US food technologists have developed a snack bar made from pears that stays fresh without artificial preservatives. The new product will be made and marketed by Oregon company HR Mtn. Sun.
Agricultural Research Service scientists at the agency's Western Regional Research Center, Albany, California, worked with pear growers in the Pacific Northwest, on what they claim is a 100-per cent fruit bar. Like fresh pears, the pear bars provide fiber, vitamin C and several minerals, including iron and potassium.
The bars are a similar size to a typical granola bar. HR Mtn. Sun has licensed the technology from the US Department of Agriculture, which backed the research. Under terms of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, company specialists are working with the ARS team to study the storage properties of the pear bar and ready the food-making process for production.
The pear product will include dried, diced pears for added texture. There will also be a pear-blueberry bar and a pear-cranberry bar in the new range. The ARS said the developments will boost income for the region's producers, and also offer consumers a new way to enjoy the perishable fruits year-round.
According to the scientists, the technique for producing the bars, which has been patented, is fast, easy, energy-efficient and relatively inexpensive. The pears are processed into puree and concentrate to capture their freshness and flavor. Then the puree is either spray- or drum-dried, and mixed with the concentrate. The mixture is shaped into bars using an extruder.