Modern drying technology provides the opportunity to obtain dried fruits with high concentrations of bioactive compounds. Such products may also be fortified with functional ingredients. The adoption of dried fruit as a carrier of functional ingredients for consumers is indispensable to launch this kind of product successfully on file market. Thus, the aim of this study was to collect data on consumer perceptions and interests in dried fruits (plain or fortified) through a questionnaire distributed on the Internet to 1,092 Dutch, French, and Polish respondents. In this quantitative study, the respondents were first asked to rank statements about a product with different positive influences on human health. Products which lowered the risk of cancer or heart diseases were mainly of interest to Polish and Dutch respondents, whereas French consumers emphasised the prevention of intestinal problems. Furthermore, we checked the level of consumer interest in dried fruits enriched with a particular functional ingredient (e.g., anti-oxidants, natural fruit sugars, or prebiotics). Products with anti-oxidants seemed to be the most promising in all three countries investigated. Among five different forms of product (i.e., candy, fruit teas, cereals, bars, or cookies) in which dried fruit could be incorporated, cereals were selected by approx. 33% of all respondents as the best product to which a functional dried fruit could be added. In summary, dried fruits can be adopted as carriers of functional ingredients, especially when promoted as a source of anti-oxidants.
|Journal||Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|