The global ingredients company has installed a new production line at its facility in Lummen, near Sint Truiden, in Belgium, to produce fruit fillings without preservatives due to the aseptic structure of the line.
The installation follows the company’s annual Taste Tomorrow survey results, which revealed the demand for natural products continues to increase.
“Both the consumer and our customers are increasingly looking for more naturalness in their fillings. They want more fruit and bigger pieces, but combined with a high baking stability to enable them to use the fruit as a filling for croissants and Danish pastries,” said Jo Libens, global category manager responsible for all Puratos fruit fillings.
“This is a clear, retail-driven trend in the industry. Process innovation is crucial if you want to do this well. Based on these insights, we installed a new production line that makes it possible to produce fillings without artificial additives, while preserving the identity and flavour of the fruit.”
The line – which will have an annual capacity of 5,000 tons – produces two types of fruit fillings suitable for the baking industry.
Topfil contains up to 90% fruit, in larger pieces, primarily intended for pastries where the fruit is on top, while Vivafil is a better option when a high level of baking stability is required, such as a fruit filling for croissants.
“We adapt our fruit fillings to our customers’ demands, depending on the desired end product.
“If the fruit filling is intended for a Danish pastry or croissant, you will need a high baking stability. However, if it is used in a cake, the ingredients must contribute to the product’s shelf life,” said Libens.
From field to fork
Puratos uses Jonagold apples grown in the Sint Truiden region for its apple fillings, as the variety has a natural sweetness that requires fewer sweeteners.
The apples are carefully inspected before use to ensure they measure up in sugar and acidic composition as well as color.
“These measurements are of crucial importance. In some cases, the recipe will need to be adjusted for each harvest,” said Libens.
“Contrary to the production method used for traditional jams, in which a great deal of sugar is added and the fruit is simmered for a long time to thoroughly pasteurize it and to prevent post-contamination, the production method we use for our fruit fillings is aimed at heating it, allowing it to cool and package it as quickly as possible.
“We aim to guarantee that the filling remains as natural as possible in everything we do.”