Sponsored: California Raisins a “natural choice” for bakeries
Our growing desire to enjoy our food while living healthily, reducing sugar consumption and wanting “clean label” products with minimal artificial ingredients is a compelling reason for bakeries to choose California raisins as a natural sweetener and all-round quality ingredient, says the company.
“The UK baking sector continues to provide many opportunities for California Raisins,” said Peter Meadows, UK Trade Representative of the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC), which promotes the California Raisins brand worldwide, “and we are keen to work with everyone to explore new ways of using our product.”
Worth an estimated $5.2bn (£4.14 bn), bakery is one of Britain’s biggest food markets. According to the Federation of Bakers, the three principal sectors account for 75% of value: large plant with 75%, in-store 20% and craft with 5%. The Raisin Administrative Committee has developed a strong working partnership with the Craft Bakers Association, the main member body for the UK’s 3,500 craft bakeries, supporting them over the past decade at conference events, seminars and exhibitions.
Meadows commented: “The RAC has also worked over many years with many bakers and confectioners, helping them produce new products. We continue to seek new products to be presented on shelf and are eager to work with NPD managers on new product ideas involving California raisins. “
The California raisin industry produces 300,000 tons of dried fruit annually, within a 60-mile radius of Fresno, known as the central San Joaquin Valley. Japan and the UK are the top two export markets. The growers and packers in the Valley have invested heavily in equipment and technology to ensure California raisins are the cleanest and safest raisins in the world.
Around 60% of dried vine fruit imported into the UK is used in bakery and food manufacturing and California raisins can reportedly be found in hundreds of different baked goods. Low in fat and high in fibre, California raisins have a moderate glycaemic Index, providing a slow release of energy, so will not make blood sugar levels spike. Raisins are also rich in iron, rich in calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc as well as vitamins A, B1, B6, C and E and contain flavonoids, good for blood pressure and gout.
California Raisins lists many other advantages to using California raisins in bakery products:
- “Clean label” ingredients
- Flavour stability
- Natural colour
- Soft to chew
- Succulent appearance
- Firm texture
- Naturally dry
- Quality control
Bulk California raisins can also be stored for up to 12 months in a controlled, cool environment, retaining their colour, flavour and nutritional value. Raisins should be kept below 7°C (45F) and sealed in airtight containers. Raisins freeze well for long periods and thaw quickly at room temperature.
Raisins are shipped in poly-lined boxes and supplied in bulk packages of 12.5kg. They are available oil coated or sugar coated on request.
“We’re committed to supporting our trade partners who use California raisins,” said Meadows, “and giving consumers the best possible products. As the raisin experts we are keen to be involved with customer events, exhibitions and instore promotions and look forward to resuming these activities as normality returns after Covid-19.”