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Title:
COMPACTED FRUIT POWDER AND POWDERED BEVERAGES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/043758
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a fruit powder comprising compacted fruit powder particles with a diameter lower than 2.0 mm as determined by sieving, less than 30% by weight of the fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 µm as determined by sieving, and wherein the fruit powder has a bulk density higher than 550 g/L and lower than 800 g/L. The fruit powder has an improved shelf-life and reconstitution behavior. It may be used for preparing powdered beverage products. A manufacturing process is also disclosed.

Inventors:
BRÜTSCH LINDA (CH)
BURKHARD OLIVIER (CH)
GIANFRANCESCO ALESSANDRO (CH)
HARSHE YOGESH (CH)
KAMMERHOFER JANA (CH)
MEUNIER VINCENT (CH)
POUZOT MATTHIEU (CH)
VINAY CLAIRE (CH)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2020/074328
Publication Date:
March 11, 2021
Filing Date:
September 01, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NESTLE SA (CH)
International Classes:
A23B7/02; A23B7/015; A23L3/26; A23L19/00; A23P10/40
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013167452A12013-11-14
WO2012009668A12012-01-19
WO2012038913A12012-03-29
Foreign References:
US20090246315A12009-10-01
US4737370A1988-04-12
US20080008801A12008-01-10
US20190110514A12019-04-18
US20090246315A12009-10-01
US20080000801A12008-01-03
US4737370A1988-04-12
US20190110514A12019-04-18
US20180243748A12018-08-30
Other References:
PEREZ-GANDARILLAS LUCIA ET AL: "Effect of roll-compaction and milling conditions on granules and tablet properties", EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICS AND BIOPHARMACEUTICS, ELSEVIER SCIENCE PUBLISHERS B.V., AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 106, 27 May 2016 (2016-05-27), pages 38 - 49, XP029677542, ISSN: 0939-6411, DOI: 10.1016/J.EJPB.2016.05.020
ANONYMOUS: "The International Breakfast Project: Côte d'Ivoire - Foutou", 12 June 2011 (2011-06-12), pages 1 - 2, XP055651436, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20191210]
PEREZ-GANDARILLAS ET AL.: "have studied the effect of roll-compaction and milling conditions on granules and tablet properties", EUR. J. PHARMACEUTICS AND BIOPHARRMACEUTICS, vol. 106, 2016, pages 38 - 49, XP029677542, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2016.05.020
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOMHOLT, Stig, Bredsted (CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Fruit powder comprising compacted fruit powder particles wherein the compacted fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 2.0 mm, preferably lower than 1.6 mm as determined by sieving, wherein less than 30% by weight of the fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 pm, preferably 350 pm as determined by sieving, and wherein the fruit powder has a bulk density higher than 550 g/L and lower than 800 g/L.

2. The fruit powder according to claim 1, wherein less than 10% by weight of the compacted fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 pm, preferably lower than 350 pm.

3. The fruit powder according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the water activity Aw is lower than 0.20.

4. The fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the glass transition temperature of the fruit powder is comprised from 12°C to 30°C.

5. The fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the sugar content of the fruit powder is comprised from 30 wt% to 80 wt% dry weight.

6. The fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the fiber content of the fruit powder is comprised from 5 wt% to 35 wt% dry weight.

7. The fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 6, which is obtainable by compacting a fruit powder with a linear compaction force of from 4 kN/cm to 12 kN/cm and retaining the compacted fruit powder particles having a diameter from 300 pm to 2 mm, preferably 350 pm to 1.6 mm, by sieving.

8. The fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 7, which consists of compacted fruit powder particles wherein the compacted fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 2.0 mm, preferably lower than 1.6 mm as determined by sieving, wherein less than 30% by weight of the fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 pm, preferably 350 mih as determined by sieving , and wherein the fruit powder has a bulk density higher than 550 g/L and lower than 800 g/L.

9. The fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 8, which comprises exclusively fruit components, such as at least 95wt% of fruit components, preferably at least 96wt%, or at least 97wt%, or at least 98wt% or at least 99wt%, preferably wherein said fruit powder consists essentially of fruit components, and most preferably wherein said fruit powder consists of fruit components, and optionally said fruit powder contains a seed component and/or plant fibres.

10. The fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 9, which does not contain added sucrose, glucose syrup, maltodextrin or other sweeteners, which does not contain bulking agents, and which does not contain flowing agent.

11. A powdered beverage composition comprising 10 wt% to 100 wt% of a fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 10 and optionally up to 90 wt% of a plant-based ingredient selected from nut- or bean-based milk powder analogue, cereal-based flakes or powder suitable for preparing a drink or a porridge, and mixes thereof.

12. A process for manufacturing a fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 10, which comprises the steps of:

1) feeding a fruit powder into a powder compactor at a rate of 15 to 25 kg/h,

2) compacting the fruit powder in a powder compaction equipment to obtain a compacted fruit powder mass,

3) grinding the compacted fruit powder mass to a particle size lower than 2.0 mm, to obtain compacted fruit powder particles,

4) sieving the compacted fruit powder particles and retaining the compacted fruit powder particles having a diameter from 300 pm to 2 mm, preferably from 350 pm to 1.6 mm.

13. The process according to claim 12, wherein the powder compaction equipment is a roller compactor.

14. The process according to claim 12 or 13, wherein a linear compaction force of from 4 kN/cm to 12 kN/cm is applied to compact the fruit powder.

15. The process according to any one of claims 12 to 14, wherein particles smaller than 300 pm, preferably smaller than 350 pm, and optionally particles larger than 2 mm, are collected after sieving, and wherein the collected particles are fed back into the powder compaction equipment with the fruit powder.

16. A kit for preparing one or a plurality of beverages comprising: - one or a plurality of containers of first beverage components selected from milk-based powder, fermented milk-based powder, plant-based milk-analogue powder, cereal- based flakes or powder suitable for preparing a drink or a porridge, one or a plurality of containers of second beverage components, wherein the second beverage component · comprise or consist of a fruit powder according to any one of claims 1 to 10, or

• are a powdered beverage composition according to claim 11.

17. The kit according to claim 16, wherein said containers are selected from sachets, pouches, cans or capsules.

18. The kit according to claim 16 or 17, wherein the containers are single-serve containers or multi-serve containers.

Description:
COMPACTED FRUIT POWDER AND POWDERED BEVERAGES

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates generally to the field of fruit powders and processes for their manufacture. For example, the present invention relates to fruit powders for use in the preparation of powdered beverages. In particular, the present invention relates to fruit powders which exhibit good shelf-life stability and good reconstitution properties.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Powdered beverages are powder compositions suitable for dispersion into an aqueous liquid to form a beverage. Powdered beverages may contain fruit powders as an ingredient. An issue with fruit powders is that they are quite hygroscopic, which means that fruit powders tend to take up humidity from the ambient atmosphere and form a block. This phenomenon is known as caking. Within a couple of hours, when exposed to ambient atmosphere, fruit powders will cake and become almost impossible to disperse into a liquid. [0003] Several options exist to prevent caking of fruit powders. An option is to mix carriers, drying aids or anti-caking agents with the fruit powder. For example, maltodextrin or glucose syrup may be used as carriers or drying aids. Silica is a common anti-caking agent. As a consequence, the resulting fruit powder is not a 100% fruit powder anymore. Also, the maltodextrin or glucose syrup may be counted as added sugar. Reducing the sugar content of food product, in particular by avoiding the addition of sugar in the first place, is an ongoing objective in the food and beverage industry. There is also a growing trend amongst consumers to select products which are viewed as natural or "clean-label". Adding anti-caking agents, carriers or drying aids goes against this trend.

