R&D Applications: Showcasing Fruits, Nuts & Inclusions
A survey of fruit, nut and inclusion products available to the product development community.
Texture, Flavor, Nutrition
The versatility of California Walnuts makes them the perfect inclusion to bring flavor and texture to a variety of products—from brownies to food bars to ice cream to plant-based meat alternatives. Walnuts are a whole food powerhouse of important nutrients for optimum health, and the only tree nut with a significant source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. Rarely do you find an ingredient that offers both health and indulgence attributes together. California walnuts provide both, making them the ideal addition to new product formularies and developments.
— California Walnut Commission, www.walnuts.org
A main go-to for new healthy eating options is fruit, and fruit comes in many different forms—from puréed, dried particles to juice concentrates. For instance, bars, are a very popular snack item that are convenient, can be nutritious and are available for all ages. Dried fruits can be mixed with a variety of items to create such bars and can help to bind water, add sweetness and fiber (naturally) or for flavor. Fruits, in all forms, are great as stand-alone items, such all-natural air-dried pieces or they can be added to other snacks like trail mixes, yogurts, drinks, ice creams, and salads. Tree Top’s R&D team develops hundreds of innovative concepts, visit our application section if you are looking for a starting point for your next project.
We work on custom and proprietary applications as well.
— Tree Top, https://foodingredients.treetop.com
The clean label movement is making its mark on the snack aisle. Consumers want to find conveniently packaged, healthful foods when they shop for their next snack purchase. Freeze-dried fruit and vegetable snacks deliver clean label claims that make them a favorite among mommy Influencers and sports nutrition users alike. Van Drunen Farms is one of the largest growers, manufacturers, and suppliers of freeze-dried, drum-dried and frozen specialty products in the industry. It offers a wide range of fruit ingredients. The fresh flavor, shelf-stability, retained nutritional value, and piece identity all mean that consumers do not have to sacrifice convenience for health.
—Van Drunen Farms, www.vandrunenfarms.com
Inclusion Technologies offers a line of extremely unique nut replacers and extenders under the Nadanut brand. These products are 100% nut-free and deliver the look, taste, and the crunch of tree nuts—without the nut allergens or high cost. The newest addition to the product line up are Nadanut Pralines, which are hard candy coated pieces to deliver similar properties to real pecan-based pralines. Also, Nadanut Seasons are new and these are seasoned varieties of the Nadanut Non-GMO clean-labeled recipe; available in Salted Caramel, Sour Cream & Onion, Korean BBQ, Honey Sriracha, and Wasabi Soy seasoned pieces. With the growing concern with nut allergens and the volatility of pricing and supply of tree nuts, Nadanut offers an economical and nut-allergen free alternative.
Offering a subtle flavor and multidimensional texture, almonds complement many ingredients and are a popular choice for manufacturers across multiple categories. Almonds are available in 15 versatile forms and are packed with powerful nutrition, making them an ideal ingredient to meet consumer demand, especially in free-from and clean label product innovations. In fact, according to a recent study by the Almond Board of California, consumers worldwide report a preference for products with almonds versus those without, and Innova Market Insights research found that almonds have been the number one nut in new product introductions since 2006. It’s good news then that the California almond community is committed to using sustainable farming practices and to providing a consistently safe, stable supply.
— The Almond Board of California, Almonds.com/food-professionals
Denali Ingredients is a leading supplier of innovative food ingredients. Products include variegating sauces, such as caramels, fudges, fruits, flavors and flavor bases (including eggnog bases), inclusions, such as baked pieces, extruded doughs, flakes and barks, as well as stabilizer, texture and sweetener systems. Denali offers ingredient solutions for frozen desserts, dairy, as well as fresh and shelf-stable food applications. Denali Ingredients is the sister company to Michigan-based Denali Flavors, Inc., a leading innovator and marketer of licensed ice cream flavors, including its signature flavor, Moose Tracks.
Peanuts: Trendy, Sustainable
Millennial and Gen Z consumers are more culturally diverse and sustainability-minded than any previous generation. That’s why ethnic cuisines and global street foods are increasing in popularity, because they satisfy that craving for cultural authenticity and are often naturally plant-forward. Peanuts are a common ingredient in many global cuisines that add craveable flavor, as well as plant-based protein and fiber. They are also a sustainable ingredient because they require less water to grow than other nuts, and can fix their own nitrogen, which reduces their need for added fertilizer. And consumers know that peanuts are a great source of sustainable, plant-based nutrition. In a recent survey commissioned by the National Peanut Board, more than one third of Millennial respondents said that they would be more likely purchase a grocery or menu item if it contained peanuts. As global and sustainable food trends continue to expand, peanuts are a familiar ingredient that will meet the needs of chefs, manufacturers and consumers alike.
— National Peanut Board, www.nationalpeanutboard.org
MVB = Most Valuable Berry
Since 2003, the US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has conducted periodic nationwide consumer usage and attitude studies on blueberries. Recent results show that blueberries are consumers’ top berry; flavor and health matter most; blueberries add appeal in stores and on menus, and usage grows and gets more varied as time goes on. Blueberries also generate consumer interest in other food products or menu items. Half of all consumers, not just blueberry buyers, say blueberries add more appeal to menu items (52%). In the grocery store, 63% of shoppers say they’re “very likely” to purchase food products marked with the Council’s “Made with Real Blueberries” seal. Contact USHBC to learn more about blueberries many ingredient forms to fit all applications.
— US Highbush Blueberry Council, www.blueberrytech.org
Thanks to years of scientific research, Montmorency tart cherries have broken out of the pie shell and onto the “superfruit” stage. This traditional pie ingredient has gained a new reputation and now is praised for its versatility, nutrient density and health benefits. Montmorency tart cherries are harvested in the summer—although they’re available year-round in multiple forms: dried, frozen, canned, 100% juice and juice concentrate. Food and beverage processors can use Montmorency tart cherries to add a pop of color, a nutrient punch and a hint of sweet-tart flavor to product applications, such as overnight oats, grain bowls, salads, side dishes, trail mixes, beverages and more.
— Cherry Industry Administrative Board, www.cherryprocessor.com
With headquarters in Frankfort, Mich., Graceland Fruit produces and markets dried fruit and other products to more than 60 countries worldwide. Its customer base includes some of the largest and most prestigious commercial baking and food companies in the world. Graceland Fruit has twice been named Michigan Agriculture Exporter of the Year. Its primary product lines include dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, and apples. Graceland is proud to be product of the USA, BRC Grade A Certified, non-allergen, non-GMO, halal, and kosher certified, while offering organic options as well.
— Graceland Fruit, www.gracelandfruit.com
Clean Label Appeal
For almost four decades, FruitSmart has been at the forefront of sustainability by converting fruit industry byproducts into value-added ingredients. This business model fits well with today’s consumer trends toward more natural, sustainable and “clean label” products. FruitSmart strives to be the dehydrated fruit product supplier of choice to firms engaged in the natural/organic foods market.
In early 2019, FruitSmart installed a new production line at its Prosser, Wash., facility. Not only does it increase FruitSmart’s capacity, but it expands capabilities for producing fine powders previously not offered in their line of fruit fibers, fruit powders and seed powders.
— FruitSmart, www.fruitsmart.com