From The Nutritionist

Trish Zecca, MS
Author:
Trish Zecca, MS

Nutrition Professionals in Food Industry – We Have Your Health in Mind





During my college years studying nutrition at Penn State, I never considered that I might end up as a nutritionist in the food industry. Honestly, I never even knew it was an option. I wanted to work in public health, specifically with children, to improve nutrition at an early age and prevent disease. After graduating with my master’s degree in nutrition science, I worked in maternal and child health with the Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) Program, HeadStart, and counseled expectant mothers with gestational diabetes. After nearly 20 years in public health, I learned about a position at the Campbell Soup company and was intrigued. I wasn’t exactly sure what a food industry nutrition scientist did or if I was even qualified, but I wanted a new challenge.

Today, I believe it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Dietitians in traditional areas of practice use their expertise to help people eat better, prevent and treat disease, and improve their health while enjoying the foods they love. Now as a nutritionist in the food industry, I still focus on public health and have an additional responsibility to help create and improve the packaged foods that millions of people eat each day.

So how do we do it?

  1. Product Development - Nutrition experts collaborate with chefs, food scientists, marketers and consumer insight professionals to bring new, healthful products to the marketplace. We set nutrition targets for foods, and provide input about the ingredients selected. For example, I worked on the team that created Campbell’s® Well Yes!® soups. I set nutrition targets for the brand and identified ingredients that would deliver both flavor and nutrition. Now, each soup contains whole food ingredients like vegetables, beans and whole grains that provide meaningful nutrition and great taste with less sodium than other products in the category.
  2. Nutrition labeling, Claims and Compliance – Our nutrition professionals and labeling staff decipher analytical data and use their nutrition and regulatory knowledge to establish the nutrition facts panels for foods, as well as substantiate nutrient content claims. For example, dietitians calculate food group contributions such as vegetable and whole grain servings, and assess protein quality for products like Bolthouse Farms® pea protein milk which calls out protein content on label. We are not just fulfilling a regulatory obligation, but are also providing important information about our food to help individuals select products that meet their health and nutrition needs.
  3. Nutrition Communication - Nutrition professionals develop and review nutrition-related communications on labels and in advertising. We work with our legal team to ensure all communications are truthful, based in science and not misleading to consumers. Nutrition staff also develop educational resources and meal plans and team up with chefs and Campbell’s Kitchen® staff to develop nutritious and delicious recipes made with our products.

Nutrition and health professionals work across many practice areas in the field to improve public health, but your voice matters beyond the clients and communities you serve. Campbell values your input as consumers and health professionals and the role you play to help others make informed food choices. As Campbell works toward our corporate goal of being the leading health and well-being food company, we want to hear from you. Everyone can influence our food supply. You can do that by talking directly to industry RDNs at conferences, via LinkedIn and communicating directly with us about the products you love and what you would like to see more of! Share your feedback on our products and our efforts to provide more of the great tasting and nutritious products you want. I am very excited about the future of our food supply and the great work being done behind the scenes by nutrition professionals. To read about our progress, visit our CSR Report.

Learn more about our Global Nutrition experts.

“I still work in public health, but now I get to influence the foods that millions of people eat each day.” – Trish Zecca, MS, Senior Nutrition Program Manager, Global Nutrition Campbell Soup Company



Trish’s Bio

Trish leads Global Nutrition for the Americas business of the Campbell Soup Company. She and her team of experienced RDs and nutrition scientists are responsible for nutrition strategy, innovation and labelling for all soup, simple meals and beverage brands in the US. Trish is the lead for corporate nutrition communications and stakeholder engagement and a sought after expert, serving on the Board of Trustees and Executive committee for the Produce for Better Health Foundation, sodium committee of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and an invited thought leader for the Academy’s Nutrition Impact Summit. She received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in nutrition science from the Pennsylvania State University, and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 1984. Trish spent 15 years in WIC and maternal and child health programs before transitioning to her current role at Campbell’s.



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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.