The Benefits of Berries and Agro-Processing Part 1

The Benefits of Berries and Agro-Processing Part 1

One of the opportunities available to farmers to grow markets, turnover and profits is by adding value to crops. This is especially true of berries.

Berries is a food source that is consumed worldwide as a minimally processed crop, but also in jams, preserves, cakes, pies, as part of health food or trail mixes etc. Health foods are generally considered as natural food stuffs that is believed to promote, aid, and sustain good health. Berries are not only delicious and nutritious, but also include several health benefits including:

  • Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants;
  • Berries may assist in improving blood sugar and insulin levels;
  • Berries are high in fibre;
  • Berries are highly nutritious while being low in calories;
  • Berries have anti-inflammatory properties;
  • Berries may assist in lowering cholesterol levels.

In this first article on the processing of berries, the focus will be on strawberries and raspberries.

BERRY PROCESSING OPTIONS:

Strawberries:

The strawberry is a very popular member of the berry family, not only as a fresh fruit but also because of its versatility in processing. Processing options include canning, freezing, drying, and pulping:

• Dried strawberries have a moisture content of between 2 – 8 %, has an intense flavour and works well in dry baking mixes. The dried strawberries have a cooked flavour and a brown colour.
• Frozen strawberries that are frozen in the container are called straight pack frozen strawberries. This product is used by to make fillings, toppings, syrups, and soups. Yoghurt manufacturers can also use this as a fruit flavour.
• Strawberry concentrate is basically puree that has been concentrated. The strawberries are pulped, depectinised, and concentrated to produce a product that can be used in confectionery products, beverages, sauces, flavourings, and fillings and in fruit juices after dilution.

The product is preserved by concentration and freezing.
• Individually quick-frozen strawberries (IQF) are whole fruit, which maintain their individual identity, and are just right for integration into muffins and other bakery products. The quality of the end-product is evaluated according to the percentage drip after thawing, maintenance of shape, colour, and taste. Individually quick-frozen (IQF) strawberries are rapidly frozen whole fruit that maintain their individual identity. It is just right for integration into muffins and other bakery products.The full article is for subscribed members only. To view the full article please subscribe. It’s FREE!Log In Register

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