared foods that require little additional preparation at home. The committee concluded that, overall, Americans consume too much fat. Fat in foods, whether present in the food's original state, as with well-marbled beef, or added during preparation, such as with deep frying in fat, adds calories, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol. Conversely, the removal of fat from a food lowers its caloric, cholesterol, and fatty acid contents, and favorably alters its nutritional composition by increasing its other nutrients in relation to its caloric value. There is a movement among food pro- ducers, processors, and manufacturers in the United States toward lowering the fat content of animal products. But at present, this mostly consists of the physical removal of fat at one point in the food production process (for example, closely trimmed retail cuts of beef) with the reintroduction of the trimmed fat at another point (for example, French fries fried in beef tallow). The com- mittee believes that economic, marketing, and research policies should be redefined to encourage the production of leaner ani 3 mats and the processing and manufacturing of lower fat animal products by economically discouraging the production of fat in live animals and their carcasses and the use of fat in food products. From a research stand- point, this involves the further development and practical application of growth pro- moters and repartitioning agents in live animals to shift the utilization of nutrients from fat deposition to protein accretion while enhancing growth rate. In production, changes in such policies as standards of identity are necessary to facilitate the man- ufacture and marketing of lower fat animal products. Standards of identity are an es- tablished range of mandatory ingredients for certain foods such as catsup, mayonnaise, frankfurters? and bologna that do not have to appear on the product label. The U. S. food industry has responded to the consumer s demands for variety, con- venience, and taste by providing an ever- expanding array of options in the market- place. Supermarket sales indicate that con- sumers are willing to try new products, including new versions of traditional foods, even when priced at a premium. However, consumers may not be aware of the quality of nutrition they are trading for convenience and at what price. Survey data indicate that consumers are confused about grades of beef, product labeling, and the content of food products and are demanding more detailed and clearer information about the products they buy and the foods they eat. The trends signify that the marketplace is responding, despite current limitations. The present grading system for retail meats is not only costly and inefficient but it encourages the overfattening of beef and lamb (but not pork). Consumer demand for leaner animal products must reach the pro- ducer so that excessive amounts of fat are not added to any point in the food chain. Trimming of fat at slaughter or at purchase is only a partial, short-term response. The real solution lies in the production of leaner animals.
4 CHANGES IN POLICY The committee makes 18 policy recom- mendations covering the areas of produc- tion, grading, labeling, standards of iden- tity, point-of-purchase information, sources of data, advertising and promotion, the government's role in nutrition education, and integrates] research ant! education pro- grams. A principal finding is that public policy influences consumer choice. New policies are now needed to sustain the positive trends evident among consumers and throughout the animal product indus- tries, trends like nutrition education pro- grams in supermarkets, closer retail trim of meats, and the growing array of lower fat animal product options. The committee's goals are to provide consumers the oppor- tunity to exercise personal choice in the marketplace, to encourage the clevelopment of a range of products consistent with those choices, and to ensure sufficient consumer education and information to make those choices informed decisions. The starting point is for producers and their industry associations to recognize the need to understand marketplace trends ant] the role of foods in a healthy cliet and to implement appropriate animal feeding, breeding, en c] selection programs. They should also support public policy reforms that wfl} facilitate progress towarc] the shared goals of offering consumers a consistently high-quality product at the lowest possible price. The Grading System The committee makes several recommen- dations regarding the current grading sys- tem. First, it supports the recent change in the name of the Good grade to Select, to provide the beef industry with an oppor- tunity for improved marketing of beef with less marbling than is found in Prime or Choice. The objectives in adopting grading system changes should be to provide con DESIGNING FOODS sumers with clearer, more accurate infor- mation about the meat products they pur- chase and to send to producers ant] packers distinct economic signals on the types of products consumers prefer. The current system fails on both counts. Second, the committee recommencis that the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) carefully study the potential benefits of changes in regulations to allow hot-fat trim- ming at slaughter removal of the subcu- taneous fat from the carcass immediately