WO2007105969A1 - Powdered compositions and processes for preparing them - Google Patents

Powdered compositions and processes for preparing them Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2007105969A1
WO2007105969A1 PCT/NZ2007/000051 NZ2007000051W WO2007105969A1 WO 2007105969 A1 WO2007105969 A1 WO 2007105969A1 NZ 2007000051 W NZ2007000051 W NZ 2007000051W WO 2007105969 A1 WO2007105969 A1 WO 2007105969A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
composition
avocado
paste
oil
suspension
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/NZ2007/000051
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Martin Lewis Phillips
Original Assignee
Avocado Oil New Zealand Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to NZ545975 priority Critical
Priority to NZ54597506 priority
Application filed by Avocado Oil New Zealand Limited filed Critical Avocado Oil New Zealand Limited
Publication of WO2007105969A1 publication Critical patent/WO2007105969A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23BPRESERVING, e.g. BY CANNING, MEAT, FISH, EGGS, FRUIT, VEGETABLES, EDIBLE SEEDS; CHEMICAL RIPENING OF FRUIT OR VEGETABLES; THE PRESERVED, RIPENED, OR CANNED PRODUCTS
    • A23B7/00Preservation or chemical ripening of fruit or vegetables
    • A23B7/14Preserving or ripening with chemicals not covered by groups A23B7/08 or A23B7/10
    • A23B7/153Preserving or ripening with chemicals not covered by groups A23B7/08 or A23B7/10 in the form of liquids or solids
    • A23B7/154Organic compounds; Microorganisms; Enzymes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23BPRESERVING, e.g. BY CANNING, MEAT, FISH, EGGS, FRUIT, VEGETABLES, EDIBLE SEEDS; CHEMICAL RIPENING OF FRUIT OR VEGETABLES; THE PRESERVED, RIPENED, OR CANNED PRODUCTS
    • A23B7/00Preservation or chemical ripening of fruit or vegetables
    • A23B7/02Dehydrating; Subsequent reconstitution
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B - A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L19/00Products from fruits or vegetables; Preparation or treatment thereof
    • A23L19/01Instant products; Powders; Flakes; Granules
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B - A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L3/00Preservation of foods or foodstuffs, in general, e.g. pasteurising, sterilising, specially adapted for foods or foodstuffs
    • A23L3/40Preservation of foods or foodstuffs, in general, e.g. pasteurising, sterilising, specially adapted for foods or foodstuffs by drying or kilning; Subsequent reconstitution
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B - A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L33/00Modifying nutritive qualities of foods; Dietetic products; Preparation or treatment thereof
    • A23L33/10Modifying nutritive qualities of foods; Dietetic products; Preparation or treatment thereof using additives
    • A23L33/105Plant extracts, their artificial duplicates or their derivatives
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B - A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L33/00Modifying nutritive qualities of foods; Dietetic products; Preparation or treatment thereof
    • A23L33/40Complete food formulations for specific consumer groups or specific purposes, e.g. infant formula
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B - A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L5/00Preparation or treatment of foods or foodstuffs, in general; Food or foodstuffs obtained thereby; Materials therefor
    • A23L5/57Chemical peeling or cleaning of harvested fruits, vegetables or other foodstuffs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23PSHAPING OR WORKING OF FOODSTUFFS, NOT FULLY COVERED BY A SINGLE OTHER SUBCLASS
    • A23P10/00Shaping or working of foodstuffs characterised by the products
    • A23P10/40Shaping or working of foodstuffs characterised by the products free-flowing powder or instant powder, i.e. powder which is reconstituted rapidly when liquid is added
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23VINDEXING SCHEME RELATING TO FOODS, FOODSTUFFS OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
    • A23V2002/00Food compositions, function of food ingredients or processes for food or foodstuffs

Abstract

The invention relates to a composition in the form of a powder. The composition is prepared by drying an aqueous paste or liquid suspension comprising avocado flesh from which at least part of the avocado oil has been removed. The composition may be used as a food ingredient and in cosmetic, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical compositions.

