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New snacks for the health food market

24 September 2008

A new fruit snack concept is being introduced by Baker Perkins in conjunction with its strategic partners; designed for the burgeoning market for healthy foods, these snacks are said by the company to be real fruit with no added sugar and are a convenient way for children and adults to increase fruit intake.

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They are produced using a Baker Perkins ServoGel depositing process, as bitesize pieces or bars. They can be positioned as a healthy alternative to conventional snacks or confectionery, or used to bring interest and variety to the health-food market.

They are made from concentrated fruit paste; real fruit juice can be incorporated and softer textures used for centre filling. Both adult and child versions may be fortified with vitamins, calcium and other functional ingredients to reinforce the healthy positioning.

The process uses ServoGel technology developed by Baker Perkins for depositing traditional jelly and gum confectionery, and adapted for fruit snacks. Baker Perkins worked closely with Taura Natural Ingredients on the process and the two companies can provide all the equipment, process technology, ingredients and customer support as a complete solution.

The process forms the fruit paste into bite sized pieces or into bars. Depositing is into moulds that can be shaped and embossed to produce a range of shapes from simple squares, circles or ovals, to fun shapes or characters that will appeal to children.

This appeal can be enhanced by packaging and marketing while parents will be reassured by the knowledge that they are giving their children a healthy and nutritious snack. For adults, more exotic sources such as mango or passion fruit can be used along with simpler, more natural shapes. The heart of the process is the Baker Perkins ServoGel starchless moulding line that allows simultaneous production of different shapes, flavours and colours. Weight range is typically one to 10g for bite size pieces.

Two sizes of plant are available, with typical outputs of 550 and 820kg p/h respectively. The complete package includes ingredients, formulations and process parameters; product development and testing; cooking, depositing and glazing / sanding equipment; direct interface with wrapping systems; plus installation, commissioning, training and aftermarket support.

Baker Perkins developed the process with Taura Natural Ingredients using their URC (Ultra Rapid Concentration) fruit paste technology. Taura Natural Ingredients is a global company, with production facilities in New Zealand and Belgium.

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