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A Closer Look at a Best-New-Foods List

Food Processing's list of the Best New Products of October 2008 includes Oogies, a "healthy alternative" to other salty snacks.

Of course, everything is relative. Oogies, a popcorn snack, uses "all natural ingredients," Food Processing enthuses. That list includes 100 percent corn oil, maltodextrin and corn syrup solids. Oogies contains 160 calories and provides nearly a fifth of the recommended amount of daily fat intake per one-once serving.

Also on the list is Crayon's, a brand of "All Natural Sports Drinks" -- aimed at kids -- that are free of high-fructose corn syrup. Which is fine, but the company, Crayon's Inc., plays up this fact in a big way, even though the product contains sugar, which isn't much different in effect from HFCS. On the plus side, there seems to be considerably less sugar in it than in other sports drinks.

Food Processing says Crayons was "created specifically to address the nutrition and hydration needs of thirsty young athletes"; that it is available "in three fun flavors"; and that the drinks "fill a void in the fast-growing functional beverage market for kids" by providing vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.

"Youth dehydration is a serious issue, and liquids should be consumed before, during, and after sports," Food Processing continues. It quotes an author who says that two-thirds of kids are dehydrated during sports practice. That author, as Food Processing notes, is on Crayon's payroll.

Nutritionists and common-sense-imbued parents have a good answer for solving the dehydration problem: drink plenty of water.

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