Friday, January 16, 2009

Baobab to hit the big time next year, predicts Mintel

The main nutrients include vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, pectin and citric, malic and succinic acids, while the oil also contains the vitamins A, D and E.

Since the fruit gained novel foods status this year, it can now be used in a range of food products, including cereal bars and smoothies – and the indications are that food makers are very interested.

“Each year, there’s one hot new superfruit and this year, exotic baobab seems to be the one,” said Mintel.

Its confidence is shared by Afriplex, the South African supplier that petitioned for the approval, together with trade association Phytotrade Africa.

In a recent interview with William Smith, marketing manager of Afriplex said: “The response from major food companies has been absolutely phenomenal”.

In additional to the novelty factor, Smith drew attention to the sustainable and fair trade aspects. Boabab is wild harvested, and the benefits of the commerce are channeled to the communities that need it.

Afriplex is also pursuing GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status in the US.

The spotlight is expected to be particularly intense on foods and flavours of Africa in the run up to the 2010 football (soccer) world cup, to be hosted by South Africa.

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