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Appealing Fruit and Vegetable PowdersAppealing Fruit and Vegetable Powders

December 14, 2009

2 Min Read
Appealing Fruit and Vegetable Powders

Traditional methods of drying fruit are time-consuming and not always cost effective. Sun-drying can take several days, but requires no energy; air-drying can take a couple of hours and consumes natural gas; and freeze-drying guzzles both energy and time.

Drum-drying uses indirect steam to dry a fruit purée in about 30 seconds, from the time its put on a hot drum to the time its cut off with a knife, says Doug Webster, technical services manager, Tree Top, Inc.

Available in a range of single fruit and vegetable powders, as well as fruit blends, the companys drum-dried, low-moisture (3%) powders can be used in almost any application, but the most common include fruit leathers, fruit snacks and fruit fillings.

One of the biggest advantages of drum-drying is you get the benefits of the whole fruit, says Tim Fortier, director of national accounts, concentrate products. They help provide stealth nutrition, where manufacturers can add a serving a fruit fairly easily, whether theyre used as a filler or to get identifiable fruit in a product. Fourteen grams of powder, he says, delivers the equivalent benefits of a serving of fruit.

In addition to adding fruit nutrition, the powders are economical. Apple and pear powders, for example, can be used to extend more-costly ingredients. If you blend strawberries with less-expensive apples before drum-drying, the resulting powder has the flavor of strawberries, and all the fruit benefits, but at a much lower cost, says Webster.

Further, the ability to blend fruit before drying allows formulators to cost-effectively create new combinations of fruit in a single ingredient, and to create any blend of healthful fruit and vegetable combinations to meet a products nutrition goals.

Functionally, fruit powders allow food-product developers to control water activity and finished-product viscosity. In toaster pastries and cereal bars, for example, the powders can be used to bind water and thicken fillings.

The powders can be used topicallyon a cluster, bar or cookieto give the perception of fruit without having to add a lot of cost, Webster says. Ive used cranberry powder on apple pieces. This adds to the eating experience in terms of flavor and color, but without using a lot of ingredient.

Squash is currently a popular vegetable powder, notes Fortier. In snack chips and other snack items, squash adds flavor and a portion of a vegetable serving, he says. The impression is there is a lot of vegetable in these products, when its not a major part of the formula.


Tree Top, Inc.

P.O. Box 248

Selah, WA 98942

Phone: 800/367-6571

Website: treetop.com


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