Native Brazilian fruit holds snack bar promise: Study

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The marolo fruit is limited to fresh or frozen consumption, but the potential for use in snack bars is enormous, say researchers
The marolo fruit is limited to fresh or frozen consumption, but the potential for use in snack bars is enormous, say researchers

Related tags: Snack bars, Nutrition

The marolo fruit should be used in flour form for snack bars because of its powerful nutritional properties and ability to improve taste and quality, researchers say.

The research published in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture​ found that marolo flour improved the dietary fiber, vitamin C content and antioxidant activity in snack bars and also improved the appearance, taste and texture.

The fruit, native to Brazil’s savanna, is predominantly consumed as a fresh or frozen fruit but the researchers said it holds potential for snack bars in flour form.

“Despite the health-promoting compounds, only the native people consume marolo as fresh fruit or frozen, the former being used to prepare juices, ice creams, jellies and jams. Their limited consumption is partly due to the scarce information regarding potential uses, processing and quality of processed foods obtained from marolo,”​ the researchers wrote.

“The incorporation of marolo flour in a new product such as a snack bar is feasible and it could be considered as a new highly nutritional ingredient by the food industry, which can also provide a new taste for consumers.”

Increasing fiber, boosting vitamin C and antioxidant activity

The study found that up to 20% marolo flour could be successfully incorporated into snack bars, considering the water content and chemical properties and sensory perception of the product.

Incorporation of marolo flour at this level could substantially up the levels of vitamin C and minerals and also increase the fiber level, the researchers said.

Under Brazilian legislation, they said the fiber content was high enough to label the bars as a ‘source of fiber’, as the bars contained at least 3g of fiber to every 100g of food.

Findings also indicated that fortification with up to 10% significantly improved the sensory properties of the snack bar.

“Sensory properties of the supplemented snack bars confirm the great potential of marolo flour as an ingredient for this type of product, since its own sensory characteristics such as color, aroma and flavor are greatly appreciated,” ​the researchers said.

From fruit to flour…

The pulp of the marolo fruit was used to form flour for the snack bars. It was separated from the seed and then dehydrated at 65⁰C for 48 hours in an oven and then ground and sieved. The final moisture content of the flour was 9.5%.

 

Source: Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture
Published online ahead of print on 23 July 2013, doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6282
“Developing fruit-based nutritious snack bars”
Authors: EP. Da Silva, HH. Siqueira, R. Carvalho do Lago, CM. Rosell and E. Vde Barros Vilas Boas

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