WHAT IS A CALIFORNIA DRIED PLUM?
The California dried plum was created in the 19th Century from the La Petite d’Agen, a French plum variety that fully ripens on the tree without fermenting prior to harvesting.
WHAT MAKES THE CALIFORNIA DRIED PLUM UNIQUE?
The California dried plum contains several components that are essential in a food ingredient
- Fiber (7.5%)
- Sorbitol (15%)
- Malic acid (1-2%)
Additional characteristics include:
- Antioxidant activity
- A glycemic index of 29 (+/-4)
- A glycemic load of 10
Finally, dried plum contain natural sweetening agents–i.e. fructose and sorbitol–rather than sucrose.
WHY DOES THE FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY USE DRIED PRUNE AS AN INGREDIENT?
Consumers and foodservice operators seek to create added value opportunities in food products. The benefits of dried plum include:
- Convenience in the form of partial or complete preparation
- Nutritional improvements including natural, reduced fat, organic, whole grain, etc.
- Natural ingredients
- “Real” foods with easy to understand ingredients–cleaner labeling/menu descriptions
- Sensory improvements that achieve “fresh-like” quality
- Expanding flavor experiences with bigger, bolder flavors
This all translates into a competitive edge.
HOW DO DRIED PLUMS HELP TO ACHIEVE THESE BENEFITS AS AN INGREDIENT?
Multifunctional benefits include:
- Cost reduction: ingredient, labor, shelf life, etc.
- Antimicrobial–extended shelf life and better shelf quality
- Moisture retention/humectant
- Fat reduction
- Flavor enhancer/potentiator
- Natural caramel color
- Natural sweetener
- Low glycemic index
IN WHAT TYPES OF FOODS DO DRIED PLUMS FUNCTION BEST?
Dried plums produce excellent results in meat and poultry products, baked goods, energy and breakfast bars, sauces/marinades/rubs, confections, etc.
HOW DO DRIED PLUMS TASTE WHEN INCORPORATED INTO FOODS?
Dried plums have a neutral, non-characterizing flavor that actually enhances and rounds out other flavors, particularly savory foods and indulgence foods containing chocolate and berries. Although they are used at very low levels of the total formula or recipe, dried plums deliver significant multi-functional benefits.
WHAT ARE THE MULTIFUNCTIONAL BENEFITS?
Dried plums come in several forms:
- Dried plum puree
- Dried plum and other fruit puree blends
- Juice concentrates
- Prune juice concentrate
- Fresh prune juice concentrate
WHAT IS THE BEST FORM TO USE IF I WANT TO EVALUATE THE BENEFITS OF DRIED PRUNES?
The best form to use is dried plum concentrate and extract, used in dry and wet batching systems, and re-hydrated with 2 parts water or other liquid.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DRIED PRUNES IN BAKED GOODS?
Dried plums have many benefits:
- They act as a natural humectant: together, dried plum fiber and sorbitol attract and retain moisture during baking. Used at 3-5% flour basis, dried plums serve as a humectant in yeast-leavened baked goods and are easily incorporated into dry mixes, frozen batters and pucks, thaw-and-serves, bake-and-serves.
- They extend shelf life and eating quality in baked goods in a manner similar to protein products, by retaining moisture and inhibiting the development of mold.
- They can also reduce fat content, lowering overall calories.
- Soluble and insoluble fibers form a stable film around air and leavening gas during mixing and bench time to function similar to shortening.
- Sorbitol retains moisture
- Malic acid coats mouth and enhances flavors
WHAT ABOUT DRIED PLUMS IN SAUCES, MARINADES AND RUBS?
Dried plums extract can be added to off-the-shelf marinades, or used in custom formulated products, with several important benefits:
- Moisture retention
- Antimicrobial action
- Extended shelf life and eating quality
- Enhanced flavor
ARE PRESERVATIVES USED IN PROCESSING DRIED PLUMS?
The only preservative used in processing conventional dried plums is potassium sorbate (the potassium salt of sorbic acid) which is used to prevent mold and yeast spoilage. Sorbic acid is completely safe, since it is found in nature in the European sorb apple and in rowanberries. No preservatives are used in Taylor Brothers Farms organic dried plums.
WHAT ABOUT ANTIOXIDANTS?
An indication of the antioxidant activity in foods is the ORAC value. Dried plums have a very high ORAC value of 5770. Most of the antioxidant activity in dried plums comes from chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acids.
HOW DO I ORDER YOUR PRODUCTS FOR BULK PURCHASING?
To order, please contact us directly!