Frutarom is showcasing its Incaberrix water-soluble extract at Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) in Paris this week and claims it is ideal for adult energy gummies.
The ingredient is derived from the physalis fruit, which is native to the Andes and was used by the Incas as both a food and a medicine.
Yannick Capelle, product manager in Frutarom's health business unit, told ConfectioneryNews: "We call it a fruit from the lost crop of the Incas because originally it comes from Peru or neighboring countries and it was used at that time by the native people before wars or fighting - it was a source of energy for them."
Frutarom hopes companies today can position products with Incaberrix on an energy platform, particularly in developed Western markets.
Source of vitamins
"Today physalis is not so well known by consumers in Europe. It may be known as a decoration but not really as a source of vitamins and minerals and as a superfood,” said Capelle.
He added the extract contained complex B-Vitamins and Vitamin C in higher concentrations than most other fruits.
Incaberrix contains around 30% of the vitamins required to make a ‘rich in vitamins’ claim in the EU. Capelle said manufacturers could fortify gummies with other vitamins to make the claim.
However, brands can make a 'superfruit' labeling claim in most markets as such claims are typically unregulated, but manufacturers need to check local labeling laws.
Frutarom's non-GMO extract comes in powder form and is obtained using the firm's patented filtration method. It is declared as physalis extract on ingredients lists.
Frutatom has created a gummies concept for FIE using 500 mg of the fruit extract in a 30 g portion of gummies – roughly 10 gummies
Gummies is the main application, but the extract is also suitable in hard-boiled candies and possibly chocolate.
"There are more and more dietary supplement companies developing alternatives to tablets and capsules in the form of gummies or pastilles… This kind of product would match perfectly for a consumer interested in a superfruit concept - meaning natural ingredients bringing natural energy in one fruit or vitamin,” said Capelle.
The extract does impart some flavor, but is not itself a flavorant.
“It brings what we would call a sour taste and fruity taste. It’s not something really characteristic, but you can recognize the taste of the original fruit if you have already tasted it,” said Capelle.
Frutarom is still exploring flavors that complement the fruit extract, but has so far found classical natural flavors such as berries, lemon and orange are good matches.
The suppliers’ FIE gummies concept was sweetened with a mix of sorbitol and glucose syrup.
Capelle said no extra sweetness is required to mask bitter notes from the fruit. "That can happen with some botanical extracts, but with this one we have no bitterness….You do not have limitations due to the sensory profile."