HARRISON, Ohio – School districts are focused on the health and wellness of students.
Stronger demand for high-quality school meals with fewer artificial ingredients has led to suppliers to the K-12 segment development more foods with clean labels. One of those companies is JTM Food Group, which launched a clean label, premium beef taco filling for schools.
The taco filling is allergen free, gluten free and free of caramel color and cornstarch, the company said. The company’s research team used innovative ingredients to achieve the clean label: Isolated plum fiber replaces caramel color, and citrus flour enhances flavor while replacing corn syrup and gum acai.
“There is a growing demand for clean label products in the school foodservice industry,” said Brian Hofmeier, vice president of education sales. “While some districts have the labor and ability to do a large amount of scratch cooking, many districts are looking to manufacturers for fully prepared solutions that are more health-conscious with fewer ingredients.
“They need the added benefits of a fully prepared product to help them manage costs, address labor issues, and meet the needs of the National School Lunch program,” he added.
The company said school districts participating in US Dept. of Agriculture’s Child Nutrition Programs can have their beef diverted to JTM to be used in the premium taco filling, or the filling can be purchased commercially. The product comes packed frozen in a 30-lb. master case that contains six 5-lb. cook-in bags of taco filling. The product is CN labeled with each 3.26-oz. serving of the taco filling with only 227 mg. of sodium.