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Stratum touts fat replacement benefits of kiwifruit paste ingredient

By Hank Schultz , 10-Jul-2013
Last updated the 10-Jul-2013 at 16:34 GMT

Stratum's kiwifruit paste ingredient can cut fat in baked goods.
Stratum's kiwifruit paste ingredient can cut fat in baked goods.

Stratum Nutrition will be highlighting its ApuraGreen ingredient—a kiwi fruit paste functional food ingredient—at the upcoming IFT show.  The company will present application studies showing the ingredient’s effectiveness in replacing fat as well as extending freshness in baked goods.

The ingredient is mildly sweet, too, meaning it can help a bakery formulator cut some of the sugars in a finished product, too.  The ingredient can also replace egg to some extent in a finished product.

But ApuraGreen can’t be all things to all people, said Heather Thompson, manager of global marketing communications for Stratum.

“Generally you have to choose which direction you want to go, because you can’t use one ingredient to reduce all of above,” Thompson told FoodNavigator-USA.

ApuraGreen is a whole-fruit kiwi paste meant for baked goods such as bread, cookies, muffins, cakes and other pastries. The natural composition helps maintain moisture in the product, which the company says allows for softer, fresher products with an extended shelf life, sugar and or fat reduction, and clean label.  In a sample butter cake recipe, using ApuraGreen cut fat content from 19 grams to 12 grams.

Comparison to other fruit pastes

Using a fruit paste as a humectant or texturizer in baked goods is not a new idea, Thompson admitted.

“Fruit paste in general, whether be an applesauce or a plum paste or other type of fruit paste certainly has been used in different food type products,” Thompson said.

“We have looked at that in a comparison analysis, whether it be from the nutrient content or flavor profile or how they react in different baked goods, and have found a number of things favorable for the kiwifruit paste.

“Kiwi itself is certainly very high in vitamin C and K and fiber,” she said.

Fat replacement is here to stay

But how big is the market?  With all of the attention lately to the healthy role of fats, will the market for low fat products be less vibrant in the future than it may have appeared five or six years ago? Thompson doesn’t think so.

“When you look at fats (and  their attendant calories) it’s the first thing consumers look at if they are watching what they eat,” Thompson said.

The ingredient has some clean label advantages, too, Thompson said. It is a single, natural ingredient – from a whole fruit. It is non-GMO and gluten-free, and GRAS with no artificial preservatives or additives.

The ingredient comes from a partnership with New Zealand company Anagenix that was finalized in July, 2012. Kiwifruit is a big crop in New Zealand, with commercial plantations dating back to the 1950s.  And the national government has helped fund a lot of research into the fruit’s benefits, Thompson said.

In addition to the ApuraGreen functional food ingredient, the partnership has also yielded a kiwi powder ingredient meant for supplements and branded as Actazin.  Stratum touts both the ingredient’s nutrient density as well as its digestive benefits via actinidin, an enzyme unique to kiwifruit.

Visitors to the IFT show in Chicago can hear more about the ingredient at a session presented by food applications expert Ibrahim Abou-Nemeh, PhD on Tuesday, July 16.

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