Dispatches from FiE
Is the next generation of fruit functional?
Ingredients firm Taura showcased its URC Fruit and Protein enriched with milk and pea proteins, Fruit and Energy with caffeine derived from green coffee and guarana and Fruit and Fibre from fruit and grains at FiE last week. The range can be added to applications such as cereal, breads, bars and confectionery.
Peter Dehasque, chief executive officer at the company, said: “You could argue whether fruit is a functional product on its own, actually it is.”
Yet he said: “It’s not just the vitamins, the fibers, the antioxidants. It’s a combination of all that that makes it [fruit] stand out, and on top of that we add some extras that are really directed in specific fields like protein for sports nutrition and weight management, fibers for digestive health and caffeine for energy and sustained energy.”
Dehasque told BakeryandSnacks.com that the protein-fortified fruit pieces have a “subtle milky and fruity” flavor. “Delivering a high dose of protein is not easy, it can be quite difficult to obtain a good texture. Protein bars can be very heavy, they can be not very good in flavour. If you combine fruit and protein it’s actually a new generation of potential snacks.”
Dehasque said the company was appealing to an energy trend by including natural sources of caffeine like green coffee and the South American climbing plant guarana on top of the “fruit matrix”.
He said that caffeine adds an “extra notch” onto the low GI of fruit, as well as giving an extra flavour element. “The real novelty here is the intrinsic of URC [Ultra Rapid Concentrated] being low GI and then adding on top of that some extra functionality like protein fibres and energy.”
Dehasque said the company is interested in playing on gut health claims with its inclusion of fiber. He told us that the company is currently working on fiber concepts. "Potentially you could have a digestive claim supported by EFSA."
Stands on its own two feet
Earlier this year the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) determined that manufacturers who substitute at least 30% of glucose or sucrose with fructose can claim that: “Consumption of foods containing fructose leads to a lower blood glucose rise compared to foods containing sucrose or glucose.” When asked how this development has affected the company’s ability to play to these functional foods markets, Dehasque said that fruit does not necessarily need an EFSA claim.
“We actually focus on those functional benefits where you can potentially make a claim. On the other hand fruit does the talking for itself; fruit is seen as healthy whether you have a claim or not from EFSA. Fruit doesn’t need a claim from EFSA, it stands on its own feet because of the holistic goodness of fruit,” he said.
He said that these ingredients were “definitely at the premium end of the market.”
“It’s for those products where you want to differentiate yourself with a more niche positioning, where you can claim high fruit content, where you can actually claim ‘better for you’,” Dehasque said.