“Fizzy Fruit” combines the health benefits of fruit and the pizzazz of a bottle of soda.
Imagine biting into a juicy apple, a pear, or a slice of Hermiston watermelon and having your mouth come alive with a zinging, fizzy sensation.
That will soon be possible thanks to the efforts of OSU researchers who are working on getting Fizzy Fruit to market.
The carbonated fruit was discovered accidentally by Galen Kaufman, a Texas scientist, who bit into a pear that had been in a cooler chilled with dry ice. He sensed a delightful fizziness in the fruit and quickly figured out that some of the dry ice in the cooler had changed from a solid into carbon dioxide gas and entered the fruit.
He contacted the Oregon Food Innovation Center in Portland, a joint effort of OSU and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, asking for the center’s help in developing a patentable process for carbonating fruit on a commercial scale.
OSU’s Qingyue Ling, product development engineer for the Food Innovation Center, came up with designs to make the manufacture of fizzy fruit feasible on a large-scale basis. Patents are now pending, with OSU and Kaufman’s company, Fizzy Fruit North America, as co-owners.
The inventor and the OSU researchers say the fizzy fruit may encourage people to eat healthier by choosing fruit instead of other snack foods. Ling says it could become a big hit with school children and their parents. “Children like something fun like fizzy fruit,” says Ling. “And their mothers like the fact that their kids will be eating more fruit. Eating more fruit will also help with the national obesity epidemic.”