Flaxseed and soy proteins are two ingredients increasingly being used by food manufacturers in grain-based foods, especially cereals, to improve the healthful qualities of these products. And if the cereals reach a certain level of soy protein per serving, the manufacturer can include a Food and Drug Administration-approved health claim on the packaging.

Battle Creek, MI-based Kellogg Co. created Smart Start Soy Protein readyto-eat breakfast cereal. It features lightly sweetened rice and whole-wheat flakes and soy granola clusters with honey, cinnamon and vanilla flavors. The cereal contains 6.25 g of soy protein per 55-g serving, qualifying it for the FDA health claim that reads, “Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 g of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. ”

The front of the cereal box also features the American Heart Association’s heart check symbol that indicates it meets AHA’s criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol. General Mills, Minneapolis, MN, produced Harmony, “Nutritional Cereal for Women.” The vanilla almond oat-flavored April 2004 RTE cereal includes 2 g of Solae soy protein per serving and promotes itself as an excellent source of calcium, iron and folic acid. Harmony cereal’s box showcases a promotion for 8th Continent Soymilk on the front, and a $1 coupon for the soymilk can be found on the back.

Hodgson Mill, Effingham, IL, developed Multi Grain Hot Cereal with milled flaxseed and soy. The company promotes the cereal as a more efficient way to benefit from the heart-healthy aspects of omega-3 oil. It contains 450 mg of omega-3 oil per serving. The box states, “We use a specially milled flaxseed for our hot cereal. We break it down for you!

“Unlike whole flaxseed, which cannot be digested, our specialty-milled flaxseed allows your body the opportunity to fully absorb the benefits of the heart-healthy omega-3 oil,” according to the hot cereal’s packaging.

U.S. Mills, Inc., Needham, MA, recently introduced Uncle Sam Instant Oatmeal that features whole-wheat flakes and whole flaxseeds. The oatmeal includes 5 g of dietary fiber (2 g soluble and 3 g insoluble) per
130-Cal serving.

The company also offers two Uncle Sam Cereal varieties. The original RTE cereal is made with toasted whole-grain wheat flakes and crispy whole flaxseed. The cereal’s box states that the cereal contains 2,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per serving. It features 10 g of dietary fiber and 190 Cal per 1-cup serving. U.S. Mills added a new Uncle Sam Cereal with Mixed Berries. It maintains the healthful benefits of the original Uncle Sam Cereal but with a medley of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.