Verifruit, an innovation from Dutch firm SVZ, is due to be unveiled at the forthcoming FiE exhibition.
The company claims that the product has virtually all the characteristics of fresh fruit, such as its colour, juiciness, fruit aroma and softness. The difference however is that it keeps better in the finished product, and retains a firm, soft texture in both dried and deep frozen form.
SVZ believes that the product has potential in a number of applications such as ice cream, breakfast cereals, pastries, cakes and snacks. Verifruit is available in three varieties - with syrup, without syrup, and dried - and a range of twelve fruit types.
The launch of Verifruit could help the company tap into a lucrative and growing sector. Market analyst IAL Consultants estimated recently that the global market for flavours and fragrances hit $11.6 billion (€8.6bn) in 2003, while according to Frost & Sullivan, the €819.9 million European and US fruit and vegetable extracts and powders market is on course to grow 4.5 per cent annually, reaching €1.07 billion by 2009.
The technology behind Verifruit is relatively straightforward. The product is basically is fruit in which the water has largely been replaced by sugars.
But SVZ believes it has an ace up its sleeve - by developing this cold infusion technology in house, it has complete control and understanding over every aspect of the process.
The strategy behind this is to achieve complete flexibility. For example, if customer demand stimulates the development of new varieties, including different fruit sorts and forms, then SVZ should in theory have the know-how to adjust.
SVZ is part of the Royal Cosun group. This group is a cooperative and other members of this group are Unifine Sauses & Spices, Unifine Food & Bake ingredients, Sensus (inulin and fructose syrup), Suiker Unie (sugar), Nedalco (alcohol production) and Aviko (potato products).
The official launch of Verifruit will be at the FiE in Paris, stand K76 in hall 3.