Description

POWDERED COMPOSITIONS AND PROCESS FOR PREPARING THEM
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to powdered products produced from avocado flesh, that are useful as ingredients in food products and also in other products such as nutraceuticals and cosmetics. The invention also relates to processes for preparing such products.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Avocados (Persea americana) are an attractive and versatile fruit. One major use of avocado flesh is of course in guacamole, but examples of other applications include as an ingredient in various food products such as salad dressings, soups and the like, and in baked products and snacks such as corn chips.
Avocados also have excellent nutritional qualities. Like olive oil, avocado oil contains predominantly monounsaturated fatty acids and is low in saturated fatty acids. It also contains the cholesterol-lowering sterol beta-sitosterol in significant amounts, as well as alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), and various pigments such as carotenes, xanthophylls and chlorophyll that act as antioxidants providing protection from disease by neutralising reactive free radicals that cause damage to tissues in the body. Avocado flesh also contains an appreciable quantity of soluble fibre.
One factor that limits the widespread use of avocado flesh in food products is that the fruit is seasonal and often not readily available all year round. Although guacamole can be frozen for subsequent use, it is necessary to defrost it before use, which is inconvenient. Also, both avocado flesh and processed guacamole oxidise and discolour rapidly when exposed to the atmosphere, and need to be used soon after opening.
It would therefore be desirable to have a convenient source of avocado flesh that does not require defrosting, that is preferably stable for several months under ambient storage conditions and that is available for use substantially all year round. It is an object of the present invention to provide a product derived from avocado flesh that at least provides the public with a useful alternative.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In a first aspect, the present invention provides a composition in the form of a powder, obtained by or obtainable by drying an aqueous paste or liquid suspension comprising avocado flesh from which at least part of the avocado oil has been removed.
In preferred embodiments, the composition comprises about 10% w/w to about 35% w/w oil, such as about 12% w/w to about 32% w/w, such as about 13% w/w to about 30% w/w, such as about 15% w/w to about 25% w/w, such as about 15% w/w to about 20% w/w, such as about 15% w/w, based on the total weight of the composition (including moisture).
In certain embodiments, the composition includes one or more inhibitors of enzymatic or oxidative browning, conveniently a water-soluble antioxidant, such as ascorbic acid.
In certain embodiments, the composition includes ascorbic acid, preferably in an amount of about 0.005% w/w to about 0.5% w/w, based on the total weight of the composition.
In certain embodiments, the composition includes one or more antioxidants that inhibit oxidation of fat, preferably an oil-based antioxidant such as butylhydroxyanisole, butylhydroxytoluene, ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl acetate.
In preferred embodiments, the composition comprises at least about 80% by weight, such as at least about 85% by weight, such as at least about 90% by weight, such as about 93% to about 98% by weight, such as about 92% to about 97% by weight, such as about 94% to about 96% by weight, such as about 95% by weight, components derived from avocado flesh. In a further aspect, the invention provides an avocado paste comprising a powder of the invention as defined above reconstituted with water.
In further aspects, the invention provides food products, pharmaceutical compositions, nutraceutical compositions and cosmetic compositions comprising an avocado powder of the invention or an avocado paste of the invention as defined above.
In a further aspect, the invention provides a process of preparing a composition in the form of a powder, the process comprising the step of drying an aqueous paste or liquid suspension comprising avocado flesh from which at least part of the avocado oil has been removed.
In preferred embodiments, the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is prepared by heating avocado flesh to a temperature sufficient to separate the avocado oil from the remainder of the avocado flesh, and removing the separated oil from the suspension.
In preferred embodiments, the avocado flesh is heated to a temperature of about 400C to about 480C, such as about 450C.
In preferred embodiments, at least about 50%, such as at least about 60%, such as at least about 70%, such as about 75% to about 95%, such as about 80% to about 90% of the avocado oil, is removed from the avocado flesh.
In preferred embodiments, the separated oil is removed from the suspension by centrifugation.
In preferred embodiments, solid waste (comprising residual skin and/or stone) is also removed from the aqueous paste or liquid suspension.
In preferred embodiments, the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is pre-concentrated by removing part of the water before drying. In certain embodiments, one or more inhibitors of enzymatic or oxidative browning, conveniently a non-toxic, water-soluble antioxidant, such as ascorbic acid, is added to the avocado flesh before the oil is removed or during the oil removal step.
