Berries have been a part of our diet for many millennia. They come in a huge range of sizes and shapes, many of them also offering a similarly dizzying variety of tastes. From tart cranberries to sweet blueberries, there are many different options that product developers can draw on.
Berries also tend to contain antioxidants, substantial fibre, and considerable nutrients, making them a wonderful ingredient for everything from muffins to jams to candies and more. However, mainstays like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are more than a little familiar to many consumers. What are some options that can be found a little further off the beaten path?
For professionals working in product development, here are three rarer types of berries to consider trying out.
Even Pros with Food Technology Training May Have Difficulty Distinguishing Dewberries
Common across much of North America, dewberries can be easily mistaken for blackberries or raspberries. However, they possess some very different characteristics that make them wholly unique. When ripe, dewberries tend to turn a deep dark colour, rather than the red of raspberries. They also tend to mature earlier in the year than their close cousins.
Perhaps most strikingly, dewberries possess an even stronger taste than raspberries or blackberries. They are packed with vitamin C and provide an excellent source of fibre. They’re also a source of magnesium, zinc, and copper. The especially intense taste of ripe dewberries may be particularly useful for those professionals with food technology training seeking a fully natural but more flavoursome alternative to commercial blackberries or raspberries.
Salmonberries Are Well-Named, Bearing the Same Distinctive Colour of that Popular Fish
A relatively obscure berry, salmonberries are closely associated with the province of British Columbia where they are often found. The salmonberry is a species of bramble in the rose family, and typically grows in high rainfall environments. A juicy, rather light-tasting berry, salmonberries were traditionally eaten along with salmon or salmon roe.
As a component in food development, salmonberries possess many of the benefits that other berries do, including considerable amounts of vitamin A, C, and K, as well as manganese. One of the established uses of salmonberries is in the flavouring of alcoholic beverages, including vodka—where the berry’s delicate but often pleasing flavour can fully permeate the product. Professionals possessing a food technology diploma should also note the berry has already been successfully used in the production of jams, candies, and jelly.
Those Possessing a Food Technology Diploma May Have Tried Lingonberries
Although their use has been long-established in Europe, lingonberries are less common in North America. This small reddish berry grows from an evergreen shrub, and thrives in the colder climes of countries located around the Baltic Sea. With a tart, relatively sharp taste, the flavour of these berries is comparable to cranberries.
Lingonberries have been utilized in the production of jams, tarts, and conserves for many years, and have more recently gained a reputation as a “super fruit”, due to being packed with polyphenols which have strong antioxidant properties. However, they have also been gaining recognition as an alternative to cranberries, particularly in the production of sauces. Certain culinary authorities point to the less tart taste of the lingonberry as offering a potentially better flavour, which requires fewer additives to achieve the desired taste and texture. For professionals embarking on a career in product development, the new opportunities offered by these and other lesser known ingredients presents an exciting world of opportunity.
Do you want to help produce great, delicious, and safe new food products?
If so, contact AAPS College today to learn how a technical food safety course could be ideal for you.