2011 was a very successful year for the Almond industry, and specifically for the Almond Board of California (ABC) Nutrition Research Program with 10 newly published research papers and more than 20 conference presentations. I am very proud to have served on our Nutrition Research Committee since its creation as we focused on developing the science base for health promotion in key global markets through discovery of the amazing properties of almonds.
A recent success is the inclusion of almonds in the American Heart Association (AHA) Food Certification Program, which approves certain foods for a Heart-Check mark on food packages. The strength of our grower-funded almond nutrition science has played a vital role in acceptance by the AHA (see related article
). This highly credible AHA Heart-Check mark is eligible to be placed on many almond packages and on ABC marketing materials. Almond heart-health benefits have been documented in more than 10 human clinical trials in North America, Europe and China.
For 2011–2016, the Nutrition Research Committee stresses that ABC must remain proactive globally to maintain and expand the consumer’s mind-set about the healthfulness of almonds for heart health and diabetes prevention, as well as the role that almonds can play in weight management and satiety. Each research project is evaluated based upon how it will support the advancement of ABC and NRC goals, and how the potential results may be integrated into our overall body of almond science.
Our Nutrition Research Program has a global reach, and we’re thankful for the newly completed Global Market Demand Analysis, which will help guide our research projects into target almond markets. We’ve been very successful in aligning with high-impact, world-class scientists as ‘partners’ in health research, and this past summer we made important connections in Asia (China, India and Singapore) with scientists who share our goal of a more complete understanding of the amazing benefits of almonds. The world needs the power of almonds.
Sam Cunningham, Ph.D.
Chair, Nutrition Research Committee