[0004] Another option is to pack the powdered beverage in humidity-proof containers shortly after production. Such containers usually comprise a plastic or metallic layer as a humidity barrier. Containers may also be made of multi-layer material, which are difficult to recycle. For this reason, there is a desire to dispense with multi-layer material. In bulk containers, which contain several servings of the powdered beverage, the barrier may be effective only as long as the container remains sealed. As soon as the container is opened, caking may start. This option is possibly more effective with single-serve containers. However, single-serve containers are usually made of multi-layer material. Paper, such as coated paper, is a recyclable packaging material. However, its barrier properties may be insufficient when considering hygroscopic material like fruit powder.

[0005] In fact, due to the low glass transition temperature of extensively dried fruit powders, caking of such powders occurs even at room temperature in humidity-tight containers. Therefore, packing the 100% fruit powdered beverage in humidity-proof containers shortly after production will not prevent caking.

[0006] Another issue with fruit powders is linked to their reconstitution properties. In general, reconstitution of 100% fruit powders under low to medium shear rates, such as when a consumer stirs with a spoon, often leads to incomplete reconstitution with the formation of lumps.

[0007] Therefore, there is a need to improve the properties of powdered beverages, in particular powdered beverages which contain fruit powders, to prevent caking and to improve reconstitution properties.

[0008] WO 2013/167452 to NESTEC S.A. discloses a composition for the preparation of a food or beverage product. The composition comprises a foamer ingredient releasing gas upon dissolution in an aqueous liquid. The composition also comprises roast and ground coffee particles in a coffee extract matrix. Dissolution of the coffee is delayed until the foam is formed by the foamer ingredient. Delayed dissolution may be achieved by compacting the coffee component of the composition. Accordingly, compaction of the coffee component is implemented in order to delay or retard its dissolution. This publication does not discuss the manufacture of fruit powders suitable for the preparation of powdered beverages.

[0009] WO 2012/09668 to INTERCONTINENTAL GREAT BRANDS discloses a powdered composition suitable for preparing a beverage such as a 3-in-l coffee mix (coffee, sweetener and creamer). The powdered composition is obtained from co-milling together at least one powdered ingredient difficult to disperse (e.g. non-fat dairy solids, non-soluble cocoa solids, non-soluble coffee solids) with a dispersion facilitator (e.g. lipid, dairy fat, sugar, salt). This publication does not discuss the manufacture of fruit powders suitable for the preparation of powdered beverages.

[0010] WO 2012/38913 to FONTERRA discloses a method of processing a milk powder by compression and coating with a surfactant such as lecithin. An objective of this processing is to alter at least one characteristic of the powder, such as bulk density, flowability, dustiness, dispersibility, wettability, hydration viscosity, rate of hydration, rate of dissolution, solubility, sedimentation, suspension stability and caking. Lecithin is generally added to improve the wetting properties of powders containing fat. According to this publication, using lecithin was required to improve the solubility of compacted milk powder.

[0011] US 2009/246315 A1 to Barnekow et al. relates to pressed agglomerates suitable for consumption and having retarded aroma release. The compositions described in this document contain mainly a maltodextrin carrier with fruit aroma (spray-dried fruit aroma on a carrier), or spray-dried mixes of maltodextrin with fruit puree or fruit concentrate. Mixes of spray-dried fruit aroma on a carrier with the spray-dried mixes are disclosed. None of the compositions described are free from maltodextrin.

[0012] US 2008/00801 Al to Barnekow et al. relates to pressed agglomerates suitable for consumption, in particular for aromatisation of food products. The examples disclose spray- dried products comprising raspberry aroma on a carrier comprising maltodextrin, dextrose and gum arabic.

[0013] US 4,737,370 to Huster et al. relates to a dried puree starchy flakes. This may be used for reconstituting, for instance, potato puree.

[0014] US 2019/0110514 Al to PERORA GMBH relates to kits comprising satiety-inducing formulations.

[0015] Perez-Gandarillas et al. have studied the effect of roll-compaction and milling conditions on granules and tablet properties (Eur. J. Pharmaceutics and Biopharrmaceutics, 2016, volume 106, page 38-49). These granules and tablets contained microcrystalline cellulose and mannitol.

[0016] It would therefore be desirable to provide a fruit powder suitable for use in a powdered beverage composition, and which has excellent industrial and usage properties. Industrial properties include flowing and caking, which are relevant for storing the fruit powder as an ingredient, and for transporting, dosing and mixing it in industrial processes. Usage properties include caking and dispersibility, which are relevant for shelf-life of the final product and for its reconstitution as a beverage.

[0017] Any reference to prior art documents in this specification is not to be considered as an admission that such prior art is widely known or forms part of the common general knowledge in the field.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0018] The object of the present invention is to improve the state of the art, and in particular to provide a fruit powder and a manufacturing process thereof that overcome the problems of the prior art and addresses the needs described above, or at least to provide a useful alternative.

[0019] In particular, an object of the present invention is to provide a 100% fruit powder which may be used industrially for the manufacture of a powdered beverage (flowing, no caking, shelf-life), which does not cake during shelf-life and does not form lumps upon reconstitution in water.

[0020] The inventors were surprised to see that the object of the present invention could be achieved by the subject matter of the independent claims. The dependent claims further develop the idea of the present invention.

[0021] Accordingly, an embodiment of the invention proposes a fruit powder comprising compacted fruit powder particles wherein the compacted fruit powder particles have a diameter lowerthan 2.0 mm, preferably lowerthan 1.6 mm as determined by sieving, wherein less than 30% by weight of the fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 pm, preferably 350 pm as determined by sieving, and wherein the fruit powder has a bulk density higher than 550 g/L and lower than 800 g/L.

[0022] Preferably, the fruit powder has one or several of the following features: less than 10% by weight of the compacted fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 pm, preferably lower than 350 pm, the water activity Aw of the fruit powder is lower than 0.20, the glass transition temperature of the fruit powder is comprised from 12°C to 30°C, the sugar content of the fruit powder is comprised from 30 wt% to 80 wt% (dry weight), the fiber content of the fruit powder is comprised from 5 wt% to 35 wt% (dry weight). [0023] In an embodiment, the (compacted fruit) powder is obtainable by compacting a fruit powder with a linear compaction force of from 4 kN/cm to 12 kN/cm and retaining the compacted fruit powder particles having a diameterfrom 300 pm to 2 mm, preferably 350 pm to 1.6 mm, by sieving.

