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New Forest Fruit Company launches ‘first for the UK market’





A fruit farmer in East Boldre has launched a product he believes is a “first for the UK snack market”.

Sandy Booth, who runs the New Forest Fruit Company has combined two specialist processes to create dried fruit strawberries that retain their shape, flavour and nutrients for a “delicious and healthy” snack.

New Forest Fruit Snacks have been four years in the making, and come in 100% biodegradable packaging, so any empty bags can go straight into the compost.

New Forest Fruit Company CEO Sandy Booth with his new snacks (Photo: The Electric Eye Photography)
New Forest Fruit Company CEO Sandy Booth with his new snacks (Photo: The Electric Eye Photography)

To ensure the freeze-drying processing does not shrink and shrivel the fruit, it goes through a pulse drying stage first. This not only keeps the shape of the fruit but also locks in all the flavour and nutrients, including vitamin C.

Sandy explained that while these processes were already in existence, they had not be used together.

He continued:“This new product has also helped us significantly reduce waste. It improves crop utilisation as we can process seasonal gluts and any fruits that are too large, small or misshapen to meet retailers’ specifications.”

The snack is a ‘plant to packet’ product, grown, processed and packaged on the farm.

Sandy Booth is the driving force for developing innovation on the farm, and is always looking new ways to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

As well as being handy to eat on the move or thow in the kids’ lunchboxes, the fruit can also be used as ingredients and garnishes in dishes and drinks.

The four-year development period allowed time for a testing process, with samples supplied to chefs including Luke Holder, head chef at Lime Wood Hotel.

He has become a fan of the fruit snacks, crunching them up and using the crisp fruity crumb to add colour, texture and bursts of intense sweet aromatic flavour to cakes and desserts. They can also be used as a topping for ice creams and milkshakes.

Sandy and the team have also enjoyed their own experiments, using them as garnishes in summer soft drinks and boozy favourites like gin and tonic, sparkling wine and Pimms.The strawberries are a great accompaniment, particularly as they rehydrate, soaking up the flavour of the drink.

“Our new snacks are so versatile and are already receiving a lot of interest from retailers, chefs and customers. Our intention is to develop a range of fruit snacks using different fruits and produce grown on the farm.

“This is the start of a New Forest Fruit Snacks revolution!”

To purchase the packs, go to newforestfruitsnacks.com



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