Plum Borough School District First to Implement a School Nutrition Breakthrough

MUNDELEIN, Ill., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Z Trim Holdings, Inc. (AMEX:ZTM) — In a state so concerned with the health effects of obesity and weight gain in children that it measures and reports on the body mass index (BMI) of each individual student, the Food Service Department of Pittsburgh’s Plum Borough School District has found a way to prepare school cafeteria favorites that are healthier, making almost any food choice in the cafeteria the wise choice.

By replacing the unnecessary fats with Z Trim zero-calorie, natural fat replacement in desserts, dressings, sauces, mayonnaise, butter and margarine, even mac and cheese, calories in kid-favorite foods are reduced up to 50%, and fiber is added.

“We started by blending Z Trim into our ranch dressing and mayonnaise. Now we are buying Z Trim Mayonnaise directly from the folks at Z Trim. We’re looking at incorporating Z Trim into additional menu items,” said Maryann Lazzaro, Registered Dietitian and Food Service Manager for the Plum Borough School District. “The students use ranch dressing on everything. They dip carrot sticks and French fries in it. They even smear it on their pizza,” she said. “Z Trim helps us to achieve the full fat flavor of ranch dressing with an 82% reduction in fat. It also adds some dietary fiber to food items which might otherwise contain none.

“They favor the carrot sticks now because they have a great tasting dip for them. It’s a double bonus,” she added.

Taste is king in the cafeterias of the Plum Borough School District, so Lazzaro put Z Trim through its paces. “We tested it with students, faculty and cafeteria personnel,” she said. “We provided the formulation staff at Z Trim with our comments and suggestions and they worked to create a product we were happy with.

“We believe we’ve found the best way to satisfy the USDA guidelines limiting 30% of calories from fat and 10% from saturated fat, while also satisfying some very discriminating palates,” she said. “Previously, I had tried standard low fat and fat free dressings which resulted in quite a protest from the students.”

The Plum Borough School District may just be ushering in the revolution that will enable finicky eaters — both children and adults — to have their cake and eat it too. A recent Reuters news story presented the results of a study by Harry Balzer of NPD Group which indicated that, while the percentage of dieting Americans is at a 16-year low, most adults say they would like to lose 20 pounds.

“That’s exactly why Z Trim will succeed where diets and miracle cures fail,” said Greg Halpern, CEO of Z Trim Holdings, Inc. “Z Trim is not about dieting or changing your life until you lose the 20 pounds. It’s about a more sensible way to prepare all our favorite foods, while reaping sustainable health benefits,” he said.

So what makes Z Trim the final word on healthy cooking when chefs have been using alternatives such as apple sauce or olestra for years in everything from sauces to baked goods?

“Three things,” Halpern said, “safety, taste, and versatility. Z Trim is fiber and water processed into a gel that mimics fat in food preparation. The water conveys the taste inherent in the remaining fats. The fiber provides body. The combination works better and tastes better than oils or apple sauce in most food preparation and it doesn’t cause side effects.

“A big reason Z Trim is such a breakthrough is due to its versatility,” Halpern said. “It can be used across almost all food categories, without changing the taste of any of them. And it actually enhances the texture of most, according to university studies.

“For example,” Halpern continued, “we’re redefining just slightly what cake is made of, and cutting calories significantly by replacing portions of the oil, butter, eggs as well as the cream in the frosting, without changing the taste of the cake.

“And that cake may follow a main entree of Fettuccini Alfredo, Stroganoff, meat loaf or sausage in which Z Trim reduced the fat calories by 30 or 35 percent, essentially reducing a 1600 calorie meal to 1000 or 1100 calories.”

How safe is Z Trim? “Not even an issue,” Halpern said. “Z Trim was developed by the USDA. It’s as safe as the food we’ve been eating since the dawn of our species, because it’s essentially water and the fiber of grain.”

Nutrition and food safety concerns are at the forefront of food service operations everywhere, especially schools. The same schools that send home BMI reports gauging a child’s health risks as a factor of body composition are turning to solutions such as using Z Trim fat replacement to enable a more thorough approach to concerns over body mass.

The next steps for the widespread transition to healthier favorites include many players, according to Phil Versten, Director of Communications for Z Trim. “We’re talking to school districts, state boards of education, and third party food service contractors across the country,” he said. “The schools teach nutrition to their students, and businesses encourage healthy behaviors among their employees through their wellness programs. Neither wants to send mixed messages, so they’re increasingly interested in extending those philosophies into the real life experience of the cafeterias.”

“Z Trim should be a staple ingredient everywhere,” Lazzaro said. “I look forward to the day when all my vendors are offering lower calorie, higher fiber Z Trim versions of the same favorites that kids expect and prefer on the menu, from ravioli, pizza and corn dogs through ice cream and pudding and cookies.”

Those sentiments are shared by the authors of the current best seller, “You On a Diet,” (Free Press) Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen. On page 90 of their book, under the heading of “Help is on the Way,” the two Oprah show regulars tout the benefits of Z Trim, confirming its calorie reduction and taste benefits and noting that it “may eventually change the way we eat.”

“We’ve established the dividing line between the old and the new ways,” Lazzaro said. “As long as we’re introducing more fresh produce into student diets, we can and should take major steps toward improving the nutritional profiles of the traditional favorites as well, with Z Trim. It’s quite simply the new way to ‘do food’ going forward.”

Maryann Lazzaro has recently acquired a Certificate of Specialization in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management through the American Dietetic Association. The Certification classes were conducted by nationally recognized specialists, with the most up-to-date research data regarding childhood obesity.

ABOUT Z TRIM(R)

Z Trim is a natural zero calorie fat substitute made from the hulls of corn, oats, soy, rice, and barley that lowers 25% to 50% of calories from fats in most foods without negatively affecting taste or texture. Z Trim generally can’t be detected by consumers when formulated correctly in dairy, dressings, dips, sauces, baked goods, processed meats, snack foods, cookies, pies, cakes, icings, brownies, bars, ice cream, milk shakes and many other foods. It improves texture significantly; makes meats juicier, baked goods moister, dips creamier. Z Trim lets you to eat more of the foods you love without fear of weight gain and allows you to lose weight without giving up the foods you love. Z Trim adopts the flavor and mouth feel of most recipes and has been proven in studies that a majority of consumers prefer Z Trim foods over their full-fat counterparts. Z Trim can substantially reduce harmful trans and saturated fats and adds healthy insoluble and soluble dietary fiber which can be beneficial to heart patients and diabetics. Z Trim can improve digestion without any negative side effects. Z Trim has been featured on Fox News “Your World w/ Neil Cavuto”; USA Today, Chicago Tribune, as well as local affiliates of NBC, FOX and CBS.

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