Ardent Mills whole grain buns
Daniel Marciani, executive chef for Ardent Mills, demonstrated how to incorporate both triticale and rye into a whole grain bun last year at the Whole Grains Council conference.

The heirloom allure

Heirloom plants are those that were planted long ago, perhaps more than 100 years ago, and now are being grown again. Heirloom wheats such as triticale and spelt will allow people to try different wheat varieties, said Don Trouba, director of marketing for Ardent Mills.

“There is an allure to trying foods that were popular over 100 years ago,” he said. “They have a history, a locality and an ethnic tradition that many consumers find comforting and reassuring.”

Heirloom wheat varieties could be examples of “un-novation” that Daniel Marciani, executive development chef for Ardent Mills, talked about Sept. 26, 2016, at the Whole Grains Council conference “Whole Grains in Foodservice, the Next Frontier” in Rosemont, Ill.

“It’s rolling back and looking at history and saying, ‘What’s worked in the past? Maybe we can go back to that and see what’s good,’” Mr. Marciani said.

He demonstrated how to incorporate both triticale and rye into a whole grain bun. Mr. Marciani said triticale has the baking quality of wheat as well as rye’s ability to grow well in the field.

Popcorn in bars, mixes

Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet popping corn, a brand owned by Conagra Brands, Chicago, earlier this year demonstrated how popcorn may add whole grain content to snacks.

Spices such as cinnamon may enhance popcorn, and bolder options such as Buffalo wing sauce, chili powder, wasabi, sriracha and curry powder are becoming more popular. Popcorn may join peanuts, seeds and dried fruit in trail mix.

Whole grains nutrition bar
Popcorn may add whole grain to an energy bar featuring oats, cinnamon, brown sugar and dried cranberries.

Bars represent another opportunity. Popcorn, oats, cinnamon, brown sugar and dried cranberries may be combined into an energy bar. Kung pao crunch bars may feature popcorn, chow mein noodles, sesame oil and red pepper.

“Popcorn lovers appreciate that Orville Redenbacher’s is a whole grain snack with 0 grams of trans fat per serving,” said Kristin Reimers, Ph.D., director of nutrition for Conagra Brands.