In certain embodiments, one or more inhibitors of fat oxidation is added to the aqueous paste or liquid suspension after the oil has been removed, but before the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is dried.
In preferred embodiments, the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is pasteurized before drying.
In preferred embodiments, the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is dried by spray drying, drum drying or freeze drying.
In preferred embodiments, the powder composition is packaged under vacuum or in a reduced oxygen atmosphere, and/or in the presence of an oxygen scavenger, to reduce oxygen exposure and/or oxidation of the composition.
In a further aspect, the invention provides a composition in the form of a powder, obtained by or obtainable by a process as defined above.
In a further aspect, the present invention provides a process of preparing a composition in the form of an aqueous suspension or aqueous paste, the process comprising the steps of (a) removing at least part of the avocado oil from avocado flesh, and (b) removing part of the water content from the resulting aqueous suspension or paste, to obtain an aqueous suspension or paste having a lower water content than the initial suspension or paste obtained after step (a).
In still a further aspect the present invention provides an aqueous suspension or paste obtained by or obtainable by the above process.
Although the invention is broadly as defined above, it is not limited thereto and also includes embodiments of which the following description provides examples. DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURE
The invention will now be described in more detail and with reference to the accompanying Figure 1, which is a flow chart of a process of preparing an avocado powder composition of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
As described above, the invention relates to avocado powders and to processes for preparing such powders. Avocado powders of the invention are produced from avocado flesh from which part of the natural avocado oil content has been removed. The avocado powders of the invention,
at least in preferred embodiments, have a high proportion of natural avocado fruit composition, ie components that are derived from avocado flesh. In certain preferred embodiments the avocado powder may contain up to about 95% w/w (or higher) natural avocado fruit composition.
An avocado powder of the invention can therefore be described as a high purity, reduced fat, dehydrated avocado paste. The avocado powders of the invention, at least in preferred embodiments and when packaged in an appropriate manner to limit oil oxidation (eg using one or more of nitrogen flushing, vacuum packaging and oxygen scavenging systems), have a substantial shelf life, such at least about 8 months. They also rehydrate readily with water to form an avocado paste. Suitably, the avocado powders can be rehydrated by mixing in the desired quantity of water, depending on the texture required in the reconstituted product, and leaving the mixture to stand until the powder has hydrated. Generally, a standing time of about 10 minutes will be sufficient.
The above properties of the avocado powders of the invention give them a number of potential applications. For example, the powder and/or the reconstituted paste can be used in many foods in which it is desired to include natural avocado as an ingredient. Examples of such foods include guacamole, stuffing mixes, meat and chicken glazes, dressings, dips, spreads, hummus and soups. The avocado powders can also be used as an ingredient in bakery products, including bread making, savoury baking and in biscuits, and in snack food products such as com chips and potato chips. They can also be used as a partial flour replacement in gluten free breads.
As indicated above, the avocado powder compositions of the invention, at least in preferred embodiments, contain a high proportion of natural avocado fruit components. They therefore have similar nutritional qualities to those of fresh avocado fruit, but with reduced fat content. They contain a substantial amount (approximately 25% w/w) of soluble dietary fibre, as well as the cholesterol-lowering sterol beta-sitosterol in significant amounts, as well as alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), and various antioxidant pigments such as carotenes, xanthophylls and chlorophyll. They are also low in saturated fatty acids and high in monosaturated fatty acids. However, because the avocado powders of the invention are produced by drying an aqueous paste or liquid suspension comprising avocado flesh from which a portion of the oil content has been removed, the reconstituted powders have the added benefit of a reduced fat content when compared to fresh (or frozen) avocado pulp.
The avocado powders of the invention are also in a "concentrated" form, thereby having reduced bulk or weight as compared with avocado flesh or guacamole.
The nutritional qualities of the avocado powders of the present invention also make them suitable for use in pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical compositions. For example, the avocado powder may be incorporated in a capsule or tablet for use as a nutritional supplement or as a powdered ingredient in health food formulations.
The avocado powders of the invention may also be used in cosmetic compositions, eg as an ingredient in face masks and other skin and hair care products.
As indicated above, the avocado powders of the invention may be prepared by drying an aqueous paste or liquid suspension comprising avocado flesh from which some of the oil has been removed.
