World's first 'nutritional' pizza made in Scotland
London, July 3 (ANI): A Scottish nutritionist joined forces with an entrepreneur to produce what they claim are the first nutritionally balanced pizzas.
The duo claims that their pizzas contain 30 percent of an adult's guideline daily amount of vitamins and minerals.
They also have a third of the recommended amount of calories, protein and carbohydrate.
The pizzas were created by Mike Lean, of Glasgow University, and businessman Donnie Maclean.
Prof Lean, of the university's human nutrition department said the idea was born out of frustration.
"If you go along to a supermarket or a restaurant and buy a meal, then somebody should have thought about it nutritionally," the BBC quoted him as saying.
"We've recently studied ready meals produced by the top five supermarkets in Scotland - common foods eaten in huge numbers - and they're hopelessly unbalanced.
"They contain as much salt as you should have in a whole day or more. They contain as much saturated fat as you should have in a whole day or more. The nutrients we need every day are absent from these meals. Nobody has thought about it. So I got together with Donnie to try to do this."
Maclean, the founder of Eat Balanced, helped Prof Lean come up with unusual ways of incorporating more nutrients into a pizza.
Pizza does not have to be "junk food". Load up on vegetable toppings, while going easy on the cheese and meat.
"I researched the market and found that seaweed was an interesting new ingredient being used in artisan bread," he said.
"So we used that as a way of reducing the salt level. The sodium content of seaweed is about 3.5 percent compared to 40 percent in salt. There's iodine in there, vitamin B12, all sorts of things. And the flavour is excellent as well," he said.
Red pepper is also mixed in with the tomato base to give the pizza extra vitamin C. As well as these nutrients, each pizza contains magnesium, potassium, folates and vitamin A.
"The way the guidelines are set out, you have 20 percent of your nutrients and calories from your breakfast, 30 percent from your lunch, 30 percent from your dinner, and an extra 20 percent for snacks," Maclean said.
"We focused on pizza being a lunch or a dinner option. Each pizza gives a complete meal, with all the nutrients in it, for 30 percent of your day," he said.
A survey by Mintel suggested seven in 10 British adults eat pizza, with forecasters predicting the market will be worth 1bn pounds by 2016.
"For a good number of years I have been trying to help people find easy ways to get a balanced diet," Prof Lean, who is also a consultant physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said.
"The easiest way to do that is to eat nutritionally balanced meals. Three of those a day and you've done it, but at the moment commercially prepared meals are not nutritionally balanced," he said.
One major British supermarket chain has already indicated it will stock the healthy pizzas, and Maclean is in talks with other supermarkets and catering suppliers.
The pizzas will only be available frozen as tests revealed the nutrients were better preserved that way, and Prof Lean and Donald Maclean said they had to work hard to keep prices down.
"Our pizzas are more expensive than most of the frozen pizzas but on a par with the chilled pizzas," Maclean said.
"So it shouldn't be a hard pill to swallow, or a hard pizza to eat," he added. (ANI)
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