Fresh Fruit and Value Added Product Trends at FoodEx 2008
This yearÕs show differed from previous years with a variety of new vendors from various countries as well as products. Fresh avocados from a number of Mexican growers, Chile and New Zealand were very visible as were the mangos from India, Taiwan, Mexico, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. Japanese greenhouse grown mangos were also on display. Fresh pomegranate from Iran was also on display and very popular with visitors. It was very large and very sweet with unusually small, if any, seeds. Feijoa from New Zealand was also available. A number of growers featured small self contained hydroponicsÕ systems for greens. JA, Japan Agricultural Coop, was very visible wherever produce was on display.
Jarred papaya halves from Chile draw a number of visitors to the booth but the taste was not good which was obvious with those who tried them. The display of dried figs from Iran was much expanded this year and no figs from Turkey or Greece were seen. The various Iranian figs with showed with pistachios, a variety of packaging available for both. The fig grower from Iran was also at the show and showed pictures of his orchard.
Marula fruit, nuts and products were on display from a number of African companies.
The marula juices were both 100% and mixed with other fruit juices.
Health Foods, consumer and food service products were clearly labeled NON-GMO or organic and Gluten Free.
Canned and bottled juices were also shown from many countries. Exotic juices like mangosteen, acai and goji as well as various Japanese citrus juices and more common offerings. A number of avocado oils were also shown. Products from black currents (cassis) were also on display and sampled. The fruit was touted as a more healthy alternative to blueberry which was also very visible. Fresh bananas from a half dozen countries were being sampled along with mangos.
Fresh fruit used in confections was also shown in a number of booths.
Perhaps the most unusual products this year were the wide varieties of fruit flavored vinegar and waters offered from a number of countries.
A wide variety of jams, jellies, hot sauces, salad dressings and other condiments based on fruit and fruit flavors were also featured. Almost every country had some fruit product on display.
It was a great show and always informative. There is also something to be learned and applied in Hawaii. Ginger and sweet potato jam for example.