Ingredients Glossary | Plum Organics

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Ingredients Glossary

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Ingredient Glossary

Whether you’re an avid food label reader or not, we’re here to help you better understand our ingredients. We’ve put a lot of thought and care into sourcing our organic, non-GMO ingredients from real foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, meat and dairy. Given this approach, most of our ingredients are recognizable, but some may be less familiar. To make it easier for parents, we’ve created a general overview with information and definitions for these ingredients.

Looking for more information on our organic infant formula ingredients? Click here.

Main Ingredients

Main Ingredients

Plum was founded by parents, for parents, on the belief that little ones deserve the very best food from the very first bite. We believe, and the research supports, that there’s a critical window of development in a child’s first 1000 days where exposure to new foods will shape palates and determine food preferences. So, we’re working hard every day to help raise the next generation to crave super foods, skip the junk, and eat adventurously by developing convenient and delicious products. Our unique and colorful recipes call for main ingredients coming from organic sources: like meat and dairy from animals fed only organic feed without synthetic fertilizers, and no antibiotics or added growth hormones either. And our fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, herbs and spices are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms.

Organic Fruits & Vegetables

At Plum, we love nutritious food and we want to create a generation of kids who love it too! That’s why we use more than 40 different fruits and veggies in our products to expose kids early on to different colors and tastes that will help them appreciate a wide variety of foods as they grow. We also use purees from fresh, organic product that is washed, peeled and blended into a smooth texture.

In our products, we like to use lots of different fruits and veggies including: apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, beets, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, coconut, corn, eggplant, fig, green beans, green peas, guavas, kale, leeks, mangos, onions, papaya, parsnip, peaches, pears, peas, pineapple, plum, potatoes, prunes, pumpkin, purple carrots, purple sweet potatoes, raisins, raspberries, red bell peppers, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, sweet cherries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, and zucchini.

Organic Whole Grains

Wholesome food includes whole grains from the get go. And we’re not talking your run of the mill grains here, we’re using ancient grains like, amaranth, barley and millet – these ingredients not only taste great, but also provide important nutrients and add texture to expand developing palates. You can find whole grains like amaranth, barley, buckwheat, oats, millet, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, and wheat in some of our products.

Organic Legumes

We’re on a mission to help little ones learn to love their legumes – one lentil, navy bean and chickpea at a time! Legumes are a category of plant based foods including beans, peas and lentils that provide important nutrients like protein and fiber, and expose kids to different textures and flavors. Some of our favorite legumes include black beans, chickpeas, garbanzo beans, green garbanzo beans, and navy beans.

Organic Meats

As babies begin to transition from breastmilk and formula to solid foods, making sure they continue to get enough nutrients is important. Iron is one of the key nutrients parents should keep an eye on during this period of rapid growth and development, and one of the best sources is meat. We use organic ground beef, turkey and chicken in some of our pouches to introduce the texture and flavor of meat into the diet.

Organic Dairy

When cows go ‘moo’ in the pasture, we hear the call of important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. We use creamy cheddar and parmesan cheeses, milk and Greek yogurt in various baked goods and pouches to bring the inherent nutrition of dairy into the mix early on.

Organic Herbs & Spices

You may not think of herbs and spices when it comes to a baby’s diets, but babies are first exposed to the herbs and spices Mom eats during pregnancy. Continuing to introduce spices as they are transitioning to solid foods will expand their palate over time. We love to use herbs and spices to enhance the flavor in our products to tickle the tiniest of tastes buds. You’ll likely find a variety of herbs and spices including: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, ginger powder, paprika, rosemary, sage, turmeric, nutmeg, spearmint, tarragon, and thyme.

Functional Ingredients

Functional Ingredients

Just like cooking at home, we use various ingredients that have a functional purpose, like those that provide flavor and texture to improve the overall quality. Below is a list of these ingredients, many of which are sourced from plants.

Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C as it is more commonly known, is used as a preservative to maintain quality and colors in our products.

Cellulose

We source cellulose from fiber found in plants and use it to prevent ingredients from ‘caking’ or forming clumps.

Citric Acid

We use citric acid, derived from the Yucca plant, in our purees to control the acidity, or pH of foods – improving their overall quality.

Glycerin

Glycerin is made from non-GMO plant oils that we use to maintain the moisture in our baked goods, helping them stay soft and chewy.

Organic Gum Arabic

Derived from the sap of the Acacia tree, organic Gum Arabic is commonly used in baked goods because it binds ingredients together and provides an appealing texture.

Organic High Oleic Oils

Organic high oleic oils are high in monounsaturated fats – the ‘good fats’ – which improve the quality of our baked goods.

Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate

Organic lemon juice concentrate comes from organic lemon juice that has a portion of the water removed. This naturally controls the acidity or pH levels in certain products, without impacting flavor.

Organic Maltodextrin

Organic Maltodextrin is a type of starch we source from non-GMO rice or tapioca that is used to thicken the organic sweet potato powder used only in our Mighty Sticks.

Mixed Tocopherols

Mixed tocopherols are a family of vitamin E compounds we source from non-GMO canola oil that are used to preserve the quality and flavor of certain products.

Pectin

We source pectin from apples to aid in the thickening of the jams in our bars and fruit snacks.

Organic Dehydrated Potatoes

Our organic dehydrated potatoes are made from fresh potatoes that have had the water removed. We use organic dehydrated potatoes as a main ingredient and, in some cases, to add a smooth texture to our purees.

Sunflower Lecithin

Sunflower lecithin is a type of emulsifier extracted from sunflower seeds that we use to help ingredients, like fats and water, mix together more easily and consistently.

Tri- and Dicalcium Phosphate

Tri- and Dicalcium phosphate is used to prevent ingredients from ‘caking’ or forming clumps during the baking process. It also helps create an appropriate texture for babies and aids in calcium fortification.

Organic Wheat Gluten

Organic wheat gluten is the main protein found in wheat flour. We add a little extra wheat gluten to the wheat flour in our Mighty Dinos to help strengthen the dough during baking.

Colors, Flavors & Sweeteners

Colors, Flavors & Sweeteners

We carefully select a variety of ingredients that help us dial in the ideal color, flavor and sweetness level in some of our products.

Natural Flavors

Our natural flavors include a variety of plant based ingredients that we use sparingly to optimize the taste of some of our products. For example, we use natural flavors to reduce the amount of sugar needed, or to enhance the savory taste. If our natural flavors contain any of the eight top allergens, they will be included in the ingredients list on the product label.

Organic Annatto

Extracted from the seeds of the Achiote tree, organic annatto enhances the orange color of certain products without impacting flavor.

Organic Beet Juice Concentrate

Organic beet juice concentrate comes from organic beet juice that has a portion of the water removed. We use organic beet juice concentrate to add shades of purple color to a few of our products, without impacting flavor.

Organic Dried Cane Syrup

Organic dried cane syrup comes from the sugar cane plant, which is crushed to extract the juice and then turned into syrup. You’ll find it in select bars and snacks used to help bind the ingredients together and add a touch of sweetness.

Organic Fruit Juice Concentrate

These concentrates start with organic fruit juice that has a portion of the water removed. They are used in certain products to add a touch of sweetness, which can offset any strong, bitter or sour notes. Certain fruits are only available as a juice concentrate.

Organic Fruit & Vegetable Powder

Organic fruit and vegetable powder is made from fresh fruit and vegetables that have been dried and ground into a powder. We use fruit and vegetable juice powder to add flavor or color.

Organic Fruit & Vegetable Juice Powder

Organic fruit and vegetable juice powder is made from juice that has been dried into a fine powder. We use fruit and vegetable juice powder to add flavor or color, and to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our products.

Organic Invert Syrup

Organic invert syrup comes from regular table sugar which is broken down into its component parts – glucose and fructose. Invert syrup is less likely to crystalize, and so in addition to sweetening, it also helps keep some of our baked snacks soft.

Organic Dehydrated Onions

Organic dehydrated onions are made from fresh onions that have had the water removed. We use organic dehydrated onions in certain recipes to provide a bolder onion flavor.

Red Cabbage Extract

Red cabbage extract comes from cabbage that is boiled in water to provide a versatile, natural food color that adds shades of red and purple to food, without impacting flavor.

Vitamins, Minerals & Other Nutrients

Vitamins, Minerals & Other Nutrients

At Plum, we want to make sure every bite is a mighty one, and that’s why we fortify some of our products with essential vitamins and minerals – like folic acid and calcium that the body can’t make on its own, and therefore, have to come from the diet. Beyond these essential ones, you’ll see nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids that also support healthy growth and development.