[0024] Another embodiment of the invention proposes a powdered beverage composition comprising 10 wt% to 100 wt% of a fruit powder as defined above, and optionally up to 90 wt% of a plant-based ingredient selected from nut- or bean-based milk powder analogue, cereal-based flakes or powder suitable for preparing a drink or a porridge, and mixes thereof.

[0025] A further embodiment of the invention proposes a process for manufacturing a fruit powder as defined above, which comprises the steps of: 1) feeding a fruit powder into a powder compactor at a rate of 15 to 25 kg/h,

2) compacting the fruit powder in a powder compaction equipment to obtain a compacted fruit powder mass,

3) grinding the compacted fruit powder mass to a particle size lower than 2.0 mm, to obtain compacted fruit powder particles,

4) sieving the compacted fruit powder particles and retaining the compacted fruit powder particles having a diameter from 300 pm to 2 mm, preferably from 350 pm to 1.6 mm.

[0026] Preferably, the powder compaction equipment is a roller compactor. In an embodiment, a linear compaction force of from 4 kN/cm to 12 kN/cm is applied to compact the fruit powder.

[0027] In an embodiment, particles smaller than 300 pm, preferably smaller than 350 pm, and optionally particles larger than 2 mm, are collected after sieving, and the collected particles are fed back into the powder compaction equipment with the fruit powder.

[0028] In yet another embodiment, the invention proposes a kit for preparing one or a plurality of beverages comprising: one or a plurality of containers of first beverage components selected from milk-based powder, fermented milk-based powder, plant-based milk-analogue powder, cereal-based flakes or powder suitable for preparing a drink or a porridge, one or a plurality of containers of second beverage components, wherein the second beverage components i) comprise or consist of a fruit powder as defined above, or ii) are powdered beverage compositions as defined above.

[0029] In an embodiment, said containers are selected from sachets, pouches, cans or capsules. The containers may be single-serve containers or multi-serve containers.

[0030] These and other aspects, features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent to those skilled in the art from the detailed description of embodiments of the invention, in connection with the attached drawings.

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0031] Figure 1 shows the visual aspect of a strawberry powder exposed during 1 hour at a temperature of T = 22°C and relative humidity RH = 45%. A: initial powder (not compacted); B: compacted powder.

[0032] Figure 2 shows the visual aspect of a strawberry powder in sealed glass jars after 1 hour in the oven at 50°C. A: initial powder (not compacted), B: compacted powder. [0033] Figure 3 shows the visual appearance of fruit powder mix after 3 months storage in aluminum pack at 30°C and 70% RH. A: initial powder (not compacted); B: compacted powder.

[0034] Figure 4 shows the reconstitution state of a fruit powder mix. A: initial powder (not compacted); B: compacted granules.

[0035] Figure 5 shows the reconstitution time of the beverage in seconds, as a function of the stirring speed, for the non-compacted powder (grey circle) or compacted powder (black square).

[0036] Figure 6 shows the visual aspect of the powder after wetting. A: non compacted powder; B: compacted powder with 10 wt% fines; C: compacted powder with 30 wt% fines. D: compacted powder without fines.

[0037] Figure 7 shows the water sorption kinetics of three products as a function of time, non-compacted (empty symbols) or compacted (black symbols). Squares: product 1, full fat milk powder mixed with 10 wt% sucrose ; Circles: product 2, strawberry powder; Triangles: product 3, blueberry powder.

[0038] Figures 8 to 11 show the surface microstructure of compacted (Figures 9 and 11) and non-compacted (Figures 8 and 10) strawberry powders. Scale bar: Figures 8 and 9: 300 pm; Figures 10 and 11: 50 pm.

[0039] Figures 12 to 15 show the surface microstructure of compacted (Figure 13 and 15) and non-compacted (Figure 12 and 14) milk powder with 10 wt% sucrose. Scale bar: Figures 12 and 13: 1 mm; Figures 14 and 15: 50 pm.

[0040] Figures 16 to 19 show the results of viscosity measurements of solutions of fruit powders (fig. 16: red mix, fig 17: purple mix, fig 18: yellow mix) and a milk based powder (fig. 19), for both compacted (solid lines) and non-compacted (dotted lines) powders in each case. See example 7 for details.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0041] As used in the specification, the words "comprise", "comprising" and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense, that is to say, in the sense of "including, but not limited to", and do not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps. As used in the specification, the words "consist of", "consisting of" and the like are to be construed in an exclusive or exhaustive sense: they exclude any unrecited elements or method steps. As used in the specification, the words "consists essentially of", "consisting essentially of" and the like are to be construed in the sense that further elements or method steps may be present provided they do not materially affect the essential characteristics of the invention.

[0042] As used in the specification, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

[0043] Unless noted otherwise, all percentages in the specification refer to weight percent, where applicable. Weight percent may be noted as wt%.

[0044] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms have and should be given the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs.

[0045] An aspect of the invention is a fruit powder comprising compacted fruit powder particles. The compacted fruit powder particles are prepared by compacting a non-compacted fruit powder to a desired particle size and bulk density. Herein, "compacted fruit powder" and "compacted fruit powder particles" have the same meaning.

[0046] The inventors have found that compaction of the fruit powder allows to delay the appearance of caking. It was thus possible to manufacture shelf-stable fruit powders which did not show caking for more than 6 months in pack at ambient temperature (shelf-life test, paragraph 1.3 below).

[0047] In addition, the inventors have found that compaction of the fruit powder enhances the overall reconstitution of a beverage without formation of lumps even at low shear rates. In particular, dispersion of the powder in the beverage, which includes wetting and sinking of the fruit powder particles into the beverage, is improved thanks to compaction (assessment of powder reconstitution, section 2 below).

[0048] In particular, the inventors have found that compacted fruit powder has a different behaviour than other compacted beverage powders, for instance compacted milk powder.

[0049] The term "fruit" is used in the culinary meaning of the word: it refers to the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes and strawberries. This includes fruits from cultivated varieties of plants which produce seedless fruits such as seedless grapes or bananas. The term "fruits" is not used here in the botanical sense. For example, beans, nuts, pulses and cereal grains are not considered as fruits in the context of the current invention, while strawberries are considered as fruits in the context of the present invention. Usually, fruits are used in desserts and in sweet preparations, raw or cooked. [0050] The fruit may be selected, without being limited to, apple, apricot, banana, bilberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cloudberry, cocoa pulp, cranberry, damson, date, dragonfruit, durian, elderberry, gooseberry, grape, grapefruit, guava, kiwi fruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, lychee, mandarin, mango, mangosteen, melon, mulberry, nectarine, orange, papaya, peach, pear, persimmon, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, pomelo, raspberry, red currant, star fruit, strawberry, tangerine, tangelo, watermelon, white currant, wolfberry, yuzu, and mixtures of these. In its fresh ripe state, the fruit may have a sugar content of greater than 4 wt.%.

