Danisco backs superfruits with acai flavour

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fruit Nutrition

Danisco is making the most of the superfruit trend - and may even
help perpetuate it - by developing a new acai berry flavour for use
in dairy, ice cream, beverage and confectionery
products.

The term 'superfruit' refers to any fruit that has a particularly high antioxidant content or is packed full of other beneficial nutrients.

The category has taken off in the last few years thanks to a wave of interest in health and wellness.

Consumers are also open to trying exotic produce from far-flung places, particularly that which tastes good.

Food manufacturers have therefore added certain fruits, including acai berries from Brazil, to products such as bars and beverages.

Besides acai, other fruits that have been dubbed 'super' include pomegranates, blackberries, cranberries, mangosteen and goji berries.

However according to Danisco, the raw acai fruit has a slightly metallic taste.

This could stand in the way of it being added to certain products, particularly when the whole dried berries are not used.

But by capturing its "sweet, pleasant flavour, slightly reminiscent of chocolate", Danisco says that it will contribute to acai's lasting commercial success.

What is more, the association with acai could help boost the image of some products that have previously been regarded as unhealthy treats, such as confectionery or ice-cream, at a time when much attention and investment is focused on reformulating products to make them appear less bad.

Acai berries have been used in their native South America for centuries to aid digestion and help alleviate skin conditions.

In addition to antioxidants, they are rich in amino acids, essential fatty acids, proteins, iron, fibre, and other vitamins and minerals.

Exotic fruits amongst the major continuing trends, reported Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2007, published at the beginning of this year by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com.

Other trends identified were health and wellness and, natural and fresh, premium, and ethnic tastes.

Danisco announced last week the planned sale of its flavours division to Firmenich for around DKK 3.36 bn (€0.45bn).

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will allow the company to focus resources on bioingredients, texturants and sweeteners competencies - while still keeping some interest in flavours through a partnership with the buyer.

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