Beneforté™ Broccoli Offers Consumers Improved Nutritional Benefits

Oct 18, 2010 | Corporate Member News

New Product Boosts Body’s Antioxidant Enzymes More Than Other Broccoli

Broccoli has long been a healthy choice for consumers and soon a better broccoli option will be headed to the supermarket shelves. Beneforté™ broccoli, a new product from Apio, Inc., naturally boosts the body’s antioxidant enzyme levels at least two times more compared to other leading broccoli varieties.

“You know broccoli is good for you, and now Beneforté broccoli brings a natural improvement so that you can get more from your broccoli while maintaining the great flavor and quality you expect,” said Ron Midyett, Apio’s CEO. “We are happy to provide a new, great-tasting product that will help meet consumer demand for nutritious, convenient products.”

Each serving of Beneforté broccoli naturally contains two to three times the phytonutrient glucoraphanin as a serving of other leading broccoli varieties produced under similar growing conditions. Glucoraphanin naturally boosts the body’s antioxidant enzyme levels, and these enzymes help maintain the antioxidant activity of vitamins A, C and E in the body.

Beneforté broccoli is the result of more than 10 years of plant breeding. It combines the best attributes of commercial broccoli with a wild broccoli variety found in southern Italy. This wild variety has a unique, increased ability to produce the phytonutrient glucoraphanin, which is naturally present in broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and kale.

“According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, only 26 percent of Americans eat vegetables three or more times a day,” said Midyett. “Helping people adopt a healthier lifestyle by offering products with great taste, convenience, and nutrition is the focus of our Eat Smart® line. Beneforté is a great addition to our product options, making broccoli, which is a naturally good source of the antioxidant vitamins A and C, even better.”

Apio intends to introduce Beneforté broccoli with select retail chains in the United States in 2011. In addition, Apio intends to include Beneforté in their popular Eat Smart® line of fresh cut vegetables. Apio’s Eat Smart products are packaged in Breatheway® membrane technology that preserves freshness naturally, extends shelf life and reduces dehydration for a superior eating experience.

The new broccoli is the result of a collaboration between Apio and Monsanto’s Vegetable Seeds division to develop broccoli and cauliflower varieties that possess unique, desirable consumer traits such as improved nutrition, flavor, color, texture, taste and aroma.

“Vegetables are the best choice for the nutrient-rich diet needed to address rising health issues, like diabetes and obesity,” said David Stark, Monsanto’s Vice President, Consumer Benefits. “We hope that by developing new varieties, like Beneforté broccoli, people will enjoy eating more vegetables and be healthier in the process.”

About Apio, Inc.

Apio, Inc. was founded in 1979 by five celery growers in the Santa Maria Valley. The name “Apio” means “celery” in Spanish. Since 1997, Apio has been a fresh-cut processor shipper of bagged and party tray products, processed at its Guadalupe, California, facility under the Eat Smart® brand. Apio is a wholly owned subsidiary of Landec Corporation (Nasdaq: LNDC), a specialty materials company based in Menlo Park, California.

About Monsanto Vegetable Seeds Division
Monsanto’s Vegetable Seeds Division is focused on innovation to improve the quality and productivity of vegetables. The company develops products that will offer new, healthy choices for consumers. Monsanto invests in research and development and uses the latest technology not only to deliver the best products to the consumer, but also to provide yield and value to the customer, the grower, and to their customers, the chain partners. Monsanto’s Vegetable Seeds Division is represented through several brands such as Seminis, De Ruiter Seeds and other regional brands. For more information about Monsanto Vegetable Seeds visit www.monsantovegetableseeds.com.

Beneforté™ is a trademark of Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc. Eat Smart® and Breathway® are registered trademarks of Apio, Inc.

For further information: Danielle Stuart, Monsanto (314-694-2478) Cali Tanguay, Apio (805-249-5212)

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