Alpine Foods, Nekoosa, Wis., has patented a process and technology to remove up to 75% of the acid from sliced cranberries while retaining a significant amount of juice in the original fruit. The company used the process and technology to introduce Berry Bits, low-acid individually quick-frozen (IQF) cranberry ingredients.

The reduced acidity in Berry Bits will improve baking qualities and allow chefs to incorporate cranberries into foods such as yogurt, ice cream, meats, cheese, bread, salads, fruit cups and sauces, according to Alpine Foods. The high acid of a typical cranberry may be an issue in baking and ingredient applications because the acids may create bitter or rancid off-flavors and impact the leavening process.

Alpine Foods uses a combination of time, temperature, pressure and vacuum to extract the acid without using chemicals.

The company also now offers Sweet Berry Bits, which are an extension of the Berry Bits product line.

"In essence, we remove most of the acid from the cranberry, so there is a void in the fruit that we can fill with all kinds of fun ingredients," said Jonathan D. Smith, president and creator of Berry Bits.

Sweet Berry Bits may be infused with sugar, other fruit juices, non-calorie sweeteners or sugar-free ingredients, he said.

"Cranberries naturally only contain 8% sugar, and we found that if we added another 5% sugar, the flavor profile enhances its uses in products such as sauces, pies, ice cream, yogurts and dairy products," said Dr. Smith, who has a Ph.D. in horticulture.

For more information, call (715) 325-7140 or visit www.alpinefoods.net.

This article can also be found in the digital edition of Milling and Baking News, September 22, 2009, starting on Page 40. Click
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