A taste for naked fruit

By Ian Anderson in Melbourne APPLE slices that taste like pears, and bananas that taste of pineapples can now be made with the help of a food coating developed by Food Science Australia (FSA). The peeled fruit will be coated with an edible film so that it stays fresh and does not turn brown. The first fruit with the coating, Snack Apple made by Westernport Coolstores, went on sale in Australia last week. Four varieties of apple are available, each flavoured with a hint of pineapple. When fruit is cut open, it goes brown due to oxidation mediated by the enzyme polyphenoloxidase. The new coating, made from a combination of vegetable gums such as pectin and carragenans, and antioxidants such as vitamin C, prevents oxidation by binding to the enzyme and halting the browning reaction. “What we set out to do was to increase the consumption of fresh fruits,” says Vic Reyes from FSA in Melbourne. He says slices of the ready-peeled fruit will appeal to children because they often find a whole apple or orange too large to eat—or too hard to peel. But which fruit gets to taste like another will depend on consumer demand,
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