Frubella makes juice-infused fruits for UK market

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ocean spray, Fruit

UK snack and cereal makers have a new source of juice-infused dried
fruits, as Polish ingredients firm Frubella has signed a deal with
JO Sims to take its range into the high-potential market.

The addition of dried fruits to food products is a popular strategy and manufacturers use the choice of fruit to differentiate their products. For instance, exotic and superfruits high in antioxidants give an added edge of consumer appeal. But typical freeze-drying of fruits can affect the flavour and texture, which has a negative effect on consumer acceptance. Moreover, they are often sweetened with sugar - a practice that many companies are trying to reduce in the light of healthier eating habits. In contrast, Frubella has developed the means to vacuum infuse naturally-dried fruit with apple or grape juice, which keeps them at an ideal consistency. Moreover, the drying process is said to reduce the water content to between 12 and 14 per cent. Not only does this increase the shelf-life to 12 months, but low moisture content is essential for ingredients intended for use in cereals. The fruits included in the range include English garden favourites strawberry, rhubarb, blackcurrant and blackberry. They are suitable for use in cereals, cereal bars, trail mixes and baked goods. Doug Mackay, general manager for ingredients at JO Sims, said the Frubella range of infused fruits is attractive for a wide range of applications because of the natural and traditional flavours, as well as long shelf-life and other processing benefits. "Their elevated natural sugar content improves palatability, while enabling manufacturers to promote a no added sugar claim, enhancing consumer appeal in an increasingly health conscious environment,"​ he said. Frubella is also available in other European countries, including France, Germany and Italy. A similar innovation came from Ocean Spray ITG in 2006, which introduced a new variant of dried cranberries that uses pineapple juice as a sweetener in place of sucrose syrup, allowing food products to have 'cleaner' labels. Ocean Spray's cranberries (both the new natural juice and the original soft moist variety) are, likewise, suitable for a wide range of applications, including baked goods, cereals, cereal bars and fruit and nut mixes. Although the quantities in which they are used in such products may not be large enough for just one serving to deliver all the benefits of cranberries, an Ocean Spray spokesperson told NutraIngredients.com at the time that they "add another string to food manufacturers' bows"​. Ocean Spray also offers a low sugar sweetened dried cranberry, with 50 per cent less sugar than the original. The sugar is replaced by a carbohydrate classified as a fibre.

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