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throwing some ideas around about value added fruit products...  RSS feed

 
M Foti
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Location: western n.c.
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Not exactly sure what forum to post this in, but since it's all going to be shelf stable stuff then I guess here is the place to be

We own a pretty large scale fruit farm, we do try to practice as many permaculture techniques as is financially viable, but that's beside the point of this post, my question is this...

We have been throwing some ideas around about different things to do with our fruit, such as "value added" products. We are right now building a large scale cannery for our own use as well as anyone else in the area that needs a certified kitchen, so we will definitely have the facilities to do almost anything we want to do. Jam is of course the old standby, but I'm curious about other things? I've been thinking lately about organic juice concentrates or just straight up organic juices (not from concentrate). Blueberries and Cherries are our main crop, but we've been seriously considering a decent size crop of cranberries as well. I'm wondering specifically if something marketable can be done with the pulp left over from this process? What other types of value added products would be able to be made? We've already considered dried (doable and possibly on the agenda), frozen (not really economically viable), jam (quite possibly on our agenda) and juices (another one quite possibly on our agenda)...

thanks in advance
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Not sure if any of this would work for you but this is a pinterest site of "juicing pulp" recipes...

http://www.pinterest.com/juicersbest/pulp-recipes-what-to-do-with-leftover-juice-pulp/
 
Dale Hodgins
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Quite often, "value added" means sugar added, where fruit is concerned. Fruit leathers and dried products without added sugar would be on trend for health minded parents.
 
M Foti
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Jennifer, one of my friends on facebook already beat ya to it on the breads/muffins thing Here in N.C. our licensed kitchen allows for breads as well, so that very well may be something we play around with...

Dale, that is exactly what we are trying to do. I've been experimenting with low sugar jams for a while now, not so much thinking about kids as we were the diabetes epidemic in this country. To us "value added" is a term the state uses for any post harvest processing done to a crop, I personally don't like very sweet things so we're trying to find a happy medium between low sugar yet still "tasty" to americans... We've been conducting our own market research for the jams we have been experimenting around with, trouble is people want to be polite to your face and don't want to criticise your product even if you want them to haha... We can't please everyone obviously, but I am right there with you on the lower sugar processed foods. Organic sugar is pretty easy to come by, non-gmo sugar on the other hand is a bit harder especially if it is bought in bulk, so lowering the sugar content also reduces our cost substantially.
 
M Foti
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another question I have is this... any ideas on something marketable to do with the pulp if we do sell juice? We're talking about ALOT of pulp here, like a few dump truck loads We don't "juice" in our diet so thinking of things to do with the leftovers is new to us.
 
Julia Winter
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Isn't organic sugar non-GMO by definition?? Are you keeping bees yet?

I use a steam juicer to get a nice concentrate from things like cherries and other berries. How about a lightly sweetened juice concentrate that you can mix with carbonated water to make a more healthy refreshing drink? (I'm thinking "Soda Stream" here.)

My daughters love cherry apple sauce--if you can get your hands on reasonably priced organic apples in bulk (ugly ones) you could do that.

For the adventurous, kombucha. (I have no experience with that other than drinking it, and it is sort of an acquired taste.)
 
M Foti
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Julia, I'm probably wrong, but I think you can grow organic certified GMO stuff, or at least have a product with GMO ingredients and still call it organic. Not sure about sugar, I was just assuming there (that usually gets me in trouble). I haven't seen the organic sugar bags advertising non-gmo and I would think that that would be a valuable advertising bit to leave out, but as stated, that is merely an assumption.

That's what I was thinking with my juice concentrates, just something to keep in the fridge in a bottle and add a splash to your water for a treat.

an infused Kombucha is a great idea as well, there is a pretty big market for Kombucha in asheville, n.c. which is definitely in delivery range for us if we were delivering a fair amount of it at a time.


Thanks for all the great ideas so far folks! obviously we can't implement them all, but this is such a great resource to get ideas that we would not have thought of
 
Dale Hodgins
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Indians use spices in fruit preparations. Chutney is enjoyed by many outside of that community as well.

Native Americans used smoke and fire drying for berries that were preserved whole or made into concentrated pastes and leathers. Nuts and other foods were incorporated.

African American deserts sometimes include molasses. This is the nutrient dense product of sugar cane. It could be used to give a different quality to many products that call for sugar.

It would be wise to check out the preservation methods used throughout the world before the advent of cheap sugar. Spicing, drying, pickling, and smoking were all employed. Go to the ethnic food isle in any major grocery store and you'll witness a variety unheard of in your grandmother's day. A trip to a Chinatown or Koreatown or whatever will yield more ideas. These foods are gaining mainstream popularity. Many go light on the sugar.
 
Julia Winter
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Cherries have so much flavor, I wonder if you could get a nice fruit leather from the pulp, plus sugar, plus maybe some of the juice back for color. . .
 
David Livingston
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The Belgians make a nice cherry beer also cherry brandy Also use the fruit with gin to make flavoured gin a bit like sloe gin
Have you looked into fruit cheeses ?
Its a type of victorian jam that uses less sugar .
Or using honey to make jams
Or Fruit chutneys ?

David
 
Dawn Hoff
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I am quite sure GMO is not allowed in organic food - a least not in Europe.

Fermented fruit leather is very popular with Real Food people.

I'd ferment the pulp and feed it to my animals (of course not ferment it so much that they get drunk ) - it is just as good for their digestive system as it is for ours.
 
Florian Kreisky
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Some farmers around here produce and sell cherry wine. Fermenting the juice is very easy and much more energy efficient than pasteurizing it


Also I have a nice recipe for a kind of cherry sauce traditionally made around here.

This is great for small, red and very sweet varieties of cherry. I use the whole fruits with stone.

First you have to boil 0.7l of water with 0.4kg of sugar, two cinnamon sticks, 6-8 cloves, one teaspoon of lemon zest, juice from 4 lemons and 100ml Tuzemak (or some dark rum) for about 20 minutes. Than I take out the spices, add about 4kg of cherries and fill it into jars as soon as it's boiling again.



 
Jen Shrock
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What about fruit leathers?
 
                    
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I don't know anything... but might be worth contacting the local dairy, yanno for 'ice cream & yogurt additives'. 'Canned pie fillings' reduction might be made without sugar, leave it to the customer to figure out how much sugar they want to add. Ya for 'animal feed' especially if it is properly dried, not just domestic animals maybe some kind of 'wild animal food sticks' maybe 'fish food'. 'Organic compost additive' should be worth something to your own farm if nothing else. Would it be possible to catch the yeast off of the fruit/pulp, to sell it? Properly 'dried raisin like fruits' for longer storage. Wood or cloth stain?

What can be done with all the seeds?, grind for seed meal?

james beam
 
M Foti
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these are all fantastic ideas! thanks for sharing

 
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