[0051] The non-compacted fruit powder is prepared by milling or grinding a dried fruit preparation or dried fruit. The fruit preparation may be a fruit puree, a fruit juice or a mix of fruit puree and fruit juice. Several kinds of fruits may be mixed to prepare the fruit preparation. Drying of the fruit preparation may comprise one or several steps. As fruits usually contain large amounts of water in the fresh state, it may be useful to heat the fruit preparation, for instance under vacuum, to remove part of the water and obtain a concentrated fruit preparation.

[0052] In some cases, it may be desired to apply heat to the fruit preparation, for instance to allow for the development of aroma or flavour. Thereafter, the fruit preparation may be further dried by freeze-drying. Alternatively, the fruit preparation may be dried directly by freeze-drying. This avoids heating the fruit preparation, as heating may have an impact on the organoleptic properties of the fruit.

[0053] Whether or not a heating is useful depends on the impact it has on the flavour profile of the fruit preparation. Standard freeze-drying equipment may be used to this effect. Thereafter, the freeze-dried preparation is milled or ground to obtain a non-compacted fruit powder. It is also possible to spray-dry the fruit preparation, to obtain a non-compacted fruit powder.

[0054] Dried fruits may also be prepared by individual quick freezing (IQF). IQF applies particularly well to small fruits, such as berries, or to fruit pieces. After freezing, the IQF fruit is freeze-dried to remove water and then ground to powder, to obtain a non-compacted fruit powder.

[0055] The non-compacted fruit powder may be prepared with one kind of fruit. It may also be prepared by mixing several fruit powders to obtain a fruit powder mix. Whether the fruit powder comprises one or several kinds of fruits, it is preferably prepared with the whole flesh or pulp of the fruits. Indeed, the inventors have found that fruit powders made from fruit juices are more prone to caking than fruit powders made from whole fruits. Therefore in a preferred embodiment, the fruit powder is prepared with the whole flesh or pulp of the fruit. [0056] When the seeds are small enough, as in kiwi fruit or strawberry for instance, the seeds may be retained in the fruit preparation. Seeds are considered "small" when the particle size of the seed is smaller than the desired particle size of the compacted fruit powder particles. But when the seeds are too large or could generate undesired flavour after grinding, they are preferably filtered or sieved out from the fruit preparation before drying and grinding. Undesired flavours may be inherent to the seed material. Undesired flavour may also be generated by oxidation of the ground seed material. Kernels, such as mango, apricot or peach kernels, are usually removed before the fruit preparation is dried. In any case, seeds which may impart undesirable flavour attributes are preferably removed from the fruit preparation or the dried fruit before grinding. Under these proviso, the compacted fruit powder is a compacted whole fruit powder preferably.

[0057] In an embodiment, it may also be considered to incorporate a seed component such as small seeds or ground seeds or kernels, to provide texture and mouthfeel to the reconstituted beverage. The seed component may be mixed into the fruit preparation before drying. Alternatively, the seed component is mixed with the fruit powder, before or after compaction. Examples of small seeds include, without being limited to, seeds of cranberry, date, kiwi fruit, poppy, sesame or strawberry. As explained above, seeds are considered "small" when the particle size of the seed is smaller than the desired particle size of the compacted fruit powder particles. Examples of ground seeds or kernels include, without being limited to, ground cocoa bean, ground coffee bean, or ground nut. Examples of nuts include, without being limited to, Brazil nut, cashew nut, macadamia nut, peanut, pecan nut, pistachio. In this embodiment, the fruit powder comprises a seed component. Preferably, the particle size of the seed component is smaller than the desired particle size of the compacted fruit powder particles.

[0058] As will be explained below, the inventors have found that the presence of fibres in combination with the desired particle size of the compacted fruit powder, may help in the reconstitution properties of the fruit powder. This is a further reason why, in a preferred embodiment, the fruit powder is prepared from whole fruit, such as fruit puree, rather than fruit juice. Indeed, fruit juice contains less fibre than whole fruit. If fruit juice is part of the fruit preparation, the compacted fruit powder should comprise less than 80 wt% of sugar. The term "sugar" refers here to the mono- and di-saccharides naturally present in fruits, mainly glucose, fructose and sucrose. Preferably, the fruit powder, before and after compaction, has a sugar content comprised from 30 wt% to 60 wt%. Preferably, the compacted fruit powder does not comprise added sugar.

[0059] Hence, in an embodiment, it may be considered to mix up to 20wt% of plant fibres with the non-compacted fruit powder or with the fruit preparation prior to drying. Preferably, the plant fibres are fruit fibres, such as citrus fibres or apple fibres. Alternatively, the plant fibres are cereal fibres, such as oat or wheat fibres, or even carrot fibres. In an embodiment, the fruit powder comprises from 5 to 20 wt% of added plant fibres, such as 8 to 15 wt% of added plant fibres, preferably citrus, apple or carrot fibres. Thus, the fruit powder, before and after compaction, comprises up to 35 wt% fibres, including the optional additional plant fibre. [0060] Hence, the fruit powder does not contain other ingredients than plant material: whole fruit as the main or sole ingredient, optionally a seed component, and also optionally plant fibres. The fruit powder does not contain added sucrose, glucose syrup, maltodextrin or other sweeteners or bulking agents. Similarly, the fruit powder does not contain flowing agent, such a silica. In other words, the fruit powder is 100% plant-based and does not contain added sugar. Thus, the non-compacted fruit powder comprises exclusively fruit components, such as at least 95wt% of fruit components, preferably at least 96wt%, or at least 97wt%, or at least 98wt% or at least 99wt%. The non-compacted fruit powder consists essentially of fruit components. Most preferably, the non-compacted fruit powder consists of fruit components. As a result, the compacted fruit powder comprises exclusively fruit components, such as at least 95wt% of fruit components, preferably at least 96wt%, or at least 97wt%, or at least 98wt% or at least 99wt%. The compacted fruit powder consists essentially of fruit components. Most preferably, the compacted fruit powder consists of fruit components. [0061] Therefore, in an embodiment, the fruit powder consists of compacted fruit powder particles wherein the compacted fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 2.0 mm, preferably lower than 1.6 mm as determined by sieving, wherein less than 30% by weight of the fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 pm, preferably 350 pm as determined by sieving, and wherein the fruit powder has a bulk density higher than 550 g/L and lower than 800 g/L. Optionally, the fruit powder also comprises added plant fibre and/or an added seed component, as described above. The fruit powder may then consist of compacted fruit powder particles with added plant fibre and/or added seed component. [0062] The non-compacted fruit powder has a particle size distribution in the range of D10 between 80 and 110 pm, D50 between 200 and 300 pm and D90 between 700 and 900 pm.

[0063] As explained above, the inventors have found that fruit powders made from fruit juices are more prone to caking than fruit powders made from whole fruits. Without wishing to be bound to theory, an explanation could be that whole fruits contain more fibres than fruit juices. This may have an impact on the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the fruit powder: the more fibres in the powder, the higher the glass transition temperature. When the glass transition temperature of the fruit powder is low, for instance at about ambient temperature, glass transition may occur in the packaging which leads to caking even in the absence of moisture. Adding fibres to the fruit powder may increase the glass transition temperature of the system to above ambient temperature. Ambient temperature ranges from 18°C to 25°C. [0064] The glass transition temperature of the fruit powder is comprised from 12°C to 30°C. The glass transition temperature of the fruit powder may be measured as explained below in paragraph 3.4. The glass transition temperature is measured on the fruit powder before mixing a seed component or plant fibre.

