California Prune Board reports export growth
The California Prune Board has reported a 2% upturn in export markets, amid growing potential for their use within confectionery and bakery ranges.
As the organisation explained, in light of increase increasing use of prunes, it highlighted examining several current studies including research from Pennsylvania State University indicating the potential health benefits to be gained from the fruit.
The California Prune Board represents approximately 800 prune growers and 28 prune, juice, and ingredient handlers under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture.
Created in 1952, The board aims to amplify the premium positioning and top-of-mind awareness of California Prunes through advertising, public relations, promotion, nutrition research, crop management and sustainability research, and issues management.
Kevin Verbruggen, European marketing director welcomed the latest positive export figures. He commented: “We hold a very positive outlook for California Prunes across Europe. More and more people are enjoying them, as exports into Europe grow by over 2%. They’re loved for their distinctive juiciness and succulence, their balanced sweet taste, as well as numerous health benefits – not least as a perfect solution for the growing trend of gut health.
Award-winning UK chocolatier Paul A Young, who is an ambassador for California Prunes, says that they have proved a valuable ingredient within his confectionery ranges.
He said: “Aside from prunes’ benefits as a nutritional powerhouse, they add outstanding natural flavour and sweetness to confectionery. I am proud to say that I’m the only chocolatier in London that works in a truly artisanal way. I only work with first-class ingredients, offering unrivalled quality, and that’s what first led me to experiment with California Prunes more than three years ago.
“The climate and growing conditions, the incredible expertise of the Californian farmers, as well as the sophisticated harvesting techniques, all point to California producing the best prunes in the world – a statement proven by the fact that more than 70 countries import California Prunes because of the legendary flavour and quality.
“I’ve discovered that great things can be created using this incredibly versatile superfruit! Naturally, as someone who has an established reputation as a creative flavour alchemist, my initial interest lay in the intense, rich, entirely natural flavour and sweetness that can be achieved when using California Prunes in a recipe. But as a professionally trained chef, I’m also interested in their ability to deliver improved texture and added moisture. As they are naturally free of fat and saturated fat, they play an important role in reducing the fat content of any recipe.”
The artisan chocolatier added that he has created a number of chocolates and baked goods that incorporate California Prunes and had found the results ‘outstanding’.
He added: “For me, this is a staple ingredient and one that food professionals should be using and experimenting with, in their culinary creations.”