A new range of enzymes is designed to improve the juice volume and vitamin yield of blackcurrants for beverage use, in order to maximise the benefits of the superfruits, its manufacturer says.
UK-based Biocatalysts claims its three latest products - TP777L, TP778L and TP776L - can grant tailored benefits for berry processors in the beverage industry. These benefits range from high anthocyanins and vitamin C content, to a reduction in food waste.
Superfruits, a term often given to fruit packed with antioxidants, have been linked through testing to a number of health benefits, and are becoming an increasingly important ingredient to beverage manufacturers keen to attract more health conscious consumers.
To tap into this growing demand from processors, Biocatalysts' marketing manager Caroline West said the company had identified three key factors that manufacturers most require from berries, which are:
- An increased juice yield, so as to both improve fruit costs and cut down on food waste detrimental to the environment.
- A higher presence of anthocyanins, which are antioxidant pigments from fruit and vegetables linked to health benefits.
- Extract colour, which is linked to higher anthocyanins and vitamin C presence in the drink to play up a drinks health qualities.
The company claims that its TP77L enzyme offers the best all round solution for manufacturers compared to commercially available alternatives, granting a strong vitamin C yield, along with high juice and dissolved solid rates.
The TP778L can be used to specifically obtain a high level of vitamin C from the Ben Gairn blackcurrant variety, according to the company.
The TP776L can be used by processors for both the Ben Alder and Ben Tirran varieties of blackcurrants to obtain a high level of juice and anthocyanins, according to the group.
Biocatalysts says that on an industrial level, the chosen enzyme can be added to the macerated berry substrate at a substance mass rate (w/w) of 0.1 per cent. The incubation process can then be carried out at a temperature of 45 degrees celsius for four hours, with continuous stirring or shaking in the lab in order to separate juice from the berries.
However, the company conceded that different processors manufacture their goods under a number of different conditions. Biocatalysts claims though, that problems arising from individual requirements can be overcome by amending enzyme dosage and incubation times accordingly.
The group claims that the strategy can also improve more consistent output over the growing season, which can alter the properties of the blackcurrants.
West added that the company was keen to further extend its enzyme ranges to a number of other berries linked to the superfruit boom, and was looking to work with processors to extend their applications.
"We already do a product called Pectinase 714L for cranberries, which increases the anthocyanin level very effectively," she stated. "We have started to work on Boynsenberries but again would love a berry producer working with superfruits to talk to us about what they would like to see developed in the future."
Beyond use in juice production, West said that the enzymes could have applications in baking and confectionery production, though there has as yet been little development in the market.
She said that the company specialises in working with manufacturers to devlop new processing solutions and is considering expanding products into numerous markets.
"Our next launch will be a new generation of enzymes to product bland non-bitter tasting whey protein hydrolysates for nutritional bars and drinks," West stated. "This has come about from directly talking to customers about what they are trying to achieve and what process conditions they are tied into."
Biocatalysts' products are available globally.
The company's focus on superfruit processing comes amidst continued demand for the ingredients.
Datamonitor's Productscan Online indicated a 67.5 per cent increase in launches of products containing superfruits in 2007 up until November 30, compared to the whole of 2006.