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Agrana Fruit is highlighting how texture in F&B is retaining its strength as a focus for innovation. The company underscores how this organoleptic property is “pushing back the boundaries of indulgence,” while sharing insights on the functionality of fruit inclusions for enhancing the eating experience with new dimensions.

The company says that while it’s widely known that “taste is king” for food and drink products, texture is following closely behind.

“Food is much more than just nutrition for consumers – it’s an indulgence, a multi-sensory experience, and a way to express themselves,” states Agrana Fruit.

Seeking adventure through taste and texture
Half of consumers globally seek adventure from unknown F&B products and are interested in trying out new products or experiences. This, in turn, generates the potential for texture innovations in the industry.

Texture innovation can be observed across many applications, notes Melanie Sturm, global consumer insights manager at Agrana Fruit.

Global consumers seek adventure from unknown F&B products and are interested in trying out new products or experiences.“Recent social media hypes around food products confirm this. Let’s imagine dalgona coffee or cloud bread; it’s a lot about texture. We observe this increased consumer interest for texture innovation across all applications we serve such as yogurt and alternatives, ice cream, baked goods or beverages,” she tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo Bibiloni, global head of innovation at the company, says that meeting the challenge of creating products rich in taste and texture, while at the same time fulfilling clean label credentials, is a main area of innovation.

“Consumers are searching for multi-sensorial and indulgent foods and beverages for a great experience, but at the same time want to avoid the so-called ‘nasties’ such as artificial colors or flavors. Innovations that can fulfill both needs are something we will see more of.”

Inclusions drive category forward
According to Sturm, fruit inclusions are “a perfect match for the innovation challenge.”

They add color and texture to products for a multi-sensory experience, naturally, she notes. “So they meet both the indulgence and the naturality credentials sought after by consumers nowadays. To keep fruits in their natural shape as much as possible in preparation is a key strength of Agrana Fruit.”

We have access to high-quality raw material and state-the-art product development and production capabilities to deliver a superior fruit experience,” adds Sturm.

Agrana Fruit has had several innovations in the area of inclusions adding texture to products. “We have launched an organic version of our famous cocoa butter crunchies. These are biscuit extrudates covered with chocolate that stay crunchy in yogurt over the whole shelf life,” notes Bibiloni.

He comments that while the original cocoa butter crunchies have already been well established on the market, the organic version has been a long time coming for the market. “We are now able to provide it,” he comments.

“We have launched another innovation in the area of inclusions on the Chinese market, our spheres. These are alginate balls available in various flavors like cheese, pink lemon or red bean,” Bibiloni notes.

Paying for premium 
For special occasions, Agrana expects that consumers are more likely to try or pay more for premium food and drink products with unusual textures as mouthfeel significantly influences the eating experience.

“Our team has global experience when it comes to incorporating manifold inclusions in our preparations that can easily be added to yogurts, ice creams, beverages, bakery fillings, toppings and sauces,” adds Stephan Büttner, CEO of Agrana Fruit.

“We add the inclusions in liquid form, which makes aseptic transfer possible where necessary and decreases complexity at the customer’s production site.”

Source: Multi-sensory experiences: “Texture is pushing the boundaries of indulgence,” says Agrana Fruit