Why specialists recommend Vitaina’s dehydrated fruits
If fruit is dehydrated so as to preserve all of its nutritional values it becomes the ideal food for the diet of children, adults, athletes and the elderly. In fact, increasingly more nutritionists recommend it instead of or to supplement fresh fruit.
With the aid of biologist and nutritionist Simona Bifolchi, we tried to understand if the products obtained through our cold anti-oxidative dehydration method called Soft-DRY® meet the expectations of specialists. “Firstly -explains Dr. Bifolchi- we must understand that dehydrated fruit is a very different product category than dried fruit. In fact it is fresh fruit that has gone through a water elimination process, therefore it maintains all of its components except for the liquid part. This makes it possible to have a greater concentration of nutrients, naturally depending on what production method is used. These are very sensitive compounds – the nutritionist specifies – and if they are subjected to high temperatures for example, they might cease their activities or even deteriorate”.
Vitaina dehydrated fruit passed the first test: by removing the liquids at temperatures below 40 degrees and avoiding oxidation, the Soft-DRY® method makes it possible to keep minerals, vitamins and antioxidants intact.
Another important aspect is just how natural the product is, which determines what specific food category it belongs to. To be clear, dehydrated fruit belongs to the ‘Fruit’ category in nutritionist-recommended diets, as long as there is no added sugar.“Dehydration – explains Dr. Bifolchi- brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit, so much so that there is often the doubt as to whether it should be considered fresh fruit or dessert. This is the second aspect that needs to be immediately addressed: dehydrated fruit, in terms of nutritional composition, can be considered fresh fruit and not a sweet. The reason why dehydrated fruit is considered to be fresh fruit is because its sugars are not considered ‘free sugars’ like standard sugar used to make cakes. This has considerable implications in terms of health, in relation to both the glycemic index developed by the consumption of this product, as to its potential cariogenic effect on teeth”.
Vitaina products easily pass this test too: they all come exclusively from organic and controlled biodynamic farming and do not contain any additives, whether chemical or natural sugars or preservatives.
Recognising the quality of our dehydrated fruit
Our packaging offers the maximum levels of transparency. It is important to us to immediately provide all of our fruit’s certifications (like the rectangle with stars in the shape of a leaf, the European Organic logo, or the Demeter marking, which tell us that the food comes from organic or controlled biodynamic farming) and our nutritional tables contain plenty of information. This not only means that we have invested in scientific research to guarantee consumers with the maximum quality, but also how proud we are to convey the value of our products. With these details we hope to earn the trust of choosy and demanding specialists and customers.
According to Dr. Bifolchi, “nutritionists suggest buying dehydrated fruit that ensures specific quality-related guarantees, that take into account the transformation process and the raw material. Reading the label provides us with a lot of information: in a pack of dehydrated apple, if the sole ingredient is apple, we can feel satisfied. There are many brands of dehydrated fruit on the market with added sugar and this makes us think that the fruit in question might not have been processed when it was ripe. Sulphites are used increasingly more often, which are needed to preserve food longer but they can, in people who are sensitive to these substances, cause unpleasant effects”.
The nutritional table deserves a close look:
“The packaging of food intended for human consumption -states Dr Bifolchi- must state the calories, the total fatty acids (of which saturated fatty acids as well), carbohydrates (of which sugars as well), fibres, proteins and salt. But what is not required to be stated on the packaging is what makes this all the more interesting. The inclusion of non-compulsory data is the choice of the manufacturer who, however, in order to declare certain nutritional claims, must observe what is expressly stated in Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 and (EC) No. 1924/2006. This means, for example, that if you want to say that a product has a high vitamin E content, it is necessary to ensure, through specific analyses, that it contains a real amount equal to at least what is required by the regulations of the European parliament and council. Otherwise it is equivalent to food fraud”.
Vitaina fruit in functional food
The characteristics of Vitaina dehydrated fruit are excellent for what nutritionists refer to as functional food. Because, like Dr. Bifolchi says “dehydrated fruit is particularly suited for people who are looking for the type of food that creates benefits for the body. Firstly because it maintains high nutritional values by concentrating fibres, vitamins and mineral salts that are essential to health. Fibre in particular has multiple functions: it nourishes the positive bacterial flora of our gastrointestinal system making it possible to produce substances that are helpful to our body and that help regular bowel movements (a clean gut is less prone to inflammation and when it is healthy you can feel it throughout the entire body). Mineral salts strengthen the body and help prevent many illnesses. Without leaving out the concentrated values of polyphenols, compounds which are known to science for their antioxidant properties, capable of preventing various diseases. The capacity to assimilate nutrients – the doctor concludes – depends on the health of the person consuming them, as there are conditions that partially or completely prevent nutrients from food from being absorbed. When we want to get the most out a food, we also have to understand that we need to be healthy. This means paying attention to everything we eat, because gut health also depends on a correct diet”.
Who should eat dehydrated fruit
Our dehydrated fruit is suitable for every type of person. According to nutritionists, only the recommended amounts change. “With children -according to Dr. Bifolchi- it helps to get them used to eating fruit, as it is important to them as people in developmental stages. The shape and variety of the colours, the sweet taste and the practical portions are elements that make this food much more appealing than the ‘hydrated’ version. Naturally this also applies to adults. Then there is the aspect that concerns athletes. Anyone who does a certain level of exercise needs a lot of energy and dehydrated fruit provides the advantage of getting a lot in a small volume, with less strain on the digestive system. For example, if the recommendation is 10 portions of fresh fruit per day, this amount can be translated into the equivalent of dehydrated fruit. The ratio is usually 10:1, therefore if I eat 30 grams of dehydrated apple, it is the same as eating 350 grams of fresh apple. Lastly there is the practical aspect: dehydrated fruit occupies less space and it can be eaten faster than fresh fruit, which is a big deal for people who need to eat quickly or immediately after a workout.