after slaughter (thus, the term hot fat re- ferring to the temperature of the carcass). Such a change from current regulations would! mean that price would be determined from the pounds of carcass remaining after trimming, in effect penalizing the producer for additional fat. A change in official USDA gracie standards woul(1 be neede(l to uncouple the simulta- neous determination of yield and quality gra(les of a single carcass. Yield grades are based on estimates of relative cutabflity, that is, the yield of trimmed cuts from the carcass. Yield gra(le 1 signifies the highest comparative cutability Yield of trimme(1 wholesale or retail cuts as a percentage of carcass weight), whereas yield! grade 4 for pork carcasses and 5 for beef an(1 lamb carcasses denotes the lowest relative cuta- bility. Quality gracles such as Prime, Choice, and Good/Select are based on estimates of relative palatability (flavor, juiciness, and tenderness) of the meat when cooked. The uncoupling of yield and quality grades would allow packers wishing to hot-fat trim on the slaughter or dressing floor to still have carcasses quality graded while giving other packers the freedom to continue the current practice of assigning both quality and yield grades. Before uncoupling is effected, the com- mittee recommends that the USDA inves- tigate methods such as ultrasound for reli- ably determining carcass yield grade so that yield grades of 4 and 5 (carcasses with a higher amount of fat between cuts of meat)
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY can be detected and treated differently (for example, muscle-boned to remove seam fat) from yield grade 3, 2, and 1 carcasses, which have less fat. The lean to fat ratio in the meat as it would be prepared for retail display is important to both retailer and consumer. A rapid and economical method for determining yield grade fir the propor- tion of lean to fat tissue in carcasses would make removal of fat at slaughter f'easil~le without the yield grade uncertainty and the risk of excessive seam fat in wholesale fir retail cuts. Labeling and Standards of Identity Three of the committee's policy recom- mendations involve labeling and standards of identity. First, the committee agrees with the Food and Drug Administration (FI)A) that regulations should not restrict truthful information at the point of purchase or on food product packaging. Second, the committee recommends that use of the term Natural for meat products be standardized in a manner similar to the current FDA effort to standardize use of terms in cholesterol labeling. In standard- izing the term, care must be taken that use of the term Natural not connote that meat from animals otherwise designated is some- how unnatural and thus unhealthy. Finally, the committee recommends that the USDA restrict use of the terms Light, Lite, or Lean to products in the form that would be presented to the retail consumer. Certification of the relative leanness of car- casses should not simply be carried over to retail cuts as is now often done. Rather, use of descriptive terminology on retail cuts should require some objective standard for the cut itself. Information and Consumer Education The creation of a wide range of market- place options allows consumers maximum flexibility in matching products to their own dietary and life-style needs. However, for 5 the system to work eff'ectivelv? shoppers must have the information needed for in- formed choice. The information available on labels is an important first step, but additional information available at the point of purchase should also lie promoted. The committee recommends that the F1)A en- co~ragc~ the development elf point-of'-pur- chase information progralns (additional nu- trition education inforInati~'n beyond that mandated by law) in 1itrilt of the continued <`rrowth in popularity of these pro-,rarms and the demonstrated ~:illingIless of' retailers and processors to supply information l~e- ~vond that given on the label. This could be done by issuing, specific ~`ruidelilles for pro- viding factual nlltritiol1 data WithOIlt jud<tr- ment fir com IneIlt. The committee also recommends that restaurants he enco~lra<tred to provide point-of' purchase information try their customers. Point-ot'p~ll-chase inf'or- mation programs should bc~ subjected to the same standards and scrutiny as aclvertixing programs monitored by the Federal Tracle ~ . . Commission. The committee recommends that all gov- ernment flood data banks be periodically reviewed by an oversight group and con- solidated when appropriate. This process of review and management of data bases should not be done in a vacuum. Rather, food retailers and processors should be c-ncour- aged to share their expertise and information and to ensure that the information compiled will meet the needs of a wide range of users. Currently, there are no standards for serving, sizes; consistency would facilitate compari- sons among products, labels, point-of'-pur- chase information, and federal and private data bases. The committee further recom- mends the establishment of standards gov- erning serving sizes. This is important in terms of nutrition education and research and for a wide range of data base users. Probably no policy issue has received more attention from regulators, consumer advocacy croups, and food manufacturers than claims of health promotion and disease
