Development of All-Natural, Protein-Rich Snacks from imperfect Fruits and Vegetables
In Ontario, peaches, strawberries, and carrots are often wasted due to spoilage and imperfections. Drying can extend the shelf life of produce and hide imperfections. Conventional drying methods like spray drying have high energy requirements and waste a portion of each fruit. Foam Mat Drying (FMD) has garnered renewed interest for the development of crisps and powders from fruits and vegetables. It requires less energy and utilizes the whole fruit, making it an excellent drying alternative. The objective of this study was to create a snacking crisp using a low-energy drying method. The crisps were to be high in protein, all-natural, and environmentally friendly. These objectives were obtained by altering ingredients, ingredient ratios and drying temperature. The product was assessed by estimating its organoleptic properties. The results showed that a viable, high-protein crisp can be prepared with all-natural Canada-grown ingredients. The future work will involve scaling up of the process.