The factors mentioned above represent clear advantages, “even if – the nutritionist recommends – it is necessary to maintain a basic balanced diet”. In this sense, Vitaina specifically developed the portions, and therefore the quantity contained in the packages, to fulfil the nutritional and energy needs in the various times of the day.
Dehydrated fruits inside your healthy diet
A nutritious snack to enjoy between meetings, the ideal snack for our children, already portioned and packed to go, a quick refill of energy for people who practice sports. Today we know that the consumption of dehydrated fruit, because it is good for us and practical, is recommended by doctors and nutritionists around the world for people who wish to adopt a healthy lifestyle or those who need a nutrient-rich diet, such as children and people who practice sports. For this reason we check the benefits of our products through constant laboratory analyses.
People very often enter questions in search engines such as: is it good or bad for you to eat dehydrated fruit? What are the benefits and contraindications of dried fruit? The answer is clearly found in our nutritional tables. They are the result of extensive studies on the finished product by a team of researchers of the University of Tuscia who we provided with a ‘mini’ version of our Soft-DRY® dehydrator.
The fruit that’s good for you
Every 100 grams of our green kiwi, for example, contains 140 mg of Vitamin C, equal to 175% of the recommended daily intake for the average adult, in addition to high values of potassium, copper, fibre and other precious vitamins. Our pear has an elevated content of phosphorus and manganese, our strawberries are rich in calcium and magnesium. And last but not least, for the many reasons listed here, our dehydrated fruit is good. And it has a characteristic that makes it a suitable ingredient for dozens of preparations: dehydration is reversible, just add a small amount of water and it will recover most of its original consistency.
This makes it suitable for sweet and savoury recipes. We offer a few on our website, but we invite our most creative customers to help us explore the potential. We have succeeded in making an even healthier and nourishing dehydrated fruit than the traditional version. How did we do it? Thanks to a one-of-a-kind system that introduces complex slow and low temperature dehydration methods and leaves the natural properties of the food completely unchanged
Richer and more genuine, the secret of our dehydrated fruit is in the Soft-DRY method®
We created the Soft-DRY® cold anti-oxidative dehydration method and it is truly our pride and joy, because it is the result of years of research and today it allows us to maintain very high levels of fibers, minerals and especially vitamins that are often lost in water extraction processes. By analysing products available on the market we have, in fact, discovered that the many virtues of dried or dehydrated fruit can be neutralised by processing methods that promote numbers more than quality.
With frying, microwave or traditional oven cooking, there are many methods that save companies’ time and money but that diminish the benefits of the raw material, also ruining the appearance and taste of the product. They then adjust these latter characteristics with the use of salts, sugars, colorants and preservatives. Nothing could be further from what we had in mind when we began this adventure.
A journey beyond quality guided by our ideals
When we founded Vitaina, we set ourselves the aim of encouraging consumers to return to nature, to genuine and healthy foods. And we immediately realised that this meant paying close attention to every detail. It would not have been enough to focus on the quality of the product, perfecting an innovative cold drying method (below 40 degrees centigrade) that was also able to avoid the primary threat to the many natural properties of fruit, i.e. oxidation. Since it would not have been enough to offer our consumers a brand new fruit on the market such as Red kiwi, or very high level dehydrated tubers such as Demeter turmeric or Demeter ginger.
Environmental respect and scientific research
We therefore set ourselves two fundamental rules, that we believe need to set the standard for all food companies today: to respect the environment and to continuously avail of scientific research. For this reason we only use organic fruit from our farms where it is harvested, hand cut, dehydrated and packaged in a single short supply chain at our facilities. We set up processing centres just a few metres from the orchards therefore we process at zero miles, eliminating any emissions that would otherwise be produced to transport the goods. Plus we are currently making our packaging 100% recyclable and compostable. But there is another factor we are particularly proud of: our industrial model produces zero waste. This means that no fruit ends up in the garbage.
We all know that large retailers throw away food with the slightest aesthetic defects, like a small black spot on a banana or a tiny bruise on an apple. This fruit is not rotten, it is just as healthy and good as the perfect-looking fruit, just less attractive to consumers. We are talking about fruit picked at the perfect ripeness, and when it is peeled it is completely healthy. We are able to make the most of its value, extending its life by more than six months without ever adding neither chemical nor natural preservatives.
FreshPlaza is talking about us
Fresh Plaza, the renowned international website which focuses on the fruit and vegetables industry, is featuring an interview with the co-founder of Vitania, Maximilian Faulner. Vitania is an Italian start-up that gave birth to Soft-DRY®, an innovative cold antioxidative dehydration method that enhances and helps maintain the nutritional values of fresh fruit including fibres, vitamins and mineral salts.
Covered in the interview is the personal narrative of three young businessmen and the path that led them to launch the brand, making a range of genuine high quality products and developing a business model based on environmentally sustainable and scientifically backed research.
The interview also features a segment on exclusive organic and bio-dynamic innovations, such as Agro Pontino’s exquisite red and yellow kiwis, known not only for their precious vitamins but in particular for their delicious taste.
Lastly, the interview exposes the entrepreneurial aspirations of Vitaina’s co-founders who are driven by their desire to lead the way in setting higher standards for the food industry.