Fizzy Fruit is Becoming a Reality

Friday, January 13, 2006

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
1-4-06

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.

6 Comments

posted January 13th, 2006 at 10:17 am

I’m a reporter for the Albany Democrat-Herald and was at the event when Albany kids tried out the Fizzy Fruit. I also tried some myself. It was interesting, but I think I like regular grapes just as well or better than the bubbly ones. The 8-year-olds got a kick out of it though. Albany schools plan to use Fizzy Fruit to replace dessert on their school lunch menus. Fizzy Fruit hopes to do this with other schools as well, and maybe one day will have the fruit available for commercial sale.

  • thanks for chiming in!

    I too like the regular grapes better. But then again, I like fruit now (didn’t eat fruit as a kid).

    It’s interesting how much ‘flavor’ the buzz of carbonation adds to the simple enjoyment of fruit. It’s almost a bitter or sour tangy flavor. Sampling carbonated beer vs beer on a nitrogen charging system really brings out this difference of taste and mouth feel contributed by these gases. Maybe Fizzy Fruit will release a nitro version of their fruit for adults!

    –McAuliflower

- Jen
posted January 13th, 2006 at 11:02 am

This sounds absolutely wonderful. Very cool! Luckily, my friend works in a lab.. I’ll ask her if we can play some day! :)

  • Ooo… and see if you dare to whip up some Liquid Nitrogen ice cream while you’re at it! One of these days I’ll introduce the Kitchen Aid to some LN2.

    –McAuliflower

- Anne
posted January 13th, 2006 at 8:00 pm

A friend of mine taught me how to make carbonated fruit about five years ago – it’s been a staple at my birthday party since. Watermelon and cherries are my personal favorites.

  • Oooooo… excellent ideas! I’d like to make a carbonated canteloupe sorbet (putting it on my summer to-do list!). Do you also make yours by exposing the fruit to dry ice, or do you have a pressurized canister setup?

    –McAuliflower

- Kashena Jade
posted February 20th, 2006 at 10:51 pm

Sorry, forgot to look back here for a while – though I love your blog. I expose the fruit to dry ice – usually I buy dry ice and place it into the bottom of a styrofoam cooler, fill the bottom with water and then place fruit in plastic bowls or tupperware containers (without lids) into the cooler as well, then seal it.

Every once in a while, I open it up again and add more water, then wait. It’s about a 24-48 hour process, depending.

The sorbet sounds wonderful – do you think you’ll make the sorbet first and then place it in the cooler to absorb the gas, or try and make it after the fruit has been carbonized? The fruit doesn’t last too long carbonated-wise (4 or 5 hours at most) after being exposed to the dry ice.

- Kashena Jade
posted April 15th, 2006 at 8:01 am

Ms. McAuliflower:

Thanks for the note about Fizzy Fruit and that you are interested about this project. As of last week Fizzy Fruit is being served in 23 schools in 8 different states. We have fizzed a wide range of produce (fruit and vegetables) at the Food Innovation Center. Fizzy Fruit hopes to have a retail fruit product out by the end of summer.

I would invite you and your readers to visit the Food Innovation Center in Portland (OR). Our work is about “advancing Northwest foods” by bring ideas to market.

posted May 8th, 2007 at 6:46 am

I live in cleveland and would like to have fizzy fruit in my life. Do I have to set up a franchise here or can I find it in a store or can I order it? Sincerely, Joan E. Schiller

What?! Are you new? :)
You make your own carbonated fruit Joan.
Welcome to the Brownie Points way.

–McAuliflower

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