The applicants have found that by extracting a substantial portion of the oil from avocado flesh, the residual aqueous paste or liquid suspension remaining after removal of the oil can be readily dried to produce a green, free-flowing powder. It is generally preferred that at least about 50%, such as at least about 75% to about 95%, more preferably about 80% to about 90%, of the avocado oil is removed from the avocado flesh. The avocado powders of the invention, at least in preferred embodiments, can therefore be prepared without the need to add large amounts of bulking and dehydration aids such as maltodextrin and starch. This is turn means that the avocado powders of the invention typically have a high proportion (such as about 95% w/w) of natural avocado fruit content.
The avocado oil may be extracted from the avocado using any suitable process as known in the art, typically using an extraction temperature in the range of about 3O0C to about 8O0C. However, in certain preferred embodiments, the avocado powders of the invention are produced by drying an aqueous paste or liquid suspension that is obtained by extraction of avocado oil from avocado flesh using a cold pressing process, that is, an oil extraction process in which the steps in the process are carried out at temperatures of 5O0C or below, preferably about 400C to about 480C. Controlling the temperature to this level results in both the extracted oil and the oil remaining in the avocado paste having low acidity and rancidity.
A preferred process for preparing an avocado powder of the invention is outlined in Figure 1. First, harvested avocado fruit is sorted and its surface washed. The bulk (typically about 95%) of the skin and stones are removed, conveniently using a de- seeder apparatus.
The resulting avocado fruit paste is then warmed to about 4O0C to 5O0C, typically to about 450C to about 48°C, with stirring, for a sufficient time to release the oil from the avocado pulp, typically for approximately one hour. This step is conveniently carried out in a malaxer unit (such as a typical malaxer unit suitable for use in olive oil production). Although not essential, it is desirable that one or more inhibitors of enzymatic or oxidative browning, which may conveniently be a non-toxic, water- soluble antioxidant, such as ascorbic acid, is added at this stage to aid in retention of the green avocado colour. If ascorbic acid is used, it may conveniently be added in an amount of between about 5 mg and about 500 mg ascorbic acid per kilogram of avocado pulp. This corresponds to a level of between about 50 mg and 5000 mg ascorbic acid per kilogram in the final dry avocado powder product. Alternatively, the inhibitor of enzymatic or oxidative browning may be added at any later stage of the process if desired, such as after the oil has actually been removed from the avocado paste (as will be discussed below).
The oil content of avocados varies significantly depending on their level of maturity. Early fruit contains about 8% oil by weight, whereas the oil content of late season avocados can exceed about 20% by weight. The oil content of the final avocado powder will therefore vary depending on the oil content of the fruit. The efficiency of the process used to extract the avocado oil will also affect the oil content of the avocado powder. The extraction efficiency will in turn depend on the process conditions including extraction temperature and time, but generally at least 50% of the avocado oil is extracted, more typically about 75% to about 95%.
The oil content of the final avocado powder product may range from about 10% to about 35% (on a weight basis, including moisture content in the final product). In general, it is preferred that the oil content in the final powder is in the range of about 15% to about 25% by weight, such as about 15% to about 20%, for example about 15% by weight. The extraction efficiency required to achieve this oil content in the final avocado powder will vary according to the oil content of the avocado flesh, but for avocados of average ripeness this may typically require a level of extraction efficiency in the range of approximately 80% to 90%.
Once the oil has been released from the avocado pulp by the malaxing process, the released oil is separated from the remainder of the avocado pulp. The separation may be conveniently carried out by centrifugation, using suitable known apparatus such as a tricanter (a high-speed rotating separator with three outputs) or a decanter (with 2 outputs). Water may be added as desired to assist the flow of avocado pulp through the tricanter or decanter. The tricanter separates the avocado pulp into three fractions: an oil fraction (containing the avocado oil separated by the malaxing), an aqueous paste or suspension, and solid waste (mostly residual skin and stone and fibre). Alternatively, decanters can also be used which separate into two phases the oil and aqueous paste with no separate solids outlet. Suitable decanters are also known in the art of avocado oil extraction and are commercially available. Any particulate matter in the paste can be removed by screening or milling.