DESIGNING FOODS prevention. Aside from the fact that such claims may initiate mandatory nutrition la- beling, the most recurrent problem is the inability of manufacturers to document them. The committee recommends that the pri- vate sector seriously consider developing advertising and promotional guidelines that would restrict or eliminate the use of mis- leacling claims or claims that specific foods are cures for, or preventers of, diseases. Government has a dual role in nutrition education: communication of clear and ac- curate nutrition information to consumers and communication of up-to-date scientific information and marketplace trends to pro- ducers. Unfortunately, misinformation often passes for scientific fact, particularly in the mass media. Because ofthe many conflicting claims and counterclaims made in the field of nutrition, government agencies play a vital role in separating fact from fallacy for both consumers and producers. Organiza- tions such as the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council ant] the American Heart Association translate re- search into practical information for use by nutrition educators. The Food ant! Nutrition Board's RDAs, which are widely used around the world, are an example of this process. USDA's Extension Service provides a na- tionwide nutrition education system that connects nutrition and agricultural con- cerns. Through its vast network to nutrition professionals, educators, scientists, and con- sumer groups, it can effectively communi- cate nutrition information to targeted au- diences. The committee recommends that federal agencies strive to reach consensus positions that would enable them to speak with one voice on nutrition and health issues. The committee further recommends a coordinated effort by the government to dispel false notions among consumers and encourages federal agencies and private in- dustry to work together to deliver consumer information. One piece of information that is essential to making dietary recommendations is the level of fat consumed by the typical Amer- ican. In the past, government ciata sources may have inaccurately estimated the amount of fat consumed, particularly fat of animal origin. Attempts are currently under way within the USDA to improve dietary survey methodologies to more accurately reflect actual intake. The committee commences this and recommends that the food clisap- pearance data also be moclified to better reflect actual use. In abolition, the federal government should] take steps to more ac- curately distinguish and monitor the fatty acic] composition of fats consumer! in the diet. The committee also recommends that the USDA obtain data on the fat content of partially trimmed meats and, if possible, on the percentage of consumers who trim their meats completely, partially, or not at all. Research and Development The committee recommencis that all re- search pertaining to animal agriculture take a systems approach whenever possible. This extends to the expenditure of funds raised by producer groups through check-off pro- grams. Check-off programs include a per- head fee assessed when animals are slaugh- tered. The organizations charged with col- lecting check-off funds use the money for special programs such as research or edu- cation. Producer groups that have already supported research projects along with their promotion programs are to be commencle(l. Such activity should be encouraged. The committee recommends that producer check- off programs include regular funding for total systems research as it pertains to the producer's products. Government policies that may inhibit the implementation of new technologies should also be evaluated. It is imperative that the United States maintain both the high quality and stringent safety standards associated with its foods and food products. However, inhibition of research and development in- itiatives in both public and private sectors
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY is occurring because of overly strict regu- lations and an unwillingness to accept re- search data from other countries. Currently, food technology research conducted in an- other country is not accepted in the United States without being duplicated, which sig- nificantly increases the cost of producing new foods and food ingredients. The com- mittee encourages a responsive retrulatorv policy that dices n`'t inhibit creativity or innovation. RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS f The committee makes 1& research rec- ommendations (see Chapter 6) covering such areas as preharvest technology transfer, pre- harvest research related to the reduction or alteration of animal fat, and postharvest technology. The committee concluded that current pre- and postharvest technologies provide ample opportunity for reducing the fat content of animal products. Even though some options are now being applied, others have not yet been adopted heca~,.';e of high costs, lack of demand, product labeling standards, or, in some cases, the stability of the product's quality (such as shelf life) in the marketplace. Clearly, these problems must be addressed through basic and ap- plied research. The more that is known about the basic biology offactors controlling the partitioning of nutrients into protein or fat in animals, the higher the probability of changing these processes through genetic or metabolic con- trol. Just as animal