Chemical and microbial concerns

Since many fresh frozen fruits are being used as a raw material source for producing freeze-dried fruits, it may well be asked as to whether there are any natural enzymatic or microbial issues. Of the wide variety of fruits being marketed to the confectionery industry for use in cream-filled fondants, the only fruit which I know of to involve a browning reaction is strawberry. It seems the inherent nature of the strawberry fruit pigments is to brown in the cream-filled piece and this will occur in approximately thirty days. Interestingly enough, the flavor does not change and the center merely takes on a pale pink-to-beige color. Some marketers have found this not to be objectionable. We have explored a number of issues over the years and have not been able to come up with an answer as to how to maintain the stable pigment in the strawberry powder. Pigments in other fruits are more stable and are not involved in such reactions.

For example, raspberry and other cane berries will stay bright for extended periods in the cream-fondant centers. The microbiological count is closely monitored on freeze-dried fruits and caution should be taken to purchase raw materials from reliable suppliers known to follow good sanitation practices. The yeast content of freeze-dried fruits will typically be less than 750 per gram. At these levels, no customers have been known to register any complaints due to spoilage by fermentation due to the yeast of the freeze-dried fruit material.

It is important to emphasize that most of these fruits are processed from clean, whole, frozen fruit which have not been subjected to heating or pasteurization treatments. Hence, after the moisture is removed, the product delivers the natural color and flavor of the fruit.

Advantages of freeze-dried fruits in confectionery products    Chemical and microbial concerns    Availability of freeze-dreed fruits    The freeze drying process
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