The California Prune Board has pointed to research which highlights the functional benefits of prunes as a suitable and beneficial ingredient in meat-plant blends.
The California Prune Board, which works globally to raise awareness of the state’s prune industry, has announced that it is keen to highlight the dried fruit as a viable inclusion for manufacturers looking for high quality, plant-based ingredients which do not compromise the taste or texture of the meat-plant blend. The nutritional benefits are also a potential lever for consumer buy-in, the Board suggested, stating that eating just three is equivalent to one of the recommended ‘five a day’.
Research1, conducted for the California Prune Board at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville Food Science Department, Kansas State University and Texas A&M University, and other centres, has reportedly demonstrated how the fruit can be a useful ingredient for food producers in meat products. As a natural phosphate replacer, for example, the research suggested that the ingredient can help improve moisture content, extend shelf life and help produce a higher yield.
“Research from the California Prune Board has shown prunes are an ideal functional ingredient to include when experimenting with meat-plant blends because of their succulent properties, their fibrous texture and their fantastic nutritional profile,” said Kevin Verbruggen, European Marketing Director for the California Prune Board.
“Prunes are free of salt, fat and saturated fat, and contain only naturally occurring sugars. They are high in vitamin K and manganese, which contributes to the maintenance of normal bones, and 100g daily can contribute to normal bowel function. They are also high in fibre and potassium and a source of vitamin B6 and copper,” commented registered dietitian and nutritionist, Jennette Higgs.
“California prunes are renowned for their flavour and texture-enhancing qualities and pair brilliantly with meat. Packed full of fibre and other nutrients, California Prunes can also help food manufacturers appeal to health-conscious consumers,” added Verbruggen.
1. California Prunes. Research and bulletins: meat. https://californiaprunes.org/… [accessed 11/05/20]