The lab-scale extrusion plant is the next phase of Gat Foods go-to-market plan following the launch of Fruitlift in March this year.
Large-scale cereal production
It wants to integrate Fruitlifit into various breakfast cereal applications and assess its integration into large-scale cereal production processes.
The pilot plant replicates a large industrial production belt on a smaller lab scale.
“Since its launch two months ago, Fruitlift has inspired enthusiastic interest from food companies globally,” said Michal Katzir Emek, international marketing director, Gat Foods.
“We decided to install a full-scale pilot lab to give us more expertise and flexibility to better collaborate with our clients throughout the entire product development cycle, from concept through to trials, and final product.
“We anticipate this will further our application of Fruitlift into additional food formulations.”
Fruitlift is an all-natural, liquid-based ingredient - composed of 90% fruit components designed to be injected into the flour mix of puffed cereals to replace white refined sugar, which until now has been a significant component in RTE cereals.
The fruit base is available in a variety of fruits and can be customized for any manufacturing process, or formulated to fit any type of flour mixture.
It can be injected either as a base or a coating and the dose can be adjusted to desired sweetness levels and taste preferences.
Wet fruit challenges
The challenge for Gat Foods was to integrate a wet fruit into a dry product to bring breakfast cereals to consumers in a more natural and better-for-you format.
The pilot plant incorporates a full lab-scale extrusion line, including extruder machinery, a coating drum, oven and mixers.
It also includes lab equipment necessary to assess final products to ensure they adhere to a specific product criteria encompassing parameters of taste, texture, crispiness and sweetness.
The facility also allows for continuous on-site optimization of manufacturing procedures for RTE cereals, and a full assessment of the requirements of individual cereal manufacturers.
The company designed the custom extrusion plant machinery after researching several models to assess the specifications to fit Frutlift’s technology into the production flows of cereals manufacturers.
It has already completed an initial round of trials in a pilot lab in the UK.
Gat foods will showcase Fruitlift on June 3-5 at the IFT Expo in New Orleans, US, and demonstrate how it can replace refined sugars in samples of puffed cereals, including whole grain cereals.
Gat Foods is a subsidiary of Central Bottling Company Group based in Israel. Since 1942, the company has developed, produced and marketed fruit for beverage manufacturers, providing ingredients that create customized drinks.