UK firm puts fruit fibres to use in flavours

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Health Flavor

Ungerer has developed an innovative range of fruit flavours that uses fruit fibres as carriers in place of maltodextrose or wheatstarch, making a natural ingredient out of a by-product that can also boost food’s fibre content.

Fruit fibres are by-products of the fruit processing industry, left behind when the fruit is de-juiced. Despite the benefits of fibre for human health – including boosting satiety, slowing glucose absorption, and functioning as prebiotics – fruit fibres often end up being thrown away or used as animal feed.

After being approached by suppliers seeking an outlet for the fibres in human food, the UK flavour firm found a way to use them as carriers for fruit flavours, hitting several trends in one go – reducing food waste, all-natural ingredients, and added fibre.

The dried, milled fibres themselves have very little flavour, but a slight acidity, Mike Taylor, sweet flavourist at Ungerer, told “We then boost the fruit fibre flavour character with natural flavouring materials.”

He added: “What we have produced is new, in terms of using fruit flavours and giving them a top note. Fibre is out there but fruit fibre isn’t being used in this way.”

Typical carriers for flavours in powder form are maltodextrin and wheatstarch. Using fruit fibres instead is not cheaper – in fact, the fibres are more expensive. But Taylor said: “With the health benefits associated with them and the fact when the Fibarome is in application it is fruit depictable and natural we feel this reflects the cost and be attractive to customers looking for clean labelling on their products.”

The range consists of apple, blackcurrant, lemon, orange and peach flavours, with each one using the fibres from the same fruit.

Ungerer would like to extend its range to other fruit flavours, but in order to do this it needs to source fibres from different fruits – and so far suppliers have not been able to come up with any others.

“However, as the appeal of fruit fibres grows I am sure more will become available,”​ Taylor said.

The Fibarome flavours can be used in baked confectionery, dairy, desserts, smoothies and health bars, and are said to be bake stable and freeze- and thaw-stable. They are not water soluble.

The fibres are brown in colour – with the exception of the blackcurrant, which is purple and is seen as a way to enhance the product further.

Natural and fibre-boosting

Taylor said that a major advantage of the new range, called Fibarome, is that it is 100 per cent natural. Food manufacturers are increasingly developing products along natural lines, in keeping with the consumer and retailer swerve away from artificial additives.

Fibre is a major feature of the healthy eating trend, and although Fibarome would not be used as a fibre replacer, it can boost the content of fibre in a product.

Taylor said that, on average, the fruit fibres are 50 per cent fibre. The remaining 50 per cent is made up of carbohydrates, pectin and protein. They are used at a dosage level of 1 per cent in applications.

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