Food technologists and chefs alike know that the versatility and functionality of California Raisins is absolutely unlimited.
- Texture / Fat Replacement: California Raisins are plump, fresh tasting and have a soft “chew” that mimics fat and richness. Raisins act as a fat-replacer in baked goods without the addition of significant amounts of water and offer pleasant chewiness in a wide range of products. They are not gritty and typically free from large sugar crystals. California Raisins function well in fat-free baked goods, cookies and cakes.
- Texture and Skin Integrity: The skin of the California Raisin is not easily damaged by processing aids or by other processes. Therefore, raisins retain their shape and integrity during preparation. In fact, raisins plump during microwaving and baking, building volume and mouthfeel.
- Binding: California Raisin sugars create a firm texture that can help bind dry ingredients in foods such as bars, snacks, cookies, desserts and other dishes.
- Water Activity: At the same moisture content, California Raisins generally have a lower water activity than other dried vine fruits because of their intact skin and fructose-glucose content. This prevents migration of moisture to or from ingredients in preparations and allows them to be added to recipes without concern for adding unneeded moisture.
- Emulsifying: Raisins have a great emulsifying quality in vinaigrettes and other preparations. They can exhibit a rich earthiness that adds surprising character and depth to dishes that might include ancho or guajillo chile peppers.