[0065] The inventors have found that the preferred particle size of the compacted fruit powder particles is when the compacted fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 2.0 mm and higher than 300 pm. This range provides a good balance between avoiding caking during shelf-life or industrial processing, handling during industrial processing, and ensuring good beverage reconstitution behaviour. "Reconstitution" refers to the preparation of a beverage by mixing a powdered beverage composition into a liquid, such as cold or warm water or milk. The "reconstitution behaviour" of the powdered beverage composition may be characterised, for instance, by the wetting and sinking properties of the powder, to formation of lumps in the liquid or the amount of powder that remains on the surface of the liquid before stirring.

[0066] When the compacted particles are smaller than 300 pm, they are more prone to caking. When the compacted particles are larger than about 2.0 mm, their reconstitution behaviour may be unsatisfactory: dispersion is incomplete, which may lead to sedimentation and dephasing. In addition, the size range provides good flowability of the fruit powder, which makes it easier to handle in industrial processes, such as during transport or dosing. This size range also reduces dustiness. Dustiness is a known industrial hazard. It is linked to the amount of fines in the powder. [0067] In an embodiment, the compacted fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 2.0 mm, preferably lower than 1.8 mm, even more preferably lower than 1.6 mm, as determined by sieving. The particle size distribution of the compacted fruit powder may be measured as explained below in paragraph 3.1.

[0068] However, it may be very difficult to eliminate all the fines during production of the compacted fruit powder. In addition, handling, transport or packaging of the compacted fruit powder may generate fines, linked to the fragility of the compacted fruit powder. Fragility of the compacted fruit powder is measured as explained below in paragraph 3.2.

[0069] Yet, the compacted fruit powder should not contain a too large portion of fines, i.e. particles having a diameter lower than 300 pm, or even lower than 350 pm. Indeed, the inventors have observed that a higher proportion of fines seems to lead to sticking between powder particles and to caking. Therefore, in the fruit powder according to the invention, less than 30% by weight of the fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 pm, preferably lower than 350 pm. Preferably, less than 20% by weight, more preferably less than 10% by weight, of the fruit powder particles have a diameter lower than 300 pm, preferably lower than 350 pm. Preferably, less than 30% by weight, more preferably less than 20% by weight, even more preferably less than 10% by weight, of the fruit powder particles, have a diameter lower than 350 pm. Herein, the particle size of the fruit powder is determined by sieving.

[0070] The inventors have also found that the bulk density of the fruit powder may also be relevant. When the bulk density is too low, it may have a negative impact on wetting because a minimum density is needed to ensure that the fruit powder sinks upon reconstitution. A higher bulk density is interesting because it improves flowing of the powder in industrial handling. It also allows using less packaging material for a given mass of powder. However, when the bulk density is too high, it may slow down wetting of the powder. Hence, the inventors have found the optimal bulk density of the compacted fruit powder. In an embodiment, the compacted fruit powder has a bulk density higher than 550 g/L and lower than 800 g/L, preferably from 650 to 800 g/L. Bulk density of the compacted fruit powder is measured as explained below in paragraph 3.3.

[0071] Another aspect of the invention is a powdered beverage composition. The fruit powder, in particular the compacted fruit powder described above, may be used as an ingredient for the preparation of such a powdered beverage composition. [0072] Preferably, such a powdered beverage composition comprises from 10 wt% to 100 wt% (dry weight) of the compacted fruit powder. The powdered beverage composition may be prepared by dry-mixing the compacted fruit powder, or several types of compacted fruit powder, with another plant-based ingredient.

[0073] Preferably, the other plant-based ingredient of the powdered beverage composition represent up to 90 wt% (dry weight) of the powdered beverage composition. For instance, the plant-based ingredient include nut-based milk-analogue powder, bean-based milk-analogue powder, cereal-based flakes or powder, and mixes thereof. The nut-based milk- analogue powder may be prepared with coconut, walnut, almond, peanut, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan nut and the like. The bean-based milk-analogue powder may be prepared with soy, pea, lupin and the like. The cereal-based flakes or powder is suitable for preparing a porridge or a drink. It may be prepared with true cereals, such as wheat, corn, oat, rye, barley, millet, rice and the like, and also with pseudo-cereals, such as buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth and the like. Preferably, the powdered beverage composition comprises at least 20 wt%, 30 wt%, 40 wt%, 50 wt%, 60 wt%, 70 wt%, 80 wt%, 90 wt% of compacted fruit powder.

[0074] Another aspect of the invention is a kit for preparing one or a plurality of beverages, using a powdered beverage composition as described above. The beverage may be prepared by combining a first beverage component and a second beverage component. [0075] Preferably, the first beverage component is a "white" component, which is a rather neutral beverage component. For instance, the first beverage component is selected from a milk-based powder, a fermented milk-based powder, a plant-based milk-analogue powder, a cereal-based flakes or powder suitable for preparing a drink or a porridge.

[0076] A second beverage component is mixed with the first beverage component. The second beverage component is a flavouring or colouring component. The second beverage component may comprise or consist of a fruit powder as described above. The second beverage component may also be a powdered beverage composition as described above. [0077] In effect, the kit allows a consumer to select from among various "white" beverage components, and from among various flavouring or colouring components. Each first and second beverage components are contained in a plurality of containers. The containers may be sachets, pouches, cans or capsules for instance. The containers may be single-serve containers or multi-serve containers. Preferably, the containers are made of a recyclable material, such as coated paper. [0078] Preferably, the first beverage components are designed to provide a minimum set of nutrients, such as a minimum amount of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, while the second beverage components are designed to provide the main flavour and/or colour profile. Vitamins and/or minerals may be added to the first beverage component or the second beverage component. Preferably, the first and second beverage components are manufactured so that any first beverage component may be combined with any second beverage component to reach a minimum nutritional profile of the reconstituted beverage. [0079] Hence, the invention relates to a kit for preparing one or a plurality of beverages comprising: one ora plurality of containers of first beverage components selected from milk-based powder, fermented milk-based powder, plant-based milk-analogue powder, cereal- based flakes or powder suitable for preparing a drink or a porridge, one or a plurality of containers of second beverage components, wherein the second beverage components comprise or consist of a fruit powder as described above, or are powdered beverage compositions as described above.

[0080] Preferably, the kit contains single-serve containers because they are more convenient to use for the consumers. A consumer may choose a container containing a first "white" beverage component and a container containing a second flavouring or colouring beverage component, empty them in any order into a glass (for instance) into water, or add water afterwards, mix and obtain a beverage which corresponds to the desired combination of beverage components.

[0081] Interestingly, the inventors have found that thanks to compaction, the reconstitution time of the compacted fruit powder is independent from the shear rate applied to mix it in water (figure 5).

