Coming soon: ‘the first nutritionally balanced pizza’

By Lorraine Mullaney

- Last updated on GMT

A round meal: many pizzas are 'hopelessly unbalanced' nutritionally, according to Lean and Maclean
A round meal: many pizzas are 'hopelessly unbalanced' nutritionally, according to Lean and Maclean
Britain’s convenience food is set to become healthier now ‘the first nutritionally balanced pizza’ has been produced.

The product was created by Professor Mike Lean, chair of nutrition at Glasgow University, and businessman Donnie Maclean.

The idea was born out of the pair’s frustration with “commercially prepared meals”,​ which they considered to be “hopelessly unbalanced” nutritionally.

Their research analysed ready meals produced by the top five supermarkets in Scotland.

They said they found them to be lacking in nutritional value and contained high levels of salt and saturated fat.

Professor Lean said: “The nutrients we need every day are absent from these meals. Nobody has thought about it. So I got together with Donnie to try to do this.”

Supermarket sales

One major supermarket chain has already indicated it will stock the new product and Maclean is in talks with other supermarkets and catering suppliers.

British Nutrition Foundation director general, Professor Judy Buttriss, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Pizzas certainly have the potential to be a healthy option as they are capable of conveying each of the four important food groups: starchy foods, fruit and veg, dairy products and meat/ alternatives. The challenge is to keep the fat and salt in check and to provide sufficient veg.”

Maclean and Lean reduced salt levels by replacing it with seaweed. This has a lower sodium content than salt and also adds iodine and vitamin B12.

The new pizzas are also said to have a third of the recommended daily intake of calories, protein and carbohydrate.

Red pepper is mixed with the tomato base to add vitamin C. Each pizza also contains magnesium, potassium, folates and vitamin A.

Cost increases

The pizzas will only be available frozen as tests revealed the nutrients were better preserved that way.

The product is priced higher than most frozen pizzas and on a par with chilled pizzas.

Despite this, the pair appear confident that consumers will pay more for a healthier product.

Mintel senior food analyst Alex Beckett thought there was room for something new.

He said: “There is consumer appetite for innovation and change.

“The pizza market sacrificed genuine innovation to prosper during the recession, but it must now rekindle excitement to accelerate consumption levels and inspire a value sales growth.”

The pair are now testing a recipe for a nutritionally balanced curry. After that, they’re going to look at fish and chips.

Related topics: Business News, Ingredients, NPD

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1 comment

Eat Balanced Pizza

Posted by Donnie Maclean,

Thanks for covering our news. We would be more than happy to answer any questions.

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