biology is advancing, so is our understanding of food science and postharvest research needs. These research advances are the basis for improved and new foods composed of or containing animal products. Preharvest Technology Several of the committee's recommen- dations center on technologies that could be applied before slaughter to alter the 7 composition of the animal during growth. These recommendations include identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control partitioning of feed nutrients into fat or lean tissues and altering the fatty acid composition and the lean to fat ratio of meat, milk, and eggs through breeding, nutrition, and management. In addition, the commit- tee recommends implementing available technologies for determining the fat and protein contents of live animals and car- casses. Research is also recommended to deter- mine the extent of genetic variation in the cholesterol content of animals, the reduction of oxidative rancidity of animal products through feeding or management, and the development of more cost-effective methods of efficiently producing low-fat animal prod- ucts by integrated production management systems. Postharvest Technology Postharvest technologies to reduce fat in animal products can be used satisfactorily in many situations. However, these tech- nologies are not without costs and are usu- ally associated with some change in product characteristics such as texture, flavor, and shelf life. In addition (and depending on the product and the changes) a variety of regulatory and labeling issues must be ad- dressed. One of the main research recommenda- tions echoes a previously discussed policy change: the adoption of standards of identity that would reflect today's technology and consumer needs. Less prescriptive stand- ards could permit beneficial applications of new technologies to reduce the fat content of animal products in new ways. The com- mittee also recommends the use of tech- nologies to remove fat at the earliest possible stage in processing and to improve methods to evaluate and monitor the resulting fat content of the product after processing. The use of non-fat or low-fat ingredients are
8 recommended to simulate the textural and quality characteristics and properties of fat and to alter the fatty acid composition of processed animal products. Several of the committee's recommen- dations center around] altering the choles- terol content of animal products during processing. These include the use of mo- lecular genetics en c] other biotechnologies to generate new microorganisms to reduce the cholesterol content of products through fermentation and the use of selective ex- traction to reduce both the cholesterol and fat contents of processed animal products. Sodium chioricle plays a critical role in delaying microbial growth, providing flavor, and contributing to the functional charac- teristics of many processed products, but it is also cited as being excessive in the Amer- ican flier. The committee recommends that methods be developed to safely and organ- oleptically (taste and texture appeal) reduce or replace sodium in manufactured animal products. Animal products have always been part of the fundamental fabric of the American diet, offering a rich array of choices, tastes, ant! nutrients, and providing the very basis of the traditional diet in this country. This report presents a wide variety of information and data through which to view the current American diet and suggests directions for its course in the future. Some of the changes are relatively simple to implement; others involve a coordinated effort between indus- try and government. In all cases, the need DESIGNING FOODS to improve the composition of the foods in our diets is evident, an(l the necessary technology is within our grasp REFERENCES American Cancer Society. 1984. Nutrition and cancer, cause and prevention. An American Cancer Society special report. Ca A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 34(2):121-126. American Heart Association. 1986. Dietary guidelines for healthy adult Americans. Circulation 74:1465A. National Center for Health Statistics. 1987. Advance Report of Final Mortality Statistics, 1985, 36(5), August 28. Hyattsville, Md.: Public Health Service. National Institutes of Health. 1984. NIH Consensus Development Statement on Lowering Blood Cho- lesterol to Prevent Heart Disease, Vol. 5, No. 7. Washington, D.C.: National Institutes of Health. National Research Council. 1980. Recommended Di- etary Allowances, 9th ed. Washington, D.C.: Na- tional Academy Press. National Research Council. 1982. Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Surgeon General. 1979. Healthy People, the Sur- geon General's Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. DHEW (PHS) Publication No. 79-55071. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Public Health ~ . service. Physician Task Force on Hunger in America. 1987. Hunger Reaches Blue Collar America: An Unbal- anced Recovery in a Service Economy. Boston: Harvard School of Public Health. U.S. Department of Agriculture/Health and Human Services. 1985. Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2nd ed. Home and Gar- den Bulletin No. 232. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Hu- man Needs. 1977. Dietary Goals for the United States, 2nd ed. No. 052-070-04376-8. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.