Is it possible to make preservative-free candied fruits? What is the role of preservatives in preserved fruit…? As growers, makers and suppliers of preserved fruit with a long experience in the business and totally involved in the quality of our products, let us solve these questions about the use of natural and chemical preservatives in candied fruits that you or your customers may have.
It is a fact that consumers increasingly demand more preservative-free products, traditionally made, if possible, and endorsed by optimal levels of quality and traceability. Additionally they ask for maximum food security levels. Are these requirements compatible with each other? And, finally, are preservative-free candied fruits safe? Let’s analyze it.
Customers demands on clean labelling are revolutionizing food industry. The response of industry and national administrations to these new requirements is to pursue the setting up of Clean Label and Transparent Label, as they have come to be referred to. Conscious food producers will need to face up to these new goals in the next few years.
The removal of preservatives is one of the factors at stake, as it is the use of stabilizers, artificial colourings (here you can find further information on natural colour glace cherries)… But Clean Label also refers to the use of traditional ingredients and processing methods in food production. The aim is to provide consumers with full confidence in what they eat and, moreover, provide assurance on the truthfulness of the information given by the manufacturer.
What do preservatives do in food?
Food preservatives pursue to avoid the proliferation of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria and mould. Preservatives may be chemical or natural (sugar, pectines, citric acidifiers or vinegar belong to the latter group), and they are basically used to preserve food from microbial contamination, delaying its natural proccess of decomposition.
Sugar is one of the best preservers… A high concentraton of sugar in food is able to keep bacteria under control.
Pathogens are only able to survive when sugar (or salt) concentration is under 65% of the final weight of the product. The processing of candied fruits is carried out by reverse osmosis. It consists of the motion of the single molecules through a semipermeable membrane towards an area with a highest concentration of water-soluble elements (sugar in this case), and the trend of both sides to match their water soluble concentrations…
Preservative-free candied fruits: is it technically feasible to process them that way…?
As we have already seen, labelling of candied fruits that highlighs the absence of added preservatives and natural colourings helps building consumer trust. Yes… Candied fruits can be made without preservatives, with just one exception: the residual sulfite content resulting from submerging them in preserving liquid, that cannot be completely removed (maximum legal rate is 100 ppm, but it must be remarked in label when exceeding 10 ppm).
The rest of preservatives, particularly sorbates, may be avoided in processing. In this respect it is worth pointing that the most widely used preservative is E202 (pottasium sorbate). Processing preservative-free candied fruits requires much more skill on the part of the manufacturer, since care must be taken in order to avoid fermentation during the process.
In Lazaya we also make sulfite-free candied fruits when using fresh fruit or frozen fruit to produce candied fruit. We can make this with fruits presenting a firm skin such as oranges and lemons. Soft fruit cannot stand the process, at least with the same texture and usual appearance.
Obviously, preservative-free candied fruits has a more limited life (something we consider a small toll in return for meeting our customers’ demands and those from the most health-consciuous consumers). The lifetime of free-preservative products is smaller, both primary (shelf time) and secondary (once opened). In this case, free-preservative candied fruits have shorter expiry dates, half the time, to be precise… With a sugar content of 70 degrees Brix, ordinary glace fruit lasts up to two years. On the contrary, preservative-free glace fruit features an expiration date of just one year.
Our corporate values as candied fruits producers and suppliers
Lazaya can make preservative-free candied fruits on demand for our customers. Our corporate policy ensures the traceability of our products (almost all the fruit we process is grown in our own plantations or purchased to local accredited farmers), strict compliance with food security requirements and full satisfaction of the customer. All this is achieved through a high level of quality and the possibility to adapt production to special needs whenever possible.
In Lazaya, we wish to remain loyal to consumers and to everything we stand for after more than half a century in the family business. That is why we make products as natural as the processing method allows us, and always using the traditional techniques of processing and preserving. The labeling of our products also responds to the corporate principles, offering maximum information to the consumer.
Do you need more information about Lazaya’s preservative-free candied fruits? Are you looking for colour-free or sugar-free preserved fruit, or any other specific requirement for your business? We can help you, as we already do with other customers around the world. Get in touch with our preserved fruit company: we listen to you. ?