Q&A: Fruit and Vegetable Ingredient Innovation

June 2021

Nutritional and environmental considerations are playing a greater role in food purchase decisions. Consumers increasingly want to know if their foods are from sustainable sources, and show a growing preference for plant-based ingredients that they recognize as clean, natural and healthy. That’s why nutrient-rich fruit and vegetable ingredients are often at the center of new product formulations.

We talked with Angela Lofthouse, Global Sales and R&D Director at Chaucer Foods, about the latest fruit and vegetable ingredient trends and opportunities for future innovation.


1. How are product developers using fruit and vegetables in their products? Are there any emerging areas of innovation?


Product developers are increasingly looking to fruits and vegetables as a way to add clean-label flavor, color and nutrition to foods and beverages. As an inclusion, fruits and vegetable pieces can bring crisp texture to formulated snacks while also appealing to consumer demand for functional ingredients. For example, our freeze-dried strawberry slices or grilled red pepper pieces are often used as an ingredient in healthy snack mixes. Freeze-dried fruit pieces can also be used as stand-alone snacks.


One emerging area of innovation is in functional fruit powders, which are increasingly being used to add natural flavor and color to beverages, including tea, cocktails, smoothies and shakes. The freeze-drying process also retains important nutrients, making freeze-dried fruit powders a valuable addition to beverages focused on immunity and/or nutrition.


2. Which fruits and vegetables are most in demand right now?

Product developers are increasingly looking to fruits and vegetables as a way to add clean-label flavor, color and nutrition to foods and beverages. As an inclusion, fruits and vegetable pieces can bring crisp texture to formulated snacks while also appealing to consumer demand for functional ingredients. For example, our freeze-dried strawberry slices or grilled red pepper pieces are often used as an ingredient in healthy snack mixes. Freeze-dried fruit pieces can also be used as stand-alone snacks.


3. What flavor trends do you expect to see more of in 2021?

We can expect to see more vegetables being used across applications, and more garden-inspired flavors that provide a sense of wellness and back-to-basics healthy eating. We can also expect to see more innovation in flavor blends that incorporate multiple fruits and veggies together.


4. What benefits do freeze-dried fruits and vegetables offer over other dried ingredients?

Unlike other drying methods, the freeze-drying process preserves the shape, color and flavor of fruit and vegetables, as well as key nutrients. Chaucer’s freeze-dried fruit and vegetables are all-natural and have full field to fork traceability, so they are aligned with the trend toward healthier, more sustainable and clean-label foods. Our freeze-dried fruit and vegetables also have a long, ambient shelf life, making them ideal ingredients for shelf-stable food products like savory meals.

Learn more about how you can use freeze-dried ingredients in your snack applications, or contact us at customer.services@chaucerfoods.com to request a sample or more information.

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