[0082] Another aspect of the invention is a process for manufacturing a fruit powder as described above. The process comprises the following steps: 1) feeding a fruit powder into a powder compactor at a rate of 15 to 25 kg/h, 2) compacting the fruit powder in a powder compaction equipment to obtain a compacted fruit powder mass, 3) grinding the compacted fruit powder mass to a particle size lower than 2.0 mm, to obtain compacted fruit powder particles, 4) sieving the compacted fruit powder particles and retaining the compacted fruit powder particles having a diameterfrom 300 pm to 2 mm, preferably from 350 pm to 1.6 mm. [0083] Preferably, the powder compaction equipment is a roller compactor. For instance, a roller compactor WP 120 or WP 200 from ALEXANDERWERK (Remsheid, Germany) may be used in this process. Such a roller compactor is described, for instance, in US 2018/0243748. Amongst the compaction parameter, the inventors have found that the linear compaction force seems the most important. Hence, preferably, a linear compaction force of from 4 kN/cm to 12 kN/cm is applied to compact the fruit powder. The linear compaction force is [the force applied between two rolls in the roller compactor per cm of product.

[0084] Other relevant parameters include the roller gap and the feeding speed or rate. Preferably the roller gap is from 1.5 to 4 mm.

[0085] In an embodiment, the particles smaller than 300 pm, preferably smaller than 350 pm, and optionally particles larger than 2 mm, are collected after sieving, and are fed back into the powder compaction equipment with the fruit powder. This avoids wasting raw material. The inventors have found that introducing compacted, or pre-compacted fruit powder, in the raw material, or non-compacted fruit powder, does not have a negative impact on the reconstitution behaviour and shelf-life properties of the resulting product.

[0086] The process may be performed under controlled atmosphere, in particular in the case of oxidation- or humidity-sensitive material. In particular, the process may be performed under low relative humidity, or in the presence of an inert gas, such as nitrogen.

[0087] Those skilled in the art will understand that they can freely combine all features of the present invention disclosed herein. Further, features described for different embodiments of the present invention may be combined together where appropriate. When known equivalents exist to specific features, such equivalents are incorporated as if specifically referred in this specification. Further advantages and features of the present invention are apparent from the figures and non-limiting examples.

EXAMPLES

Methods

1 Assessment of powder stability

[0088] The caking behaviour of compacted granules was compared with that of non- compacted dry mixes having a similar composition, following the different methods described below.

1.1 Humidity test [0089] 15g of fruit powder were manually spread over a white paper sheet, and left exposed to atmospheric conditions (T = 18-22°C, RH= 40-50%) for 2 hours. After every hour, pictures were taken to evaluate caking. At the end of the experiment, the powder was moved mechanically by hand in order to evaluate its flowing behaviour.

1.2 Oven test (heat shock)

[0090] lOg of fruit powder were placed inside glass jars (d = 0.02 m, V= 20 mL). The jars were sealed, and placed in a laboratory oven at 40°C and 50°C for 1 hour. At the end of the experiment, the presence of caking was visually observed, and the jars were shaken by hand in order to evaluate the flowing behaviour of the powder. The jars were then turned upside down and pictures were taken.

1.3 Shelf-life test

[0091] 20g of fruit powder were placed into air-tight aluminum bags and placed inside two climatic chambers under controlled air temperature and relative humidity (20°C - 50% RH and 30°C - 70% RH). Powder caking was evaluated visually every month and pictures were taken. The experiment had a total duration of 6 months, and each measurement was performed in duplicate.

2 Assessment of powder reconstitution

[0092] The reconstitution behaviour of compacted fruit powder was compacted with that of non-compacted dry mixes having a similar composition, following the methods described below.

2.1 Visual evaluation of reconstitution

[0093] 12.5 g of fruit powder were poured into 100 mL of ambient or hot water (T = 20°C and 55°C respectively) in a beaker (d= 70 mm; V = 500 mL) equipped with a magnetic stirrer at the bottom. The liquid was stirred for 2 minutes, and subsequently poured on a sieve (mesh size = 0.355 mm). The presence of lumps of badly reconstituted powder was visually observed, and pictures were taken with a camera.

2.2 Assessment of reconstitution by conductivity

[0094] Demineralized water is used at ambient temperature, i.e. 20°C. 145 mL of water are poured in the dissolution vessel. A conductivity probe Metrohm (Conductometric cell PtlOO) is placed horizontally at 15 mm from the bottom of the dissolution vessel. An overhead stirrer is placed directly above the conductivity probe and set to the desired stirring rate between 300 and 1000 rpm. The conductivity probe is linked to a computer interface to record the conductivity and temperature during the assay. Recording of conductivity and temperature is started. 10s later: 13 g of fruit powder is poured manually in the dissolution vessel from the top of the vessel (8 cm from water).

[0095] The start of dissolution time is detected by the intersection of a straight line through the points at 5% and 10% of the conductivity signal and the line given by the initial conductivity signal. The dissolution time is defined as the time when 90% of the maximum conductivity signal is reached. Three repeats were performed for each powder.

2.3 Assessment of wetting

[0096] Demineralized water is used at ambient temperature, i.e. 20°C. 200 mL of water is poured into a glass beaker (d= 70 mm; V = 250 mL) and placed below a powder dispenser. The powder dispenser comprises a column open at both ends. The bottom end is equipped with a sliding metal plate. lOg of fruit powder is filled into the closed powder dispenser onto the metal plate. The plate is slid swiftly off the bottom of the dispenser to allow the powder to fall on top of the water. A stop watch is started at the same time. The stop watch is stopped when all the powder is wet but not sunken to the bottom of the beaker.

[0097] The wetting time is defined as the time needed to wet all the powder, before the powder sinks. Three repeats were performed for each powder.

3 Fruit powder properties

3.1 Particle size distribution

[0098] The particle size distribution was measured with a particle analyser Camsizer XT equipped with the X-fall module for dispersion of the particles by gravity (Retsch Technology GmbH, Germany). During measurement, the powders are exposed as low as possible to laboratory conditions, in any case less than 2 minutes. The technique of digital image analysis is based on the computer processing of a large number of sample pictures taken at a frame rate of 277 images/seconds simultaneously by two different cameras. Characteristic particle sizes D10, D50 and D90 are calculated from normalized curves, corresponding to the particle size of 10%, 50% and 90% of the particles respectively.

3.2 Fragility

[0099] Fragility refers to the tendency of particles to break under mechanical stress. Fragility is measured as the mass percent of fine particles produced in a fragility test.

[0100] Compacted and sieved fruit powder (100 g) is placed on a vibrating sieve (Retsch sieving tower) having a mesh size of 0.2 mm. The sieve is then vibrated for 1 minute with an amplitude of 1 mm. Fines are collected below the vibrating sieve in a recovery container. The first fraction of fines (FI) is weighed as well as the remaining powder (RP1) on the 0.2 mm sieve. The recovery container is then emptied and cleaned. Then the remaining powder is vibrated 2 minutes with an amplitude of 3 mm. A second fraction of fines (F2) is recovered and weighed. The remaining powder (RP2), after the second vibration treatment, is also weighed. The fragility is the ratio of the weight of the second fraction of fines F2 divided by the weight of the first remaining powder RP1. It is expressed in weight percent (wt%):

Fragility = RPl x 100 / F2 where RP1 is the weight of remaining powder and F2 is the weight of the first fraction of fines.

