What's happening in the blueberry FoodTech World

Friday, August 31, 2018

Food Ingredients India -Blueberry HQ!

Welcome to the Blueberry Lounge!   This is a trade-only event and this year we are cooperating with ten different ingredient sellers who carry, frozen, dried and further processed blueberries.   We have plenty of space in the USHBC booth and meetings are happening continually.  Note: the gentleman in the Real t shirt is from a local foodservice supply company who sells frozen blueberries 5-star hotels in South India.

Raj Kapoor meets with companies looking for dried blueberries.

August 2018 - New Product of the Month

Interesting marketing -  one apple and 20 blueberries!  That's it!

Teaching the Teachers in Taiwan

USHBC cooperated with the (American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and Tunghai University in Taichung (Central Taiwan) on a one day training seminar (August 31, 2018) for culinary teachers in the region.  The concept: Train the trainers about US blueberries for hotel and restaurant professionals.  They will train students who will be the workforce as friends of blueberry!  Above) Executive Chef from Taiwan hotel chain demonstrates US blueberries to teachers and trainers from throughout the Taichung region.   These teachers influence hundreds of students each year who enter the hotel and restaurant profession.   Now they are experts on fresh and frozen blueberries.

Mandy Chen aka. "Blueberry Mandy" starts things out with an overview of US blueberries.

Next, executive chef demonstrates making superb desserts with blueberries including plating and presentation.

The Results!

The perfect blueberry cheesecake!

A meat dish with a signature blueberry steak sauce!   

Many thanks to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) especially Cleo Fu, a longtime booster of blueberries!   Also thanks to the Department of Hospitality Management at Tunghai University in Taichung as well as the Department of Animal Sciences and Biotechnology (Food Science Department).  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

USHBC Debut in Colombia!

USHBC will initiate promotional activities September 5-6 at the Expo Alimentec in Bogotá Colombia.   This is an industry only show attended by food industry professionals.  (Similar to the Institute of Food Technologists in the USA),   This event will precede the 1st ever Blueberry Awards which will be held in a seminar and gala event held at the premiere culinary school in Colombia.   Celebrity Chef Eric Thomas from Sao Paulo Brazil will conduct a demonstration of highbush blueberry ingredients.   Stay tuned for information on this exciting event!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

By Popular Demand - Here is the Brigadeiro Recipe!

Food Ingredients South America (FISA) was a hit!  For three days, the Blueberry FoodTech team met a continual stream of interesting companies!    To liven things up, we served a traditional Brazilian Brigadeiro treat.   You all know that Brazilians love things sweet.  This is the leading sugar producing country in the world.  This traditional confectionery is made with sugar, condensed milk and now--Blueberries!

The World is Flat...FISA is an international exhibition of food ingredient suppliers and regional food industries.  This included a large delegation of exhibitors from China (see mascot post) and India.   On day one our neighbor booth from Mumbai came by and tasted the blueberry brigadeiro. They loved it and came back again and again.  Evidently the taste of the condensed milk and sugar is similar to the Indian ice cream treat called "kulfi."  Word spread throughout the Indian exhibitors and dozens of new "brigadeiro friends" stopped in again and again. Some pledged to return to India and give it a try -- with blueberries of course!

Background:  The Brigadeiro is a "traditional" sweet which was actually created in the 1940s and has grown in popularity since.   The name is traced back to a national election where a Military Brigadier General named Eduardo Gomes was an extremely popular candidate.  The campaign slogan aimed at female voters: "Vote for the Brigadier General who is handsome and single."  The ultra-sweet Brigadeiro confection was created during the campaign as a fund raiser at election rallies.   The candy was a big success, but unfortunately the candidate lost the election.  But the candy grew in popularity and the name Brigadeiro has stuck!  Typically this is a home-made candy and every family has a home recipe.   It is also a commercial confectionery filling that is sold in high-end retail shops.  Brazilians are normally food purists when it comes to national items like caipirinhas (rum beverage) and feijoada (bean stew)  -- but a new generation of consumer loves to experiment with new flavors:  Introducing  the blueberry brigadeiro!


