German inventor Thomas Warendorf, of Nestec, has been awarded US patent 6183801 for: Gelled food composition including fruit pieces and its preparation.

Current players in this technology: Mars G.B. Limited, Kraft General Foods, BungeFoods Corp., Mama Tish's Italian Specialties, Kraft Foods Inc., CPC International, FMC Corp., Bush Boake Allen and Nutrasweet Company.

Abstract:

    A gelled food composition containing fruit pieces distributed therein is obtained by preparing, separately, a jelly ground mass composition and a fruit composition which contains fruit pieces and then combining the two compositions and cooling to obtain the gelled composition wherein (a) to prepare the jelly ground mass, ingredients, in amounts by weight based upon jelly ground mass weight, of from 15% to 30% sugar, of from 0.4% to 0.7% xanthan and of a gelling agent which is (i) from 0.5% to 1.5% of a carrageenan composition, (ii) from 0.4% to 1.0% of a carrageenan composition and from 0.1% to 0.5% locust bean gum and (iii) from 0.1% to 0.5% of gellan gum, are blended into water at a temperature so that the ingredients are suspended in the water, and (b) the fruit composition is prepared with fruit pieces and with xanthan in an amount, by weight based upon the weight of the fruit composition, of from 0.4% and 0.7%. Both compositions are heated to a temperature and for a time to at least pasteurize them, and to obtain the final gelled composition, the fruit composition, at a temperature of from 10° C. to 20° C., is injected into a stream of the jelly ground mass having a temperature which is not below a temperature which effects gellation, and the composition so combined is heated to a temperature above 70° C. for preventing gellation and filled into a container which then is sealed and cooled togel the product to obtain the gelled product in the container.

First of 25 Claims:

A process for preparing a gelled food composition containing fruit pieces comprising:

    blending ingredients into water to obtain a jelly ground mass, the ingredients comprising, in amounts by weight based upon jelly ground mass weight, sugar in an amount of from 15% to 30%, xanthan in an amount of from 0.4% to 0.7% and a gelling agent which is a composition or a combination of compositions selected from the group consisting of (i) a carrageenan composition in an amount of from 0.5% to 1.5%, (ii) a carrageenan composition in an amount of from 0.4% to 1.0% and locust bean gum in an amount of from 0.1% to 0.5% and (iii) gellan gum in an amount of from 0.1% to 0.5% and wherein the ingredients are blended at a temperature so that the ingredients are suspended in the water;
    heating the jelly ground mass to a temperature and for a time to at least pasteurize the jelly ground mass and then cooling the so-heated jelly ground mass, but only to a temperature which is not below a temperature which effects gellation of the jelly ground mass, to obtain a temperature-treated jelly ground mass;
    preparing a fruit composition which comprises fruit pieces and xanthan wherein the xanthan is in an amount, by weight based upon the weight of the fruit composition, of between 0.4% and 0.7% and which has a sugar content which differs from the jelly ground mass sugar content so that a difference between the jelly ground mass specific gravity and the fruit composition specific gravity does not exceed 0.02 g/ml so that upon subsequently combining the jelly ground mass and the fruit composition at a temperature above 70° C., the fruit composition is present and distributed within the jelly ground mass;
    heating the fruit composition to a temperature and for a time to at least pasteurize the fruit composition and cooling the so-heated fruit composition to obtain a cooled fruit composition and maintaining the cooled fruit composition under aseptic conditions;
    providing a stream of the temperature-treated jelly ground mass having a temperature which is not below a temperature which effects gellation of the jelly ground mass and injecting the fruit composition, at a temperature of from 10° C. to 20° C., into the jelly ground mass stream to combine the cooled fruit composition into the jelly ground mass stream to obtain a combined composition stream containing, in amounts by weight based upon the combined composition weight, the jelly ground mass in an amount of from 50% to 90% and the fruit composition in an amount of from 10% to 50%, and then heating the combined composition stream to a temperature above 70° C. for preventing gellation to obtain a heated composition for filling into a container;
    filling the heated composition into a container and sealing the container to contain the composition in the container to obtain a packaged product mass; and
    cooling the packaged product mass to gel the product mass to obtain a gelled product mass in the container.

By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent