Fruit and vegetable powders deliver nutrients, flavor, color and texture
Demand for fruit and vegetable powders is growing as manufacturers discover their flavor, color, texture and nutrient assets, and consumers look to increase produce consumption, according to Ingredients Network.
These powders are showing up in beverages, confectionery, ready-to-eat products, bakery and dairy, Ingredients Network reported. Demand is particularly strong in Europe, but the publication predicts it will soon be followed by the Asia Pacific region as food processing technology and disposable incomes advance.
According to MarketsandMarkets data cited by Ingredients Network, the value of fruit and vegetable ingredients could hit $216 billion by 2022, for a compound annual growth rate of 5.8%.
As consumers try to eat healthier and more natural products, vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetable powders — along with protein and fiber, depending on the source — are an appealing value-add.
The trend fits with others in today's food industry. Manufacturers can help limit waste by using powders made from produce that might otherwise be tossed. The use of natural products means cleaner labels. Color and flavor enhancements allow consumers to enjoy healthier foods and beverages without sacrificing taste. These better-for-you qualities can be advertised on labels to maximize impact and might give food makers using them a competitive advantage.
Big food companies are adding fruit and vegetable powders to products, including protein drinks, nutrition bars and pasta. General Mills recently invested $3 million in Purely Elizabeth, which uses functional mushroom powder in its wellness bars to increase energy, vitality and immunity. Besides better maintaining nutrient content than fresh produce, the powders are also easier for companies to transport, according to Ingredients Network.
Some of the most common powdered ingredients are made from green vegetables, such as alfalfa, spinach and kale, which pack a nutritional punch. Fruit powders are also available, including those made from strawberry, blueberry, açai, goji berry and pomegranate. These products are adaptable to a number of different foods — yogurt, beverages and baked goods among them.
Brands making their own include Welch's Concord Fruit Powder with polyphenols, a natural antioxidant from grapes — which Baking Business reported could enhance heart health and potentially boost cognitive function — and Sunsweet Ingredients' Dried Plum Powder. The latter contains antioxidants to increase fiber levels and is being used in healthy bar products, cookies, muffins and scones.
Fruit and vegetable powders seem to be delivering significant value to industry and consumers and are likely to be around for a long time. They can also extend product shelf life. A group of Swedish grad students experimenting with spray-dried fruit powders for use following natural disasters or in fresh food deserts found they would still be usable for up to two years.
- Ingredients Network Fruit and vegetable powders add clean label nutrition, colour and flavour