Algal Oil

Algal oil, an oil that comes from algae, is a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid, or simply ‘DHA’. DHA is an important structural component of a baby’s brain and eyes. [1][2]

Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C as it is more commonly known, is an antioxidant vitamin that helps protect cells from damage and plays a role in iron absorption. [3]

Cyanocobalamin

Cyanocobalamin is another name for vitamin B12, a vitamin that promotes the health and function of the nervous system and blood cells. Vitamin B12 also helps children produce DNA, the genetic material inside every cell. [4]

DL-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate

DL-Alpha tocopherol acetate, or vitamin E, keeps blood flowing through vessels properly and acts as an antioxidant working to protect cells from damage.[5]

Ferrous Fumarate

Ferrous fumarate is another name for iron, a mineral the body uses to make both hemoglobin and myoglobin, which together transport oxygen to cells and muscles. Babies are born with about a six-month reserve of iron that comes from their mother during pregnancy, but they continue to need iron during their first year as they experience a period of rapid growth and development.[6]

Folic Acid

Folic acid, or vitamin B9, plays a key role in making DNA, the genetic material found in every cell, to support growth and development.[7]

L-Choline Bitartrate

L-Choline bitartrate is a type of choline, an essential nutrient that provides structure for cell membranes, and helps cells communicate with one another.[8]

Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a form of niacin also known as vitamin B3. Niacin aids in the breakdown of protein, carbohydrates and fat into energy that can be used to support normal growth and development. It also supports the digestive system and eyes.[9]

Organic Acerola Extract

Organic Acerola extract comes from the Acerola fruit which is a source of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin that protects cells from damage and plays a role in iron absorption. [3]

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride

Pyridoxine hydrochloride is another name for vitamin B6. In the body, vitamin B6 is in high demand as over 100 enzymes need it to turn protein into energy to support normal growth and development.[10]

Reduced Iron

Reduced iron, a type of iron, is a mineral needed to make both hemoglobin and myoglobin, which together transport oxygen to cells and muscles. Babies are born with about a six-month reserve of iron that comes from their mother during pregnancy. This is very important as babies continue to need iron during their first year as they experience a period of rapid growth and development.[6]

Retinol Palmitate

Retinol palmitate is a form of vitamin A that promotes vision and assists cells in communicating with one another.[11]

Riboflavin

Riboflavin is a type of B vitamin also known as vitamin B2. Like most of the B vitamins, riboflavin helps turn nutrients into energy needed to support growth and development.[12]

Sodium Ascorbate

Sodium ascorbate is a type of vitamin C supplementation that helps protect cells from damage and plays a role in iron absorption.[3]

Thiamine Hydrochloride

Thiamine hydrochloride is a form of thiamin known as vitamin B1. Like most of the B vitamins, thiamin converts nutrients into the energy needed to support growth and development.[13]

Thiamine Mononitrate

Thiamine mononitrate is a form of thiamin known as vitamin B1. Like most of the B vitamins, thiamin converts nutrients into the energy needed to support growth and development.[13]

Tricalcium Citrate

Tricalcium citrate is a form of calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body that is used as the building blocks for developing strong bones and teeth. Children need calcium to support their growing muscles and to assist their nerves in carrying messages from the brain out to different parts of the body. Calcium also helps move blood throughout the body and aids in the release of hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.[14]

Tricalcium Phosphate

Tricalcium phosphate is a form of calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body that is used as the building blocks for developing strong bones and teeth. Children need calcium to support their growing muscles and to assist their nerves in carrying messages from the brain out to different parts of the body. Calcium also helps move blood throughout the body and aids in the release of hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.[14]

Vitamin A Acetate

Vitamin A acetate is a form of vitamin A that promotes vision and assists cells in communicating with one another.[11]

Vitamin E Acetate

Vitamin E acetate is another name for vitamin E, which keeps blood flowing through vessels properly and acts as an antioxidant working to protect cells from damage.[5]

Zinc Gluconate

Zinc gluconate is a type of zinc, a mineral found in cells throughout the body. During the earliest years of life, children depend on zinc to support growth and development. Zinc also plays a role in taste and smell development.[15]

Zinc Sulfate

Zinc sulfate is a type of zinc, a mineral found in cells throughout the body. During the earliest years of life, children depend on zinc to support growth and development. Zinc also plays a role in taste and smell development.[15]

References

    1. Martinez, M. Tissue levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids during early human development. J Pediatr. 1992;120:S129-138.
    2. Makrides M, Neumann MA, Byard RW, Simmer K, Gibson RA. Fatty acid composition of brain, retina, and erythrocytes in breast- and formula-fed infants. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;60:189-194.
    3. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Vitamin C.
    4. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Vitamin B12.
    5. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Vitamin E.
    6. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Iron.
    7. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Folate.
    8. Oregon State University. Linus Pauling Institute – Micronutrient Information Center: Choline.
    9. Oregon State University. Linus Pauling Institute – Micronutrient Information Center: Niacin.
    10. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Vitamin B6.
    11. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Vitamin A.
    12. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Riboflavin.
    13. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Thiamin.
    14. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Calcium.
    15. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets: Zinc.