How do you make sure it works?
It’s important to know how to pair fruit with other foods, flavors, and textures for the consumer to get the best taste experience. Combined fruit flavors can be used in a diverse range of food and beverage applications: dairy products, plant-based products, baked foods, confections, nutrition performance products, beverage syrups, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. There are some fruit flavors which combine well, and others that don’t. Here are some guidelines for fruit combination.
Fruit flavors 101
Modern techniques of fruit preservation and aseptic packaging have made many different fruit flavors, in the form of fruit puree, more readily available. Basic well-known fruit flavors include lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, cranberry, apple, guava, raspberry, grape, strawberry, mango, cranberry, peach, and watermelon. Some, like the citrus flavors and cranberry, are more acidic while others are sub-acidic – like apples, guavas, peaches, and raspberries. Sweet fruits include bananas and red grapes.
After the fruit ripening process, the fruit is meticulously picked at the fruit harvest and then processed, the processed fruit is added to other products. Fruit combination is a trend in the food and beverage industries.
Fruit combination tips
Although most colors of fruit look good together, it’s a good idea to pair together fruit with similar flavor profiles. Most berries go well together, as do citrus, stone fruits, and melons. Yuzu, a combination of grapefruit and mandarin orange, is trending when it comes to fruit flavored beverages. It seems to have a crowd-pleasing taste. Strawberry and banana are another common fruit combination for foods and beverages. Strawberries are sweet with a slight tart flavor. They also have floral notes. They combine well with a lot of other fruits because of their shared characteristics.
Fruit combination in the food sector
Fruit is an essential ingredient in baked goods, jellies, yogurts, ice creams, desserts, other confectionery, and fruit pastes.
- Apples are naturally sweet and acidic. They are popular in baked goods and desserts. Nuts complement apples well in baked goods. Apples also go well with peaches and apricots.
- Citric fruits, which are more acidic – lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit – are used to counterbalance sweetness in baking. They combine well with other citric fruits and add freshness and tanginess to the product.
- Banana is a tropical fruit which goes well with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. This fruit combination is often used in cakes and muffins.
- Fruits of the forest – berries – are tarter in flavor and combine very well together. They are popular in baked goods, desserts, ice creams, and jams.
Fruit combination in the beverage sector
Exotic fruits will probably continue in popularity because consumers are looking for something new. Tropical fruits like passion fruit, dragon fruit and mango are popular in ready-to-drink fruit smoothies. Fruit combination that is unusual appeals to some consumers but not to others. Therefore, it has become popular to pair domestic fruits with more exotic fruits, like in honey yuzu lemonade. Brands that blend well-known fruits, like strawberries and mangos, with more unfamiliar fruits like acerola – Barbados Cherry –, have a better chance of expanding their consumer reach (Graybill, 2021).
Fruit combination in the future
Flavorman’s 2021 Flavor Trends report says we can expect to see flavors like hibiscus and elderflower combined with other berry and citrus elements to emphasize functional ingredient blends in teas, enhanced waters, flavored kombucha and more (Anonymous, 2020).
It is important to learn about fruit combination if you are in the food and beverage industry. When coming up with a new food or beverage product, it’s vital to know how to combine flavors effectively. For example, if one fruit flavor is very strong, another more subtle flavor may be overpowered. Consumers generally prefer a tasty product to one that sounds unusual but doesn’t really work in terms of flavor profile. Flavors need to balance. However, there are those consumers who are always on the lookout for a new and exciting product. So, it’s important to cater for their needs too.