What’s the difference between cold-pressed baby food and shelf-stable baby food? Just about everything. From our farm fresh ingredients to our cold pressure process, our baby food blends are as close to homemade as it gets (without making it yourself)!
Once Upon a Farm Cold-Pressed Baby Food Benefits
1. Farm-Fresh Ingredients
All of the ingredients we use in our clean baby food pouches—whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and fats—are Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project verified. We only partner with certified organic farms and pick our produce at peak freshness. Unlike shelf-stable brands, we never use any pre-processed purées, preservatives, or juice concentrates.
2. Unique Recipes
Our unique recipe combinations have been formulated, tested, and approved by moms, an expert infant nutritionist, and a board-certified pediatrician, as well as countless little ones. We include an optimal amount of healthful fats, grains, spices like turmeric, and functional ingredients like probiotics to promote stable energy levels, good digestion, nutrient absorption, and palate development. Shelf-stable blends are normally completely void of healthful fats and unique ingredients.
3. Cold Pressure
We use Cold Pressure (also known as High Pressure Processing or HPP) to cold press our blends. Once they are packaged and sealed, cold pressure applies water pressure equivalent to 5x the pressure at the deepest part of the ocean to destroy any potential food borne bacteria while maintaining farm-fresh taste, texture, and nutrients.
Shelf-stable brands use high heat or thermal pasteurization. While this process also keeps food safe from harmful food-borne bacteria, it completely destroys the food and the result is a jam like substance that has been condensed down into simple sugars and minimal nutrition.
Our organic baby food blends are as fresh as it gets (without making it yourself). The cold pressure process mentioned above keeps the nutrient content, taste, and texture of each fruit and vegetable intact, so it’s just like eating farm-fresh produce. In fact, studies show that certain cold-pressed foods may actually contain more nutrients than fresh food as cold pressure has been shown to enhance the bioavailability of certain nutrients. (1)
The extremely high temperatures shelf-stable products are subjected to (often twice, above 185 degrees) kill off vital nutrients, enzymes, and healthy bacteria that are critical for healthy growth and development.
You shouldn’t be afraid to eat what your baby eats. Our blends taste exactly like the whole fruits and veggies used to make them with nothing added, subtracted or distorted. In blind taste tests with our Mango baby food pouch and a freshly blended mango, tasters can’t tell the difference! The taste of shelf-stable brands simply doesn’t compare.
6. Color & Texture
The truth is in the color (and the texture!). The best test for this is to cut open a fresh mango and compare it to our vibrant Mango baby food pouch. The color and texture is identical because we use one ingredient and one ingredient only—farm-fresh mango! Shelf-stable mango options often contain lemon juice concentrate, citric acid, water and pre-boiled mango, have a thin consistency similar to juice and do not taste at all like a fresh picked mango. Take a look at the photo below to see our delicious baby food blends outside of their pouch—the vibrancy is quite remarkable if we do say so ourselves.
7. Cold Storage
From farm to family, we keep our blends cold which is why you’ll find us in the fridge, not on the shelf. After all, fresh food is perishable and it isn’t meant to sit on a shelf for months or years! Due to the high heat process, additives and preservatives, shelf-stable baby food can sit on the shelf for up to two years, which, in some cases, makes them older than the baby eating them.
8. Transparent Packaging
We were the first baby food pouch to use transparent packaging. All of our baby food blends include a clear window on the back so you can see the color and texture of the ingredients inside. All of our blends have a clear bottom panel as well, so there’s no guessing what your baby’s food looks like!
9. Quality Parents Trust
We hold ourselves to high standards, and we push ourselves to meet and exceed those standards every day. From the ingredients we source to the cold-pressure processing, to the third-parting testing we conduct through Clean Label Project, you can count on us to provide the best for your little ones.
10. Not Just for Babies
Baby food isn’t just for babies anymore. While we have an entire product line made up of delicious and nutritious baby food pouches, we also have cold-pressed Fruit & Veggie Blends, Dairy-Free Smoothies, Immunity Blends, Smart Blends, and more that are perfect for older kids and kids at heart (we're looking at you parents!). From first bites to school snacking needs, we've got options for the whole family.
“Explore scientific, technical, and medical research on ScienceDirect.” ScienceDirect.com | Science, health and medical journals, full text articles and books., www.sciencedirect.com/. Accessed 14 Sept. 2017.