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Fruit-based cereal sweetener: Fruitlift opens new pilot lab for production assessment
Gat Foods’ Fruitlift, a fruit-based solution created for the replacement of refined sugars in ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals, is advancing into the next phase of its market entry strategy following its March launch. Gat Foods is opening a new extrusion plant to streamline the integration of Fruitlift into various breakfast cereal applications and fully assess this process’ potential in larger-scale cereal production.
The pilot plant replicates a large industrial production belt on a smaller lab scale. The company has designed customized extrusion plant machinery after researching several models to assess the necessary specifications required to fully assimilate Fruitlift’s solution into the unique production flows of cereals manufacturers. The base already has successfully completed its initial round of trials in a pilot lab in the UK.
“Since its launch two months ago, Fruitlift has inspired enthusiastic interest from food companies globally,” says Michal Katzir Emek, International Marketing Director for Gat Foods. “We decided to install a full-scale pilot lab to give us complete expertise and flexibility to better collaborate with our clients throughout the entire product development cycle, from concept through trials, to final product. We anticipate this will further our application of the Fruitlift solution into additional food formulations.”
Fruitlift is an all-natural, liquid based ingredient, which is composed of 90 percent fruit components and designed to be injected into the flour mix of puffed cereals to replace white refined sugar, a key component in RTE cereals. A significant challenge identified was integrating a wet fruit solution into a dry product to bring breakfast cereals to consumers in a “more natural and better-for-you” format. Fruitlift is marketed as delivering a mild sweetness, with or without a fruity flavor, available in a range of fruits to choose from.
The pilot plant incorporates a full lab-scale extrusion line, including extruder machinery, a coating drum, oven and mixers. The facility also includes all the lab equipment necessary for the assessment of final products to ensure they adhere to specific product criteria, encompassing essential organoleptic parameters of taste, texture, crispiness and sweetness. The facility also allows for continuous on-site optimization of manufacturing procedures for RTE cereals, as well as a full assessment of the unique requirements of individual cereal manufacturers.
Gat Foods’ patent-pending technology provides a tailor-made solution to food companies. The fruit base is offered in a choice of fruits and can be customized to fit any manufacturing process, or formulated to fit any type of flour mixture. It can be injected either as a base or a coating and the dose can be adjusted to desired sweetness levels and taste preferences.
Sugar reduction remains a key product development theme in 2019 and beyond, according to trend analyses by Innova Market Insights. “Formulator-friendly” flavor solutions incorporating alternative sweeteners – such as Tate & Lyle and Sweet Green Fields’ glycosylated stevia extract and sweetness-enhancing dairy cultures – are on the come up, driven by an accelerated demand for great tasting RTE products, without compromise.