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Plymouth Oil's Golden Essence Flour introduced locally

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

(Sentinel photo by Jolene Stevens) Sunshine Natural Foods' Deb Staab (left) takes time to share a newly introduced local product, Golden Essence Flour, to incoming customer, Donna Rohe, Le Mars, who was making a weekend visit to the Le Mars store Saturday.
Plymouth Oil's Kim Sitzmann says the "excitement" continues to grow over the recent arrival of the Merrill company's gluten-free Golden Essence Flour on the shelves of Sunshine Natural Foods, Le Mars.

The appearance locally also marks the national retail introduction of the product.

Sitzmann said the flour is made from "de-fatted corn germ meal" and originates from the fractionated corn germ.

The co-product of the ethanol industry represents a year-long development effort at Plymouth Oil's Merrill-based facility.

"We felt since Golden Essence is a local product a local retail introduction is the thing to do," she said, noting there have been numerous questions on the product's retail availability.

"What we're most excited about in offering the product to the consumer is that it is free of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye flours," Sitzmann said. "In addition to being gluten-free, however, Golden Essence has been found to have a lot of nutritional value for the person who isn't necessarily concerned about eating gluten-free."

Sitzmann said the market for gluten-free products has continued to grow.

This is due to increased consumer efforts to find dietary answers to a gluten intolerance or medical issues related to celiac disease, she said.

She explained celiac disease as a condition linked to the body's inability to digest gluten and results in moderate to major health issues.

"Nutritionally, Golden Essence offers a very good source of fiber and a very complete protein," Sitzmann said.

She said consumers looking for a possible vegetarian lifestyle or to add protein to their diet from something other than a meat source will also find the flour a good replacement product.

Sitzmann said Plymouth Oil is currently working with an outside testing company on possible additional products.

The products could include a replacement for peanut flour for the growing number of individuals found to have an allergy to peanuts.

"The early studies in this area indicate the flour's natural, nutty flavor plus the fact that it has less fat than peanut flour adds to its replacement possibilities in addition to that, it's about three to four times less expensive," she said.

Deb Staab, Sunshine Natural Foods, said she and her co-owners, Rosemary Wibe and Rosie Kunkel, welcome the new locally developed Golden Essence arriving on their store shelves. "We're always glad for new products. This is especially true with those coming from our local area," Staab said.

Wibe said the new flour also adds to an existing product line in the business.

"We feel good, as well, about adding to our gluten-free line as people become more aware that gluten can be a problem and are looking for a possible answer to this dietary issue," she said.

The flour's local retail introduction will also include a "sampling" at Sunshine Natural Foods this week of what is described as one of the "very popular" Golden Essence food items -- the Golden Essence oatmeal cookie, Sitzmann said.

Set Monday to begin what might well be considered a sizable baking spree she shared that the cookies are also being featured at the Institute of Food Technology (IFT) Chicago Suppliers' Night major show this Thursday in Chicago.

A Plymouth Oil exhibit, among more than 500 exhibition areas, will introduce Golden Essence Four to what an IFT spokesperson said will be an expected 3,000 show attendees.

Included are "numerous" food formulators, buyers and brokers looking for new ingredients for their product lines while attending the event.

Sitzmann said she intends to get her show baking underway way today (Tuesday) in preparation for the IFT show.

"Will I be done when my plane is ready to leave Wednesday? I hope so," she said with a bit of laughter and hopefulness, in her voice.

She encourages those interested in baking their own cookies, to "check into" a newly-developed Golden Essence web site -- www. Goldenessenceflour.com.

The website includes the recipe for the featured cookies as well as that for another popular recipe, Golden Essence gluten-free pancakes.

Sitzmann said the site also includes a number of additional recipes, some for upcoming holiday dinners, and additional product and nutritional information on the flour product.

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