'Astonishing' results from baobab trial

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Related tags: European union, United kingdom, Food additive

Fizzy drinks, jam and ice cream containing baobab fruit could hit the market next year as firms move from development to launch mode.Extracts from...

Fizzy drinks, jam and ice cream containing baobab fruit could hit the market next year as firms move from development to launch mode.

Extracts from the African superfruit, which gained regulatory approval in the EU last year, are being trialled in a huge range of products including a jam for the UK market.

But they could also serve as natural sweeteners and flavour enhancers in canned fruits and other products, said Billy Smith, European sales manager at baobab derivative supplier Afriplex.

"We discovered this completely by accident," he said. "Most customers are interested in baobab extracts because they are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and calcium. They also generate income for very poor people in Africa.

"But one customer discovered they also took away the bitterness in canned fruits and brought out the flavour. The results were astonishing."

The fruit is available as a spray-dried depectinised extract, a fruit powder or a fibre.

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