Jo Libens is the Global Category Manager responsible for all Puratos fruit fillings, and he has noticed this trend driving developments in the bakery sector: “Both the consumer and our customers are increasingly looking for more naturalness in their fillings. They want more fruit and bigger pieces, but combined with a high baking stability to enable them to use the fruit as a filling for croissants and Danish pastries.”
“This is a clear, retail-driven trend in the industry. Process innovation is crucial if you want to do this well. Based on these insights, we installed a new production line that makes it possible to produce fillings without artificial additives, while preserving the identity and flavor of the fruit,” he tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
Puratos offers two fruit fillings: Topfil and Vivafil. Topfil contains up to 90 percent fruit, in larger pieces, which is primarily intended for pastries where the fruit is on top, like on cheesecakes or Danish pastries. Vivafil, on the other hand, is the best alternative when a high level of baking stability is required: as a fruit filling for croissants, for example.
Two transformations are needed to turn apples into a filling.
Transformation 1: The fruit is processed into another raw material directly after harvesting.
Transformation 2: Adding ingredients and pasteurization. The raw material is now a ready-to-use fruit filling for bakery and patisserie applications.
Also, we see a growing demand for authenticity in recipes (such as Grandma’s apple pie) and this also reflects on fillings. Fruit fillings that can be related to authenticity and origin are popular such as Belgian apples, wild blueberries from Latvia and Italian apricot, Libens says.
Puratos consciously opts for local production, near local customers and consumers. The production method used by Puratos for its fillings is unique. New flavor combinations are also on the trend, according to Libens, such as Apple combined with Chia seeds, Caramelized Apple, Strawberry with Honey, Cherry with Star Anis.
There are many opportunities in the healthy snacking business for fruit fillings and some of these include a wholegrain bar (nuts and fruits), filled donuts, muffins, soft brioche, and crepes.