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MICHAEL FOODS PLANS TO MARKET REDUCED CHOLESTEROL LIQUID WHOLE EGGS

MICHAEL FOODS PLANS TO MARKET REDUCED CHOLESTEROL LIQUID WHOLE EGGS
    MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIKL) today announced that it plans to soon begin marketing reduced cholesterol liquid whole eggs to the foodservice, industrial and retail markets.  The new product will be sold under the brand name Simply Eggs(TM).
    The new product is made using an extraction technology which removes 80 percent of the cholesterol from egg yolks.  The yolks are combined with egg whites, resulting in reduced cholesterol whole eggs which then are ultrapasteurized, making them salmonella free.  U.S. patents for the cholesterol reduction process are either pending or issued.
    The new reduced cholesterol eggs are being produced by a joint venture in which Michael Foods and SKW Nature's Products, Inc. are equal partners.  The joint venture is completing a pilot plant which is engineered to produce up to 13 million pounds of eggs annually.  The joint venture will process the reduced cholesterol eggs for Michael Foods' M.G. Waldbaum subsidiary on a toll basis.  Michael Foods will ultrapasteurize, package and market the eggs.  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval of the pilot plant is necessary prior to product sales beginning.
    Limited production has occurred at the joint venture's pilot plant in Gaylord, Minn., and small shipments have been made to potential customers for test purposes.  The joint venture has also begun construction of a full scale production facility which is expected to be operational in late 1992.  The joint venture partners have committed approximately $30 million, in total, to construct the pilot plant and the commercial scale plant.
    Richard G. Olson, Michael Foods' president and CEO said, "We have been working on reduced cholesterol eggs for several years.  The results are an outstanding new egg product that does not sacrifice taste or nutritional value because it contains both egg yolks and whites, unlike egg substitute products currently being marketed.  We hope this new product will result in greater consumer acceptance of eggs as a staple food in home and restaurant use, as well as an ingredient in commercial food products such as baked goods, mayonnaise, pasta and ice cream."
    Dr. Allan L. Forbes, physician, food industry consultant and former director, Office of Nutrition and Food Sciences of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said, "This product meets a significant need. Studies show that eggs are the source of almost 36 percent of the total cholesterol in the U.S. diet.  This new product will allow people to continue to consume eggs, which are an excellent source of vitamins and protein, while greatly reducing concerns about cholesterol intake.
    "Most Americans enjoy eating eggs.  This new product will make it much easier to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as jointly published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as the goals of the National Cholesterol Education Program."
    The FDA has filed, on Michael Food's behalf, a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) affirmation petition regarding the new product.  The company has based its GRAS determination on an evaluation of beta cyclodextrin (BCD), a processed starch substance used to absorb cholesterol from egg yolks, by a panel of food safety experts.  In the cholesterol removal process, the processed starch substance is mixed with the egg yolks and is then removed, along with the cholesterol, by centrifugal force.  The panel has determined, using established scientific procedures, that the use of the processed starch substance in this process is safe.  Such determinations are an acceptable means by which GRAS status for food ingredients is established in the United States.  Additionally, BCD is approved for use in Japan and several European countries.
    SKW Nature's Products, Inc. is an affiliate of SKW Trostberg AG, Germany.  The company has extensive expertise and production capacity related to decaffeination of tea and coffee, extraction of fruit flavors and extraction of hops for brewers.
    Michael Foods is a diversified food processor and distributor with particular interests in egg products, refrigerated grocery products, frozen and refrigerated potato products, specialty dairy products, and refrigerated soups and salads.  Principal subsidiaries include M.G. Waldbaum Company, Crystal Farms Refrigerated Distribution Company, Northern Star Co., Kohler Mix Specialties, Inc. and Sunnyside Vegetable Packing, Inc.
    -0-                     2/18/92
    /CONTACT:   Mark Witmer of Michael Foods, 612-546-1500; or Susan


Eilertsen or Jack Falker of Swenson Falker Eilertsen, 612-371-0000/
    (MIKL) CO:  Michael Foods Inc. ST:  Minnesota IN:  FOD SU: SM -- NY009 -- 9745 02/18/92 08:46 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1992
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