Most berry powders are produced via either solvent extraction or water extraction, both of which have their drawbacks.
“The standard technology of water extraction only captures parts of the polyphenols - those that are water soluble anthocyanins, whilst solvent extraction is not liked by consumers and the usage of alcohol in processing may make it difficult to get the products certified, for example, as halal.
"In addition, most producers struggle with deterioration and oxidation during processing,” Gitte Sjørslev, vice president of international sales at Asiros, told NutraIngredients.
Protective processing method
The biotech firm’s BerryShield technology is said to overcome these issues by protecting the nutrients and bioactive compounds during processing so polyphenols, proteins, vitamins and minerals remain intact in the powder.
“The nutrients are packed in a uniquely protective matrix as if they were still in the raw berry, so when you use BerryShield products you get the whole berry in the form of a tasty, concentrated, stable powder made with an all natural processing agent,” said Sjørslev.
The technology yields powders with improved and durable taste and colour, reduced oxidative degradation and increased heat and pH-resistance, also in finished product processing, the company claims.
A further advantage of BerryShield powders over those extracted using ethanol is their ‘natural’ credentials.
“Our technology is fully natural and the label on the consumer product will say ‘strawberry powder’,” said Sjørslev.
He added that the BerryShield technology is more economical than traditional technologies because the raw material is utilised more effectively, thus improving yield.
“Our technology protects the product from oxidation and inhibits enzyme activity in the raw material,” he said.
At launch, there are five powders in the range - tart cherry, blackcurrant, redcurrant, elderberry and strawberry - with plans to add other varieties from the next harvest in July.
The powders are extracted from European-sourced berries, grown by contracted farmers mainly in Denmark with back-up from other North European countries, and are produced on an industrial scale by Asiros.
Using its in-house UltraProfile analytical technology, which profiles down to molecular level, the firm says it is able to select the best quality lots and guarantee a standardised polyphenol content in the powders.
“UltraProfile proprietary triple analytical technology provides a significantly more complex characterisation of the content at the molecular level than previously possible, by a novel combination of spectroscopic methods, including the highly advanced q-TOF,” said Sjørslev.
He said the powders have been tested in beverages, ice cream, yoghurt, milk drinks, baked goods and bars, with positive results.
“In applications the powders give a very good colour and flavour that is stable to such a good level that no artificial addition is required,” said Sjørslev.
Sales are being managed by Breko in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malayisa, by Azelis in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland and by Cornelius in the UK.
Sjørslev also confirmed that Asiros was in the process of selecting partners for the Taiwanese, Chinese, Korean, Canadian and US markets.