It is the aqueous paste or suspension obtained from the centrifugation process that is dried to produce the avocado powder of the present invention. This aqueous paste or suspension contains the residual oil not separated from the avocado flesh by the malaxing process, as well as the other natural components of the avocado fruit (mainly carbohydrates, dietary fibre and protein). It will be appreciated that the thickness/viscosity of the aqueous paste/suspension will vary, depending on the volume of water added to aid the separation of the components as discussed above.
The avocado paste/suspension may be dried using any convenient method known in the art of food technology, such as in a continuous manner by either drum drying or spray drying. Alternatively, it may be freeze dried, using a batch freeze drying process. In a preferred embodiment, spray drying is used. Drying of the aqueous paste produces a fine, free flowing powder that contains a high proportion of natural avocado solids, such as about 95% by weight.
The avocado paste/suspension may optionally be subjected to one or more further processing steps before drying. It may be treated to remove any particulate matter that may remain, conveniently by passing it though a fine screen. It is also desirable that the aqueous paste/suspension is pasteurized.
Also, the aqueous paste/suspension may optionally be pre-concentrated before drying, ie some of the water content removed. This may conveniently be achieved by evaporation or membrane filtration, using known techniques. For example, a membrane filter having a pore size of up to about 1.5 micron, may be used. Suitable membrane filtration equipment is commercially available. The pre-concentration step is not essential but has the benefit that it can increase the efficiency of the subsequent drying step, and it may reduce thermal damage to the final product. Such pre- concentrated aqueous pastes and suspensions may also optionally be added directly to food and other compositions, ie without first drying them to a powder. Accordingly, the pre- concentrated aqueous pastes and suspensions form further aspects of the invention.
It is preferred that the avocado powder is packaged in a manner that limits oil oxidation and thereby enhances the shelf life of the product. For example, the powder may be sealed in plastic containers, using a combination of one or more of vacuum packaging, nitrogen flushing and/or an oxygen scavenging system (eg an oxygen absorbing sachet), to minimise the amount of oxygen inside the package. An avocado powder of the invention packaged in this way will typically have a long shelf life, eg about 8 months or longer.
Optionally, to further enhance the stability of the product, one or more fat antioxidants, such as butylhydroxyanisole, butylhydroxytoluene, ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl acetate, may be added. This may be desirable in cases where the avocado powder of the present invention has a relatively high oil content, such as about 25% w/w or above. If a fat antioxidant is used, this should desirably added at a stage in the process after the avocado oil has been extracted, and conveniently before drying of the aqueous paste or liquid suspension.
As described above, in preferred embodiments, the avocado powders of the present invention can be prepared by drying an aqueous paste/suspension as described herein without the need to add large quantities of bulking and dehydration aids, such as maltodextrin or starch. However, if the avocado fruit used to prepare the powder is very ripe, so that the oil content of the final powder will be high (eg above about 25% w/w), it may be desirable to add small quantities of such agents to enhance the flow characteristics of the powder.
The avocado powders of the invention have a number of potential applications as a food ingredient, as outlined above. If it is desired to use the avocado powder in the form of a moist paste, the powder may be reconstituted readily by mixing it with water, and allowing it to stand for a sufficient time to allow it to rehydrate, such as about 10 minutes. The proportion of water added to rehydrate the powder will vary depending on the oil content of the powder and the desired texture of the reconstituted paste.
However, typically, an avocado powder of the invention may be rehydrated by adding about 5.5 parts water to 1 part avocado powder (by weight).
As described above, a composition of the invention may be in the form of a powder. It will be appreciated that the powder will typically not be completely free of water, but will usually contain some residual moisture, such as about 2% to 7% by weight, typically about 5 % by weight. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the term "drying", as used herein, includes a process in which sufficient water is removed from an aqueous paste or aqueous suspension to form a composition having the texture of a powder.
The invention will now be described in further detail with reference to the following non-limiting example of a process of preparing an avocado powder composition of the invention.
EXAMPLE
The plant used to produce the avocado powder was constructed from stainless steel and food-grade plastic materials.
Avocado fruit is dumped into a hopper from regular orchard fruit bins, and is then passed out of the hopper at a regulated rate, into a washing and sorting area. The wash water is provided from a water blaster unit.
