If you work in the restaurant or catering business, you’ve already heard the buzz about trending fruit powders and vegetable powders and how manufacturers are adding them to products to cater to a health-conscious public. Likewise, a growing number of chefs have become aware of the practical advantages of using dehydrated vs. fresh produce and are adding them to recipes to meet demands from consumers hungry for more nutritious and natural foods and drinks.
Fruit and Veggie Powder Advantages
But what exactly are the assets and advantages that have fruit and veggie powders appearing across the food industry – in ready-to-eat products, beverages, dairy, confectionary, baked goods, and more? And why are they becoming a fast favorite among chefs and a must-have item on restaurants’ inventory lists?
Answers to these questions and more are exactly what’s on the menu in this Fruit and Vegetable Powder Guide for Professionals. You will also be served a large helping of ideas on how to incorporate powders into the dishes and desserts your customers already love, and of course, no food guide for food professionals is complete without the addition of a to-die-for recipe.
Factors Driving the Global Fruit and Vegetable Powder Market
According to Ingredients Network and market reports from Transparency Market Research, the sun is shining brightly in the forecast for the global fruit and vegetable powder market. Showing a positive annual growth rate for the period from 2018 to 2026, the value of fruit and veggie ingredients is predicted to hit $216 billion by 2022. Factors driving the market include:
- Increased consumer demand for plant-based foods and beverages
- Interest in fiber-rich ingredients
- Worldwide rise in vegetarianism
- Calls for clean label, ‘free-from,’ and ‘better-for-you’ products
- Calls for food waste prevention, including the use of leftover produce that would otherwise be tossed
- Advances in food processing technology
- Popularity of on-the-go foods and drinks
Adding to these, not only are powders easy to transport and store, but they maintain their nutrient content and have a longer shelf life than their fresh counterparts.
Trending with the Times
Trending with the times is the name of the foodservice game, which is why your restaurant, bakery, food truck, fast food joint, or catering service should be eating up the benefits of fruit and vegetable powders. In fact, from powder-enhanced pumpkin bread and pasta to celery juice and yogurt, this is what some of the major players in the industry are doing. Here is a taste of some recent news from some of the biggest food companies: General Mills has invested in Purely Elizabeth to the tune of $3 million, adding immunity-boosting mushroom powder to its energy protein bars. Welch now makes its own fruit powders by adding a natural antioxidant from grapes believed to improve heart and cognitive functions. Likewise, Sunsweet Ingredients has concocted their own brand of high-fiber dried plum powder, adding it to scones, muffins, cookies and health bars.
And here is a special insiders’ tip for all foodservice pros: If you want your biz to stand out from the pack and gain an edge over your competitors, be on the lookout for some of the newest and edgiest types of fruit powders available, in flavors ranging from pomegranate and blueberry to goji berry and acai.
New in Vegetable Powders
Also grabbing the limelight are new vegetable powder varieties. In fact, your chefs can reinvent the wheel by making many of their favorite veggie-based dishes using vegetable powders. In the process, they will create an end-product that not only maintains the flavor of the original recipe, but which has a longer shelf-life, eliminates food waste, and maintains or even enhances its nutritional profile.
Fruit and Vegetable Powder Challenges
New challenges go hand-in-hand with new opportunities and finding the right recipe for manufacturing fruit and vegetable powders is no exception. The challenges lie in the technicalities of the drying process, which has given rise to some of the following obstacles: knowing how to properly handle delicate leafy greens and herbs; overcoming the problem of processed high-sugar items sticking to everything; sugars that burn under high temperatures; bland flavors; washed-out colors. Lastly, there is a constant race to the finish line as there is a narrow window of time in which ingredients must be dried in order to prevent decay and spoilage.
In response, food scientists have been hard at work perfecting techniques that will more easily produce vibrant powders. Some of the latest successes include using different drying methods for different types of ingredients, i.e. air-drying herbs and vacuum drying dried foods; use of infrared light technology to kill pathogens; and advances in color/texture preservation methods.
All-natural, organic products easily satisfy consumers’ quest for healthier foods and drinks. They also give manufacturers, suppliers, and restaurant owners an opportunity to advertise these ‘better for you’ qualities on clean labels and find favor in their customers’ eyes. Concentrated powders fit the bill, retaining 100% of their original nutrient content without the addition of artificial colors, flavors, or ingredients that consumers distrust.
Explained by Otis Curtis, business development director of the Kerry Group (leaders in global food ingredients): “The ability for formulators to make a serving of fruit or vegetable label claim is one of the greatest benefits that affect consumers. Additionally, powders provide the authentic taste of real fruits and vegetables and can be labeled as simply the source fruit on the ingredient declaration. This is attractive to today’s consumer who is looking for products made from recognizable ingredients.”
The Future of Dehydrated Fruits and Veggies
Once considered the food of astronauts in outer space, powdered fruits and vegetables have hit the ground running and there are no signs of their trajectory slowing down anytime soon. According to the experts, what you can expect to sink your teeth into in the coming years are new blends of fruits and veggies and a growing variety of unusual flavors and textures. Already on the market are powders made from: apples, oranges, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, broccoli, beets, tomatoes, carrots, spinach and mushrooms. In the near future, you and your customers will also be able to savor the taste of powdered watermelon, coconut water, apples-and-cinnamon, apricots, blackberries, mangos, pineapple, papaya, pears, kale, alfalfa, spirulina, wheat grass, and more.
How to Incorporate Fruit and Vegetable Powders
‘Anything goes’ is the perfect way to sum up how and where you can add dehydrated produce to your dishes, desserts, and menus. Here are just a few ideas to help stir your own culinary juices:
- Blend into yogurts, milkshakes, and smoothies
- Add to hot cereal, oatmeal, and granola
- Add to sauces for extra flavor
- Add to stuffing recipes
- Sprinkle into milk or water
- Fold into fruit sauces, jams, and compotes
- Add to muffins, breads, and other baked goods
- Add to icings and frostings
- Use to make lemon bars and strawberry shortcakes
- Dust on top of brownies, cookie dough, and donuts
- Add to chocolate recipes
- Use to make truffles
- Use as a binder in rice crispy treats
- Use in no-bake desserts
- Use to create fruit and veggie sports drinks
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberry powder
- 1/3 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt
- 4 oz. white chocolate (preferably from a quality white chocolate bar versus white chocolate chips)
Recipe: Strawberry Powder Truffles
And now, what your palates have all been waiting for… a mouthwatering fruit powder recipe that is already winning over customers. Enjoy!
- In a microwave-safe bowl, break white chocolate into small pieces. Melt in microwave for 25 seconds and stir. Repeat in 10-15 second intervals until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from microwave and continue stirring until smooth.
- Add the yogurt to the melted chocolate and mix well. Freeze for 2-5 hours until hard. Meanwhile, prepare the strawberry powder.
- In a food processor, crush 1 cup of freeze-dried strawberries into a smooth or almost-smooth powder (you can choose to keep some small strawberry pieces intact). Alternatively, crush using a glass, ice chopper, or other utensil.
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with wax paper and remove chocolate mixture from freezer.
- By hand, roll a cookie-sized amount of dough into a ball, then roll each ball in the strawberry powder until coated.
- Serve and savor immediately!
- If truffles are too soft or begin to melt, simply refreeze.