Ingredients specialist Bösch Boden Spies is helping sauce producers achieve a balance of flavors for sauces, while also significantly reducing the sugar and salt content. The new solutions based on plum and dried plum ingredients from market leader Sunsweet, are designed to offer several benefits for sauce manufacturers including flavor enhancements and new dimensions of flavor.
Natalia Willner, Marketing Manager at Bösch Boden Spie: “Consumers’ search to balance taste and health is driving the market throughout all product categories and pushing innovation on the shelves. Even though sugar is under pressure and experiencing tough times, through consumers demand and governmental regulations, it’s still the main ingredient that delivers the sweetness and taste that consumers seek. This, on the other hand, challenges the industry to develop tasty, innovative, and clean label products that answer to the consumer’s demand of balancing the added sugars amount.”
“Alternative sweeteners are the main solution to finding a sweet balance. Fruit ingredient such as prunes deliver natural sweetness due to their natural composition,” she explains.
Our customers are struggling with the rising demands of the end consumers,” notes Willner. “The consumers want to eat tasty and innovative products but decrease their industrial sugar intake at the same time. Many consumers create their own diet which helps them balance sugar intake. In addition to that clean label has become an industry standard by now and the pressure to provide a short and clean ingredient list is high. The consumers want high-quality products, with innovative and exciting flavors to spice up their daily menus. We want to provide solutions to our customer to meet their customers’ requirements.”
“The prune is a very versatile fruit,” she reveals. “They are naturally equipped with sorbitol, glucose, fructose and sucrose - no added sugar is used. Due to its natural functionalities, we can easily include the prune and plum juice concentrate in sauces in order to achieve a shorter and cleaner ingredient list and enhance existing natural flavors at the same time.”
Fresh Plum Concentrate imparts a smooth, tart flavor and sweetness, while Prune Juice Concentrate imparts a deep sweetness of caramel notes and richness, like aged balsamic vinegar. Dried Plum Puree also enhances color and thickens the sauce and adds texture (fruit pieces). And all of these ingredients enhance flavor with less sugar and salt. This means better, healthier sauces.
“We see a lot of potential in the sauce market,” adds Willner, “BBQ is gaining popularity and new products are constantly launched to meet consumers need for novel products.”
Variety is key
Sunsweet ingredients for the sauce industry range from fresh plum concentrate and prune juice concentrate to dried plum puree and dried plum powder. Only plums of the d'Agen variety are processed. They have much a higher sorbitol, fiber and antioxidant content than other varieties. Their rich flavor, smooth texture, and bright acidity make them ideal for a wide range of uses.
Natural flavor enhancer
In sauces, the plum ingredients enhance naturally existing flavors, such as those of herbs and spices, and reduce undesirable off-tastes such as the metallic flavor of tinned tomatoes. Dried plum puree, in particular, gives dark sauces a thick consistency and an attractive brown color, thus eliminating the need to use caramel coloring.
At the same time, the Sunsweet plum ingredients can significantly reduce overall sugar content in sauces. Due to their naturally high sorbitol content, more than 25 percent of the total sugars is actually a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, which does not count towards sugar content and contains just 2.5 kilocalories per gram. The natural acidity of the fruit also enhances the sensation of sweetness and flavor.
By enhancing flavors and seasonings, Sunsweet plum ingredients also allow food manufacturers to significantly reduce the salt content of their sauces, e.g. by about 30 to 70 percent in barbecue sauces.
These characteristics make the plums particularly adapted for use in sauces based on either tomatoes or soy, where the sugar or salt level may often be higher than desired. Even when used as the primary ingredient in tomato sauces, for example, the plum will not impart a fruity note but rather enhance the depth of the desired tomato flavor, reducing both the need for sugar, sodium and spices.
Bösch Boden Spies has been the exclusive purveyor of Sunsweet plum ingredients in Europe since 1923. Today, the ingredient specialist also advises producers on the various possibilities of using the ingredients and works with them to develop new, innovative applications.