Washed fruit passes via a conveyor into a de-seeder that removes the stones and skins and produces a fruit pulp.
This pulp is pumped through a flexible hose into one of several malaxer units. Each malaxer has a temperature-controlled hot water jacket that is filled from a water-heater unit outside the entry door of the unit. Each malaxer holds approximately 800 kg of avocado pulp. The malaxers have discharge valves that open into a common conveying screw.
Fruit pulp is heated to around 450C to release the oil from the pulp. Ascorbic acid is added at between 5 and 500 mg/Kg to help prevent oxidative browning.
When the pulp has been in the malaxer unit for approximately one hour the discharge valve is opened and pulp passes through the conveying screw to a mono pump.
A water pump supplies water to the in-feed or the discharge of the mono pump. The rate of water flow is adjusted by means of a valve and a flow meter.
The mono pump has a variable rate so that the feed to the tricanter centrifugation apparatus can be adjusted. It is a positive-displacement auger pump with a variable- drive gearbox. The feed rate can be adjusted from 0 up to 120 litres/minute. Water is added as required to assist the flow of pulp through the tricanter. This means that both the rate of flow and the proportion of water to the pulp can be adjusted.
The tricanter is a high-speed rotating separator with three outputs. It separates the oil, liquid paste and solid waste.
The incoming pulp is pumped into a central distribution pipe from where it is flung against the outside of the vessel by centrifugal force. A scroll, moving at a slightly lower speed, forces the solids towards the solids discharge end of the tricanter. Liquid is expelled from the solids by the centrifugal force and separates into an annulus ring with the heavier aqueous phase on the outside and the lighter oil on the inside.
The liquid paste is accumulated at the front end of the tricanter and may be skimmed from the annulus as separate oil and water outputs. The liquid paste is passed through a fine screen to remove any particulate matter before being pasteurized, and then pre-concentrated by evaporation or membrane filtration.
The concentrated paste is then dried in a continuous manner, by either spray drying or drum drying, to produce a fine free flowing green powder.
The finished product is packed in plastic laminate bags and sealed under vacuum or in the presence of an oxygen scavenging system to prevent oxidation.
The avocado powder readily constitutes in the presence of water to produce a smooth, green, reduced fat avocado paste suitable for use in food and pharmaceutical products.
The nutritional composition of an avocado powder of the invention prepared by a process as described above, and of an avocado paste prepared by reconstituting the powder at a ratio of 5.5 g water: 1 g powder, is set out below.
Typical nutritional information per lOOg Reconstituted paste Powder
Energy (kJ) 295 1917 Protein (g) 1.6 10.2
Fat- total (g) 5.4 35.0
Fat - Saturated (g) 0.5 3.4
Carbohydrate -total (g) 2.7 17.6
Carbohydrate as sugars (g) 0.3 1.9 Dietary Fibre (g) 3.8 25.0
Ash (g) 1.2 7.6
Sodium (mg) 8.5 51.0
Beta Sitosterol mg 32 210
Vitamin E as Total Tocopherols (iu) 0.8 4.9 Microbiological Standards
Aerobic Plate Count cfu/g <5x 10E3
Total Coliforms /g <25
Salmonella /25g Absent The specific methods and compositions described herein are representative of preferred embodiments and are exemplary and not intended as limitations on the scope of the invention. Other objects, aspects and embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art upon consideration of this specification, and are encompassed within the scope and spirit of the invention. It will be readily apparent to one skilled in the art that varying substitutions and modifications may be made to the invention disclosed herein without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. The invention illustratively described herein suitably may be practised in the absence of any element or elements, or limitation or limitations, which is not specifically disclosed herein as essential. Thus, for example, in each instance herein, in embodiments or examples of the present invention, the terms "comprising", "including", "containing" etc are to be read expansively and without limitation.

Claims

1. A composition in the form of a powder, wherein the composition has been obtained by drying an aqueous paste or liquid suspension comprising avocado flesh from which at least part of the avocado oil has been removed.
2. A composition according to claim 1, wherein avocado oil is present in an amount of from about 10% to about 35% by weight of the composition.
