Fruit and Vegetable Powders
By Michelle Amyot, and Kate Tomic
Adding colour, fibre and flavours naturally to baked goods
By Michelle Amyot, and Kate Tomic
Fruits and vegetables are often used in the bakery industry to add visual appeal and flavour to baked goods. However, the high water activity of fresh fruits and vegetables makes them highly perishable and difficult to store in a manufacturing setting. Drying and milling fresh fruits and vegetables into powder or flake form is one way of preserving them in a more shelf stable format, thereby reducing waste from spoilage.
There are many benefits to using the powdered form of fruit and vegetables in baked goods, including increased shelf stability and ease of use, added flavour and colour, and increased nutritional value. Fruit and vegetable powders can be used in a variety of bakery applications, including sweet goods and yeast-raised products. Many different varieties of fruit and vegetable powders available. One can create sweet decadent cakes and muffins using apple or carrot powders or venture to the savoury side and bake with broccoli, onion or jalapeno, just to name a few applications. Fruit and vegetable powders can be incorporated into just about anything created in bakeries! Some examples include breads and flatbreads, crackers, muffins, cakes, cookies and doughnuts.
When creating with fruit and vegetable powders, there are certain considerations that need to be taken into account:
In terms of usage, fruit and vegetable powders can typically be pre-blended with the flour component of a formula. Usually, replacing around 10 per cent of the flour with fruit/vegetable powder is a good usage level to start with. The percentage can then be adjusted based on the desired flavour, colour, texture, or nutritional targets. When determining usage level it is important to take into consideration if the powder is made from pure fruit/ vegetable or if it contains a carrier. If it contains a carrier the usage level may need to be increased to get the same flavour impact. It is also important to take into account what type of fruit or vegetable powder is being added. Some powders, for example from citrus fruits, can have an effect on pH, which may limit the amount that can be added into a product. In chemically leavened products, like cakes, it may interfere with leavening and formula adjustments (such as additional sodium bicarbonate) may be needed.
Another factor that should be taken into account is the fiber content. Fruits and vegetables are typically high in fiber, which can have an effect on the batter or dough viscosity as well as the finished product attributes. Fiber has a high water holding capacity, therefore the use of fruit or vegetable powder tends to increase batter/ dough viscosity. The finished product will also tend to have a higher water activity, which may increase shelf life (in terms of texture) by keeping the product moist over time. Cakes made with fruit or vegetable powders also tend to have slightly lower volume, and firmer crumb. Cookies on the other hand, may have a slightly harder bite and reduced spread. Depending on the desired level of fruit or vegetable powder, some formula adjustments may be needed to counteract these affects. For example, additional liquids may be needed to adjust batter viscosity.
Overall, powdered fruits and vegetables offer bakeries an easy and convenient way of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their products while minimizing the risk of raw material spoilage. It is a great way to add a special impact to a line of products through different flavours and colours, while also enhancing the nutritional value.
Michelle Amyot is the Research and Development Specialist, Bakery at Caldic Canada Inc., and Kate Tomic is the Customer Development Manager, Bakery at Caldic.