3.3 Bulk and tapped density

[0101] The bulk density of a material is the ratio of the mass to the volume (including the interparticulate void volume) of an untapped mod powder sample. The bulk density is obtained by adding a known volume of powder to a graduated cylinder and by weighing the mass in this volume. The density is calculated as mass/volume.

[0102] The tapped density is obtained by mechanically tapping a graduated cylinder containing the sample until little further volume change is observed. The tapping can be performed using different methods. The tapped density is calculated as mass divided by the final volume of the powder. Forthe determination of the tapped density we use the JEL jolting density meter ST AV 2003 and we are applied 300±2 jolts. The interparticulate interactions that influence the bulking properties of a powder are also the interactions that interfere with powder flow. It is therefore possible to gain information about the relative importance of these interactions in a given powder by comparing the bulk and tapped densities, and such a comparison can be used to index the ability of the powder to flow.

3.4 Glass transition temperature

[0103] The glass transition temperature Tg was measured using a Differential Scanning Calorimeter from TA Instruments (Q2000 DSC, TA Instruments, New Castle, DE, USA). The scanning rate was 5 °C/min. The system was then cooled at 20 °C/min. A simple scan procedure was performed from -40°C to 80°C to measure the different glass transition temperatures of the different compounds. From our experience, the uncertainty of the measure is commonly ±3 °C.

[0104] In order to avoid water evaporation during measurements, all experiments were performed in hermetically sealed pans. The Tg was determined from the onset of the change in heat flow observed at the second heating ramp.

3.5 Moisture uptake - Kinetic of sorption isotherm [0105] The SPSx method allows continuous recording of moisture uptake or release of food samples. We use an automated Sorption System of ProUmid SPSx. The samples are maintained under controlled temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) conditions. The SPSx is equipped with a very accurate RH and T sensor calibrated at 23°C and 50°C over a large range of RH (from 10% to 80%). The SPSx is used to record sorption kinetics by applying relative humidity steps at constant temperature. The data is then fitted with a diffusion model in order to establish the water diffusion coefficient of the product. We used the Weibull model.

[0106] For this assay, the temperature was set at 25°C and regulated in the closed SPS to avoid variations in temperature. The relative humidity was also controlled and regulated in the closed SPS. The samples were pre-conditioned at 10% RH during 12 hours to be sure that they were at equilibrium before imposing the RH step at 15%.

3.6 Microscopy

[0107] The surface of compacted and non-compacted powders has been observed by microscopy to understand the effect of compaction on fruit powder structure and enhanced rehydration and moisture pick up observed for compacted fruit powders.

[0108] The SEM micrographs of Figures 8 to 15 have been acquired by a Quanta F200 Scanning Electron Microscope (FEI, Germany) operating in High Voltage mode at 4kV using a secondary electron detector. Prior to observation, samples have been deposited on an aluminium stub equipped with a double-sided conductive tape and the excess has been removed by tapping, hence allowing a good spreading of the powder over the stub. In order to reveal their surface and internal structures, samples were fractured using a razor blade, then coated with lOnm gold layer using a Leica SCD500 sputter coater.

Example 1 - Strawberry powder

[0109] Compacted strawberry powder was prepared with a non-compacted strawberry powder supplied from Paradise Fruit (Germany) with a roller compactor WP120 (Alexanderwerk, Remscheid DE). The non-compacted strawberry powder was fed between the compaction rollers at a rate of [kg/h]. The compaction roller gap was 3 mm and the compaction roller speed was 5 rpm. A linear compaction force in the range of 5-12 kN/cm was applied to the fruit powder between the compaction rollers, to obtain a compacted fruit powder mass. Downstream the compaction rollers, the compacted fruit powder mass was forced through internal grinding sieves with a mesh size of 0.8 to 3.15 mm. The compacted strawberry powder was collected on a sieve with a 300 pm mesh size to remove the fines. [0110] In a separate trial, the fines were collected and added to the non-compacted strawberry powder to check the impact on the compacted powder properties. No significant impact on reconstitution of the compacted powder or on other properties was observed. [0111] Granules obtained have been studied for physical properties like particle size distribution, fragility, bulk and tapped densities. Reconstitution in water of compacted granules under medium to low shear has been performed as well.

[0112] Depending on type of fruit powder, strength of compaction and grinding sieve sizes used, the size distribution of granules ranged between D10 of 90 pm to 450 pm , D50 of 550 pm to 1300 pm and D90 of 700 pm to 1850 pm. Densities were accordingly ranging from free flowing bulk density of 580g/L to 730 g/L and tapped density of 610g/L to 770g/L.

[0113] The initial powder, i.e. before compaction, and the compacted powder were submitted to the humidity test and the oven test described above in paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2 respectively. Results are shown in Figures 1 and 2:

[0114] Figure 1 shows the visual aspect of a strawberry powder exposed during 1 hour at a temperature of T = 22°C and relative humidity RH = 45%. A: initial powder (not compacted); B: compacted powder. Lumps of caked powder are visible on the left, while no caking is observed on the compacted granules.

[0115] Figure 2 shows the visual aspect of a strawberry powder in sealed glass jars after 1 hour in the oven at 50°C. A: initial powder (not compacted), B: compacted powder. The non- compacted powder is caked and is not flowing when the jar is turned, while the compacted granules are still free flowing and all powder flowed easily to the bottom of jar when turned. [0116] Similar results may be obtained with the fruit powder mix described in Example 2 or with fruit powders made with other fruit powders, such as blueberry, pear, apple, banana, carrot, or mango powder, or with apple flakes.

Strawberry powder, Blueberry powder (Paradise Fruit, Germany)

Pear 300, Apple 100, Banana 300, Carrot 100 (Naturex, France)

Mango powder, apple flakes (Diana, France)

Example 2 - Fruit powder mix

[0117] A fruit powder mix was prepared in the same conditions as in Example 1. The fruit mix comprises 48 wt% apple powder (Apple 100, Naturex, France), 32 wt% pear powder (Pear 300, Naturex, France) and 20 wt% banana powder (Banana 300, Naturex, France), with recirculation of fines below 300 pm.

[0118] The initial powder, i.e. before compaction, and the compacted powder were submitted to the shelf-life test described above in paragraph 1.3.

[0119] Figure 3 shows the visual appearance of fruit powder mix after 3 months storage in a tightly closed aluminium sachet placed under a controlled atmosphere at 30°C and 70% RH. A: initial powder (not compacted); B: compacted powder. Hard-caked lumps can be observed on the non-compacted powder, while the compacted granules are still free flowing.

Example 3 - Reconstitution of compacted fruit powder

[0120] The fruit powder of Example 2 was used in the test for visual evaluation of reconstitution described above in paragraph 2.1.

