Hormel Foods Corp. has launched a line of packaged ready-to-eat meals called Hormel Vital Cuisine. Experts from the Cancer Nutrition Consortium (CNC) and professional chefs, including chefs from the Culinary Institute of America, provided support to Hormel in designing the line to specifically meet the nutritional needs of cancer patients.
“During product development, we brought together researchers in both the health and culinary fields to ensure a thorough understanding of a patient’s needs during various phases of treatment,” said Chet S. Rao, Ph.D., strategy and business manager for the specialty foods group at Hormel Foods. “This product line was thoughtfully crafted, since many product attributes such as flavor, texture, and ingredients are known to affect patients differently during their cancer journey, during which eating and drinking can be challenging.”
With a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, Hormel Vital Cuisine products are nutrient- and protein-rich to help patients fight loss of energy and muscle mass during cancer treatment.
“Most cancer patients are too tired to make a meal, or even shop for it,” said Bruce Moskowitz, physician and chairman of the CNC. “Yet the importance of good, consistent nutrition can’t be overstated. We saw an opportunity to address these issues. So in 2014, we embarked on this endeavor with Hormel Health Labs to improve cancer patients’ quality of life.”
Hormel Health Labs, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., offers foods, beverages and specialty items to both facilities and individuals at home in the health care market for those with unique dietary needs.
Hormel Vital Cuisine’s ready-to-eat meals come in three high-protein varieties, including chicken and dumpling, vegetarian stew and beef and mushroom gravy. Hormel has made an effort to eliminate the unnecessary ingredients that are known to affect taste and smell sensitivities.
“While the main goal of these products is to provide balanced nutrition and supply calories to cancer patients, we knew it was critical that the products also offer great flavor and smooth textures,” said Ronald DeSantis, certified master chef and director of culinary excellence and quality assurance for Yale Dining. “The Hormel Vital Cuisine Ready to Eat meals are hearty, nutrient dense and flavorful options that you can easily prepare for your loved ones, while also feeling confident that they’re getting what they need.”
The ready-to-eat meals are the latest addition to a lineup that includes protein nutrition shakes and whey protein drink mixes. A portion of all sales of the line will go to the CNC.