The California Prune Board (CPB) is urging food manufacturers and retailers to consider the key role prunes can play in reducing fat content in products, with a soon-to-be-published CPB study showing how including California Prunes in baked goods can help reduce fat by at least 24%
The call follows a Public Health England evidence review revealing that excess weight can increase the risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and the subsequent series of measures announced by the UK government to curb obesity.
California Prunes naturally contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including fibre, vitamin K, vitamin B6, copper and manganese, which together form a web of vital functions to support gut and bone health and the immune system.
Prunes are also free of fat and saturated fat, and contain zero salt and only naturally occurring sugars.
Kevin Verbruggen, CPB’s European Marketing Director, explains: “Increasing intake of fresh and dried fruit and vegetables is an important part of achieving a healthy and balanced diet. California Prunes can be used as both a simple, tasty snack and a delicious ingredient, and are available in a range of derivatives, from whole, chopped and diced, to powered, pureed and as concentrate.”
Kevin adds: “We’re urging manufacturers to look at the viability of using California Prunes in food development and culinary applications like baked goods, as a partial substitute for fat and sugar."
"Using California Prunes to help meet fat reduction targets will not only contribute towards a ‘healthier diet, healthier weight’ policy, but will also support areas of concern affecting retailers and manufacturers, such as the use of ‘Clean Label’ ingredients, sugar reduction and increased awareness of the importance of gut health.”
The Board works globally to raise awareness of its premium prune industry and has already seen sales of California Prunes rise in key markets since last summer, as consumers actively seek out the dried fruit for its versatility as a snack and ingredient.