A Solid Choice: Dried Fruit in Cereal

If you say “breakfast cereal” to people, the first thing they might think of is the sugary, processed products aimed at kids and those who still want to eat like kids on a cheat day. For the rest of us, the allure of a bowl of healthy grains and nuts topped with fresh fruit is probably a better choice. 

But, what if you don’t have time to buy and wash and chop up that delicious fresh fruit? Thanks to the inclusion of dried fruit and fruit solids, there are plenty of ways to get the benefits of fruit even without putting together a social media post-worthy breakfast. 

Including fruit in the cereals you make might mean only including a small amount by volume. Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries rice and wheat flake cereal, for example, carries only a single-digit percentage of the headline ingredients, but the value proposition of the whole product hinges on the tasty little bits of fruit waiting among the flakes. 

Blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries might seem like obvious choices when it comes to including fruit in cereals, but there are a wide variety of other options to choose from these days. At FruitSmart, we maintain an extensive product list to give you the greatest amount of flexibility possible in crafting the flavor you are after. 

Not only can you aim for traditional flavors, but ingredients like passion fruit, guava, figs, and black currants can also provide you with new options in using natural ingredients to craft a flavor or a nutrition profile that can help you stand out in a crowded market. There are many different points in the production process where natural ingredients can add the the flavor of a finished cereal by how they respond to steps like the extreme heat of extrusion.

Dry, boxed cereals are, of course, only one slice of the market where fruit solids can be valuable ingredients. Granola bars, nutrition bars, and baked goods are just a few of the other examples of products where fruit solids can be used to enhance flavor and nutritional quality. 

Getting quality dried ingredients in your products requires exacting attention to detail in production. FruitSmart’s drying and milling processes are carefully managed balances of temperature, time, air flow, and humidity to ensure quality and consistency in the ingredients that find their way into final consumer products. 

One particular health benefit that fruit solids bring is the nutritional value found in the compounds that are concentrated in the skins and solids of many different fruits. Chemicals called anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants linked to a wide range of health benefits, are responsible for the red and purple colors found in many of the healthiest fruits. While fruit juices are often healthy in their own right, upcycling the skins and solids that might normally be thrown away is one way to make the most of these powerful, healthy compounds. 

In the current market, there is no denying the value of keeping your label clean and your ingredients natural. Even foods like complex cereals that have longer lists of whole or chopped ingredients like nuts and grains can still benefit from replacing unpronounceable flavoring additives with natural ingredients. Chopped dried fruit, fruit pulp, and other fruit solids can be included to bring fresh, alluring tastes to your products without using flavorings and additives that may be unpopular with some sharp-eyed consumers. 

As production and processing techniques continue to improve, upcycled fruit will also take on a larger role in finished food products. Reclaiming the pulp, skins, and other solids from fruit that is pressed for juices and essences is one way FruitSmart makes the most of the produce we source. Not only does this provide our partners with the widest array of options possible in how they utilize the fruits we provide, but it helps utilize fruit that would otherwise have gone to waste. 

If you are looking to liven up existing offerings with some new punch, or you are just getting started with a new winning recipe, contact FruitSmart today to learn more about the advantages of partnering with us.

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