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Historical document

Freeze dried finger lime pearls for food service and retail (CT11003)

Key research provider: Sunfresh Marketing Co-op
Publication date: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

Sunfresh Avocado Marketing Co-op had identified an opportunity to develop a unique range of native finger lime products. The unique lime crystals that made up the fruit pulp, "pop" in the mouth when consumed fresh or freeze dried, releasing a fresh burst of lime flavour.

This project consisted of two stages; each investigating a different processing technology platform. Stage 1 of the project involved the development of a process for the freeze drying of finger lime pearls, to produce a shelf stable food ingredient for export. The second stage of the project involved the development of pretreatment and processing protocols for High Pressure Processing (HPP) of chilled finger limes with extended shelf life without the addition of preservatives, for food service and retail markets.

Stage 1 of the project involved development of a process for producing high quality, shelf stable freeze dried finger lime products. The freeze drying process that was developed produced crystal-like finger lime products that retaineded their color, flavour and bioactivity. This freeze dried product was suited to the food service market as it delivered the finger lime flavour and color characteristics, while remaining shelf stable.

Stage 2 of the project involved development of a fresh-like ready-to-use HPP finger lime products, suited to the export retail market sector. The high pressure process maintained the finger lime color, flavour and bioactivity with extended chilled shelf life. Development of a process for the HPP of finger limes had produced a high quality product that had shelf stability of up to 3 months chilled, without the requirement for the addition of preservatives. Being able to produce a fresh ready-to-use finger lime product range with extended shelf life, allowed Sunfresh to penetrate Asian export markets.

The development of a range of unique finger lime products allowed Sunfresh and Finger Lime growers to develop new export and domestic markets in the retail and food service sectors, providing a range of product variants and market positioning opportunities.


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with co-investment from Sunfresh Marketing Co-op and funds from the Australian Government.

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