Natural fruit juices provide alternative to reformed fruit pieces

All the way from California, Berry Blasters, from J O Sims, are the result of five years' R&D into creating a real fruit ingredient using a raisin base.

Natural fruit juices enable clean labelling and provide manufacturers with a quality alternative to reformed fruit pieces.

Berry Blasters are available in flavours as diverse as strawberry, sour cherry, blackberry, cinnamon, mixed fruit, mango, passion fruit, peach and lemon ­ to name but a few. Lighter coloured flavours use Californian Golden Raisins as a base while Californian Select Raisins are the carrier for darker varieties such as blackberry and blueberry. Process tolerant with available water levels of 0.5-0.7 per cent, the ingredients performed well in tests on chocolate confectionery, trail mixes and baked goods.

"Annual global production volumes of over 2.2 million lbs (1 million metric tons) are driving down the market value of the raisin, forcing it into a commodity position,“ says Steve Troehler, Vice President at Victor Packing, manufacturer of Berry Blasters. "We wanted to look at ways of adding value to raisins, creating a natural alternative to lower value fruit pieces which use gelling agents as well as an affordable alternative to top-end fruit ingredients. Because Berry Blasters share the same technical properties as raisins, they give the food industry greater flexibility in value-added products wherever a new taste sensation is sought.“

Victor Packaging is located in Madera, San Joaquin Valley, the heart of the Californian raisin growing region. An established grower since 1929, the company produces over 30000 metric tons of raisins each year for the food processing industry.

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