I had so much fun playing with the idea of making carbonated fruit last spring. If you have a source of carbon dioxide, such as dry ice, this is a very do-able project and loads of fun. My recipe for carbonated chocolate banana goes into the how-to details.
Researchers at my neighboring school, Oregon State University, have been introducing carbonated fruit to local school kids with great success. The kids love it! So I wonder what will be the next step for Fizzy Fruit?
Albany elementary students excited about Fizzy Fruit™
from OSU news site
Oregon State University food technologist Qingyue Ling couldn’t have gotten a better response on Dec. 9 during the roll out of Fizzy Fruit™ at Sunrise Elementary School in Albany, Ore.
“One girl said ‘Now, I will have something my mom will allow me to eat,’” he said after serving third-graders the carbonated fresh grapes. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive.”
OSU food technologist Qingyue Ling was pleased by the children’s responses to Fizzy Fruit.
Fizzy Fruit gets its fizz from a patented process that adds carbonation to the juice naturally contained in fruit. It was developed with help from researchers at the Food Innovation Center, a research center run jointly by OSU and Oregon Department of Agriculture.
The process involves placing whole or fresh cut fruit in a pressurized chamber, where the fruit absorbs carbon dioxide, explained Ling, who worked on the project with its inventors. As the chamber is depressurized, the gas is released from the fruit as bubbles.
There are no chemicals or preservatives added to the fruit, according to its manufacturers. It contains only carbon dioxide and oxygen, with all the vitamins and fiber content of fresh fruit.
“We are always looking for ways to get kids to eat fruit and this is great,” Sunrise principal Connie Larsen said.
“This is something new and exciting and the kids just love it,” said Laurie Robinson, assistant manager for Food Services at South Albany High School, which provides lunch for Sunrise. “Preparing it is easy. You just clean the fruit, put it in a canister and seal it.”
Children were limited to three helpings of grapes, but some tried to come back for a fourth helping. As for the children’s responses?
Third-grader Alex Martinez, left, enjoys Fizzy Fruit on Dec. 9 at Sunrise Elementary School in Albany while classmate Uriel Zepeda tries another grape.
“It’s good, and tasty,” said Alex Martinez.
“No,” replied Uriel Zepeda, who was sitting right next to Alex. “It’s perfect and bubbly.” Ling has been testing the Fizzy Fruit on his sons the last few years, but the children’s reactions were important.
“I feel great as a food researcher to see so many smiling faces when these kids are enjoying this fun and healthy fruit snack,” Ling said. “This is really the best reward for us who worked on this innovative food product in the last several years”
It took five years of research to develop Fizzy Fruit™ from an idea to a commercial company. Much of that research and development occurred at the Food Innovation Center in Portland, the nation’s only urban agricultural experiment station.
The Food Innovation Center director, John Henry Wells, as well as Fizzy Fruit’s inventor, Galen Kauffman, were on hand for the event.