3. A composition according to claim 1, wherein avocado oil is present in an amount of from about 15% to about 25% by weight of the composition.
4. A composition according to claim 1, wherein avocado oil is present in an amount of from about 15% to about 20% by weight of the composition.
5. A composition according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising one or more inhibitors of enzymatic or oxidative browning.
6. A composition according to claim 5, wherein the inhibitor of enzymatic or oxidative browning comprises a water-soluble antioxidant.
7. A composition according to claim 6, wherein the water-soluble antioxidant is ascorbic acid, and is present in the composition in an amount of from about 0.005% to about 0.5% by weight of the composition.
8. A composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the composition comprises at least about 85% by weight components derived from avocado flesh.
9. A composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the composition comprises at least about 90% by weight components derived from avocado flesh.
10. A composition according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the composition comprises about 92% to about 97% by weight components derived from avocado flesh.
11. A composition according to any one of the preceding claim wherein the composition further comprises one or more antioxidants that inhibit oxidation of fat.
12. A composition according to claim 11, wherein the antioxidant is selected from the group consisting of butylhydroxyanisole, butylhydroxytoluene, ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbyl acetate.
13. A composition in the form of a paste, comprising a composition according to any one of the preceding claims reconstituted with water to form a paste.
14. A food product comprising a composition according to any one of claims 1 to 13.
15. A cosmetic composition comprising a composition according to any one of claims 1 to 13.
16. A nutraceutical composition, nutritional supplement or pharmaceutical composition comprising a composition according to any one of claims 1 to 13.
17. A process for preparing a composition in the form of a powder, the process comprising the step of drying an aqueous paste or liquid suspension comprising avocado flesh from which at least part of the avocado oil has been removed.
18. A process according to claim 17, where the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is prepared by heating avocado flesh to a temperature sufficient to separate the avocado oil from the remainder of the avocado flesh, and removing the separated oil from the suspension.
19. A process according to claim 18, wherein the avocado flesh is heated to a temperature of from about 4O0C to about 480C.
20. A process according to any one of claims 17 to 19, wherein about 75% to about 95% of the avocado oil is removed from the avocado flesh.
21. A process according to any one of claims 18 to 20 wherein the separated oil is removed from the suspension by centrifugation.
22. A process according to any one of claims 17 to 21 wherein solid waste comprising residual skin and/or stone is also removed from the aqueous paste or liquid suspension.
23. A process according to any one of claims 17 to 22, wherein the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is pre-concentrated by removing part of the water from the aqueous paste or liquid suspension before drying it to form a powder.
24. A process according to any one of claims 17 to 23, wherein the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is pasteurized before drying.
25. A process according to any one of claims 17 to 24, wherein the drying step is selected from the group consisting of spray drying, drum drying or freeze drying.
26. A process according to any one of claims 17 to 25, wherein one of more inhibitors of enzymatic or oxidative browning is added to the avocado flesh before the oil is removed or during the oil removal step.
27. A process according to any one of claims 17 to 26, wherein one or more inhibitors of fat oxidation is added to the aqueous paste or liquid suspension after the oil has been removed, but before the aqueous paste or liquid suspension is dried.
28. A process according to any one of claims 17 to 27, further comprising the step of packaging the powdered composition, wherein the packaging is carried out under vacuum or in a reduced oxygen atmosphere, and/or in the presence of an oxygen scavenger.
29. A composition in the form of a powder, obtained by or obtainable by a process as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 28.
30. A process of preparing a composition in the form of an aqueous suspension or aqueous paste, the process comprising the steps of (a) removing at least part of the avocado oil from avocado flesh, and (b) removing part of the water content from the resulting aqueous suspension or paste to obtain an aqueous suspension or paste having a lower water content than the initial suspension or paste obtained after step (a).
31. An aqueous suspension or paste obtained by or obtainable by a process as claimed in claim 30.
32. A food product comprising a composition according to claim 31.
33. A cosmetic composition comprising a composition according to claim 31.
34. A nutraceutical composition, nutritional supplement or pharmaceutical composition, comprising a composition according to claim 31.
PCT/NZ2007/000051 2006-03-16 2007-03-13 Powdered compositions and processes for preparing them WO2007105969A1 (en)

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