The next big ice cream flavor? You can’t beet it

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Beetroot is being touted as a super ingredient for 2022. Pic: European Freeze Dry
Beetroot is being touted as a super ingredient for 2022. Pic: European Freeze Dry

Related tags beetroot Beetroot juice Ice cream

Beetroot flavored ice-cream, sushi and gin could make up a range of new product lines over the next 12 months, as demand for the emerging superfood ingredient is expected to drive NPD.

According to ingredient specialist European Freeze Dry, interest in the root vegetable is spiking as product managers explore the possibilities from nutrition-heavy beets.

Already used in some plant-based meat alternatives, salads, dips and cold juices, its health properties and vibrant coloring mean the ingredient is high on the list for many NPD managers.

European Freeze Dry points to recent studies into beetroot’s nutritional and health benefits, which show it can help lower blood pressure, has high antioxidant properties and can improve digestive health. Additionally, beetroot’s nitrates can increase oxygen intake and exercise performance, while early studies suggest it may help reduce the risk of some cancers.

As a result, new product developers are exploring how it can be included in future product lines such as healthier ice-creams, gins and chocolates, while its natural red pigment can be added to other ingredients such as sushi rice, pizza doughs and curries to make them more colorful and appealing.

Ten ways beetroot could be used to transform NPD in 2022:

•  Beetroot ice cream
•  Beetroot infused pizza doughs
•  Beetroot flavoured sushi rice
•  Beetroot curries
•  Beetroot loaves
•  Beetroot ketchup
•  Beetroot infused gin
•  Beetroot flavoured crisps
•  Beetroot chocolate
•  Beetroot risotto

Diana Morris, country manager UK for European Freeze Dry, said, “We know that the NPD trend towards plant-based superfoods is continuing to grow and companies are showing a real interest in beetroot due to its fantastic health boosting properties.

 “We can see an explosion around beetroot-based meals in the same way that we have recently seen in the industry for meals with spinach, chickpeas and banana.  While it might seem strange to some, we see adding beetroot powder to ice cream as one of the next great food trends. Freeze dried powders are a proven way to improve the quality of ice cream, while offering health benefits and offering an attractive and natural vibrant red coloring.

“It is such a versatile ingredient that we envisage adding it to plenty of meals and products in the coming future.”

With European countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Spain the largest exporters of beetroot, the ingredient also offers benefits in terms of reduced food miles, fresher produce and cheaper transport costs, meaning the continent can benefit from beetroot in a more sustainable way than other superfoods such as lentils and chickpeas.

European Freeze Dry is a producer of freeze-dried products and provider of speciality freeze drying services to a range of industries.

European Freeze Dry has facilities in Preston in the UK and in Denmark in Kirke Hyllinge.

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