New From FruitSmart: Oat Extract

As health and wellness become ever more important to American consumers, plant-based products continue to become more popular. In recent years, one of the fastest-growing categories of plant-based products is milk that is derived from sources like almond, coconut, soy, and oats. In fact, even though almond and soy milk have dominated the market for years, oat milk is now a rising star. Indeed, sales of oat milk surged 50.52% to $527.44 million from 2021 to 2022, and they are expected to increase more than 15% in the next few years. And one of the key ingredients in the production of oat milk and many other products is oat extract, a new product from FruitSmart.

What to Know About Oat Extract

While oat milk is the best known product made from oat extract, it isn’t the only one. In addition to being a great source of fiber and a variety of essential nutrients, it can also be used for dietary supplements and even skincare products. There is evidence that the combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can lead to numerous health benefits; examples include improved brain function, mood, and blood flow as well as reductions in inflammation, stress, and insomnia.

Oat extract is derived from common oats (Avena sativa), a type of cereal grain that is a familiar site on breakfast tables all across the country, usually in the form of oatmeal or granola. There are different ways to make oat extract, but it generally involves first milling the oats and then combining them with water or another solvent. Enzymes are then added to convert the natural sugars contained in the oats to sugar. The solvent is then evaporated through a distillation process until only the extract remains.

Three Key Trends Fueling Oat Milk’s Popularity

Of course the broadening interest in oat extract and the products derived from it is only possible because of the splash that oat milk has made over the past couple decades. And one of the biggest reasons for its rise in popularity is its nutritional value and potential health benefits. Among cereal grains, for instance, oat milk has higher protein content and more amino acids than other options like almond, rice, and cashew milk. Additionally, oat milk has up to four times as much dietary fiber as other plant-based milks.

But even apart from being a healthier alternative that contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds, oat milk is also popular simply for its taste. Oat milk is naturally sweet and creamy with a mild, oat-like taste; it’s a flavor profile that many milk drinkers prefer over the nuttier almond milk and sometimes bitter cow milk. Such a neutral flavor also makes it versatile and useful in a wider range of applications than more exotic milks.

One of the other key drivers of oat milk’s popularity is notable when compared to animal milk, which remains dominant in the market even though sales continue to drop. Cows and other animals require large tracts of land for grazing and growing animal feed. Also, oat milk has a lower carbon footprint and uses less water to produce. Moreover, dairy farming is believed to contribute to habitat destruction, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. The combination of all these factors have led an increasing proportion of the U.S. population to finally make the switch to oat milk or other plant-based milks.

Oat Extract From FruitSmart

As a healthier alternative to the kinds of refined sugars that are associated with insulin problems and type 2 diabetes, oat extract can provide a mild, caramel-like sweet flavor that doesn’t have as much of an impact on blood sugar levels. By itself, oat extract can be used like a condiment in a similar way as maple syrup, yet it also is useful as an ingredient in a number of different food and beverage products.

Given its increase in popularity and an overall uptick in the number of Americans who are seeking healthier food items and foods that are produced with sustainability and environmental concerns in mind, here at FruitSmart, we see that the time is ripe to disrupt the market by bringing more of the production of oat extract into the United States rather than continuing to import it from countries like Poland and Brazil.

How Is Oat Extract Used? 

As a natural, plant-based sweetener, oat extract has many uses; in the realm of commercial food producers, oat extract is highly versatile and great for adding color, texture, and flavor to all kinds of foods. Below are some examples of how oat extract can be used:

  • Baked goods: Oat extract is often used as an alternative sweetener in a wide variety of baked goods like cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread. In addition to adding sweetness, oat extract also adds moisture to products; this in turn can improve flavor and texture. FruitSmart has developed an apple carrot oat cookie application as one idea of how oat extract can be used in baked goods.
  • Sauces and dressings: Apart from desserts and other sweet options, oat extract can also be used as a cooking ingredient. The mild sweetness can be a great addition to sauces, marinades, and salad dressings, and it can provide an appealing glaze for roasted vegetables or a stir-fry.
  • Beverages: As a sweetener, oat extract is a natural additive to a wide range of beverages, from coffee and tea to seltzers and cocktails. Because it has a milder flavor than some other sweeteners, it is an ideal choice for adding sweetness without overpowering the other flavors. This coffee latte with oat milk and this green tea latte with oat milk  are two such product applications developed by FruitSmart.
  • Breakfast foods: Oat extract is also great with breakfast foods; it can be drizzled over cereal or oatmeal as a healthier alternative to condiments with refined sugar.
  • Snacks: In snacks like energy bars and granola bars, oat extract can add flavor and texture as well as provide a binding agent.
  • Smoothies: Smoothies have become increasingly popular in recent years, and health-conscious consumers are interested in sweetening agents that are healthy and that pair well with fruits like blueberries and strawberries. FruitSmart’s mixed berry smoothie is one such example.

Contact FruitSmart for More Information

At FruitSmart, we’re always innovating new products and looking for ways to disrupt the industry. With oat extract, we are thrilled to provide the same premium quality that we’re known for. If you’d like to learn more about our products or to request samples, please contact our team. Beyond just selling high quality products, we are passionate about partnering with you to develop the next great recipe that will deliver a healthy and flavorful product to your customers.

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