Organic, All-Fruit Bars Bear Out Value of ARS
Process By Marcia Wood September 17, 2007
Flavorful, all-fruit snack bars, made from organically grown apples
and berries, stay moist and chewy for up to 24 months, without the need for
artificial preservatives. That's thanks to an innovative process developed by
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
scientists in California.
The organic bars are marketed under the Bear Fruit Bar brand by
Mountain Organic Foods LLC of Hood
River, Ore. The company holds a license from ARS, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief
scientific research agency, to use the patented technology.
Food technologist and research leader
McHugh at ARS'
Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., worked with agricultural
engineer Charles C. Huxsoll, now retired from ARS, to perfect a technique for
processing fruits and vegetables into convenient, all-natural bars that can be
enjoyed year-round, not just when these highly perishable foods are in season.
McHugh directs the ARS
Foods Research Unit at Albany.
After two years of research and development, ARS began licensing the
technology to food processors. Mountain Organic Foods began using the process
in 2005 and now sells its apple, apple-blueberry, apple-cherry and
apple-raspberry bars in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
The bars make a healthful, convenient snack that slips easily into a
child's lunch sack, or an adult's purse or briefcase. The bars are also handy
for taking along on a camping or backpacking trip, or other outdoor adventure.
These snacksand other fruit- and vegetable-based products now
being developed by McHugh's teamcan help Americans meet recommended
dietary guidelines for
fruits and vegetables. Nearly 80 percent of all American adults fall short of