[0121] Figure 4 shows the reconstitution state of a fruit powder mix. A: initial powder (not compacted); B: compacted granules. Powder was reconstituted into water at T=20°C and stirred during 2 minutes. It was observed that non-compacted powder generates large lumps when dispersed in water. These lumps are dry inside, probably because water cannot penetrate the viscous outside layer, and will not disappear even with longer stirring time. On the contrary, the compacted granules disperse slower, so that the apparition of the viscous layer is delayed and the powder can be fully reconstituted in 2 minutes under low to medium shear rates at ambient temperature.

[0122] The influence of compaction on reconstitution of a beverage at different stirring rates was analysed using the conductivity assay described above in paragraph 2.2 [0123] Figure 5 shows the reconstitution time of the beverage in seconds, as a function of the stirring speed, for the non-compacted powder (grey circle) or compacted powder (black square). Surprisingly the reconstitution time seems to be independent of stirring rate for the compacted powder. On the contrary the reconstitution time is highly dependent on the stirring rate for the non-compacted powder.

[0124] This observation is interesting because it shows that the compacted fruit powder may be used for reconstitution of a beverage in different conditions, for instance with a hand whisk or with an electric whipping equipment, and that the stirring speed will not have an impact on the time needed for reconstitution.

Example 4 - Wetting behaviour of fruit powders [0125] The wetting behaviour of fruit powders was analysed with the wetting test described above in paragraph 2.3. Three fruit powders were assessed: the compacted fruit powder of Example 2, a compacted fruit powder having the same composition as that of Example2 but with 10% or 30% of fines below 300 pm, and the non-compacted fruit powder used as starting material to produce the compacted fruit powder of Example 2.

[0126] Figure 6 shows the visual aspect of the powder after wetting. A: non compacted powder; B: compacted powder with 10 wt% fines; C: compacted powder with 30 wt% fines. D: compacted powder without fines.

[0127] The assay showed the following. After 15 minutes, the non-compacted fruit powder was not fully wet and it remained on the surface of the water without sinking. The floating product is shown in the circle of Figure 6A. The compacted fruit powder without fines (figure 6D) had sunk to the bottom of the beaker within about 20 seconds without any lumps. This means that all the powder was wet. The compacted fruit powder with fines was also wet within about 20 seconds, but there remained lumps at the bottom of the beaker or floating below the surface of the water. The lumps are shown of Figures 6B and 6C with a circle. This means that part of the fruit powder within the lumps was not fully wet.

Example 5 - Moisture uptake

[0128] The moisture uptake of two different fruit mix powders (round and triangle symbols) and of fully amorphous milk based powders (square symbols), either compacted (filled symbols) or non-compacted (open symbols), with the kinetic of sorption isotherm assay, as described above in paragraph 3.5. The milk based powder are sprayed-dried full fat milk powder dry mixed with 10 wt% crystalline sucrose.

[0129] The inventors observed that under an atmosphere at relative humidity RH 15% and at a temperature of 25°C, compacted powders pick moisture up much more rapidly than non-compacted powders. For fruit powders, the difference of kinetics of moisture uptake between compacted powder and non-compacted powder is much more pronounced than in the case of amorphous milk based powder. In amorphous milk-based powder, the difference on moisture uptake is very minimal.

[0130] Without wishing to be bound by theory, the inventors believe that this effect is probably linked to the fact that the compaction of fruit powders creates a very rough surface, especially for fruit powder variants, as can be seen when comparing figures 9 to 11. [0131] Figures 9 to 11 show the surface microstructure of compacted (Figures 9 and 11) and non-compacted (Figure 8 and 10) strawberry powder of Example 1. They can be compared with Figures 12 to 15 which show the surface microstructure of compacted (Figure 13 and 15) and non-compacted (Figure 12 and 14) sweet milk powder. The pictures were taken as described above in paragraph 3.6.

[0132] The compaction of fruit powder may provoke the breakage of fruit powder material in very small particulate micro-domains with only partial sintering of those micro domains under compaction strength and heat, most probably due to the high fiber content of the fruit material. This may be seen on Figures 8 to 11. In the case of milk powder, the sintering is much more pronounced with a higher degree of sintering, resulting in a smoother surface than compacted fruit powders (Figures 12 to 15). This could be viewed as a single-block plasticization. This could explain the much lower difference in moisture pick between compacted and non-compacted variants observed with milk powder .

Example 6 - POUCHES

[0133] Figure 3 shows the visual appearance of fruit powder mix after 3 months storage in tight aluminium pouches placed in a controlled atmosphere at 30°C and 70% RH. Important caking has happened in the case initial fruit powder of example 2, despite the fact that the aluminium pouches are proof. This shows that caking is driven by temperature inside the pouches. These caked pieces are direct hurdles against emptying the pouches and against reconstitution of the beverage in water.

[0134] No caking was observed in the case of compacted fruit powder. The powder remains fully free flowing even after 3 months in an aluminium pouch placed in the same conditions (30°C, 70% RH) as non-compacted powders. This ensures a proper emptying of the pouches and facilitates the reconstitution of a beverage. In addition, as shown above, the compacted powders have a better wetting behaviour, which also improves the reconstitution of the beverage.

Example 7 - Viscosity of preparations prepared from compacted and non-compacted powders

Fruit powders

Sample preparation and analysis

Compacted and non-compacted powders were reconstituted at 25°C in a beaker with a magnetic stirrer at 300rpm for 5 minutes. 12.5 g of fruit powder was used in 100 ml of water and 9 g of milk powder in 95 ml of water. The full reconstitution of powders was ensured by measuring the conductivity signal of reconstituted solutions and with visual observations. These suspensions were then used for performing rheological measurements.

The viscosity of fully reconstituted fruit powders was measured using a rotational rheometer MCR502 (Anton Paar). Flow curves were measured directly after the reconstitution at 25°C and using a vane geometry (ST 22, serial number 32311. A comparison was made between the solutions with compacted and non-compacted powders in terms of flow curves. Each measurement was repeated three times to check the reproducibility of the results.

Results The viscosities of recipes prepared with either compacted or non-compacted powders for different fruit powders are compared in figures 16 (red mix), 17 (purple mix) and 18 (yellow mix). Results with compacted powders are shown with solid lines in the figures, results from non-compacted powders with dotted lines. From figures 16, 17 and 18 it can be seen that irrespective of the fruit powder, the viscosity of smoothies produced from the compacted fruit powders is significantly lower compared to those produced from the non-compacted powders. There is a significant shift in the solution viscosity. This also indicates that for similar TS compacted powders requires less efforts or energy input to reconstitute compared to non- compacted powders. This behaviour was compared to a milk-based powder (38% sugar, 11.5% milk fat, 33.5% skim milk powder, 16.3% cocoa powder 0.7% lecithin and 0.1% flavour, all percentages by weight). Compacted and non-compacted cocoamilk powders were reconstituted in the same way as the fruit powders and rheological measurements to obtain flow curves were performed. The results are shown in Figure 19. It can be seen from the figure that there is no impact of compaction on the viscosity of this milk-based powders.

[0135] Although the invention has been described by way of example, it should be appreciated that variations and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the claims.