Brigadeiro in a cup with blueberry and milk powder.


For the blueberry jam:

1 cup of frozen blueberries

2 Tsp of fresh lemon juice

2 Tsp of blueberry concentrate juice (optional)

1 can (395g) of condensed milk

a pinch of  salt

1 Tsp of unsalted butter

200 mL of table cream

1 cup of powder milk

Prepare the blueberry jam:

1. In a saucepan, combine frozen blueberries, lemon and blueberry concentrate juice. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the liquid has started thicken. Crush the blueberries with the back of a spoon to release the juice of the fruit. Set aside.

Prepare the blueberries:

2. Combine butter, salt and condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat. Stir well until butter is melted.

3. Add table cream and powder milk. Continuously stir until mixture thickens and you see the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again. Add the blueberry jam and stir until well combined.

4. Remove from heat, transfer to a plate and let it cool to room temperature.

5. Put in small cups.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Food Ingredients India Exposition

The excitement is building in Delhi, India for the opening of the Food Ingredients India (FII) Exposition.  This is the big event for the Indian food industry and manufacturers from throughout the region will attend.    This year, USHBC has an extra large booth and several local suppliers of blueberries will attend and products are shown in a showcase  Having local cooperation with suppliers is key.   Although US highbush blueberries are extremely popular in India-- few companies are capable of importing direct for full container loads.    FI is a great place to connect!

Below: is the USHB booth ready for action!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Brazilian Super Blueberry Chef!

Chef Mueller in Brazil is an icon in the culinary scene.   He also loves blueberries!   When Katia met up with him at the first ever Blueberry Festival in Southern Brazil  -- they planed lots of blueberries in his upcoming cookbook.  Here it is!!!

Now, how is this for blueberry inclusion in a cook book!

Chef Mueller has his own television show demonstrating modern Brazilian cuisine.  He has a large following throughout this vast country!

Feijoada (beans) are the national dish of Brazil.   Remarkably, blueberries balance some of the saltiness of the dish!

 Seafood with Blueberries

"Frango" means young chicken and blueberries make it better!

 Bacalao is the real national dish of Portugese speaking Brazil!   Not my favorite, but just add blueberries and I am in!

Nice thing about this cookbook is that it tells readers where to buy blueberries locally!

Thanks to Katia and Chef Mueller for a great collaboration.  You may ask what is a cookbook doing on the Food Tech Blog?  Food processors are consumers too and they love to see innovation.   Celebrity endorsement by a superstar like Chef Mueller goes a long way in influencing new product ideas and development.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Dried Fruit Hub India - Goes Blueberries!

Now, this is really big!  Yes a 1 kg (2.2 lb)  pack of USA dried blueberries sold by the leading online seller of dried fruits and spices in India.   Check out their web site: www.driedfruithub.com   After meetings with our Raj Kapoor, they are now including dried blueberries.   They are major sellers of fruit through Amazon India.  

And, if this isn't enough (as they say in the online biz) They plan to add the Real Blueberries Seal!  

As the late great Ron Popeil of "Veg-o-Matic" fame would say -- That's Amazing!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Frozen Blueberries on the Way to Kolkata

Back in 1833, a New England entrepreneur cut ice from local ponds and shipped more than 16,000 miles and four months at sea to arrive in Calcutta, India.    Most of the 180 ton cargo survived.   The locals were so happy with the Gen and Tonics and Ice Cream made from the ice that they constructed an elaborate ice house!

History Channel Link

Now the city in West Bengal is called Kolkata.  This week, a 40 foot ocean container of frozen blueberries have been packed and loaded for delivery to Calcutta as part of the USHBC Quality Samples Program (QSP).  USHBC received funding ship samples of frozen blueberries to India to be used for market development in the Eastern part of India.   USHBC utilized the QSP program previously to ship frozen blueberry samples for market development in the Western part of the country including Mumbai and Delhi.  These initial samples have led to regular frozen blueberry business in hotels, restaurants and food industries as well as filling and fruit preps for further sales to dairies and other food industries.

Familiarization.  Frozen samples are provided for initial familiarization.  Some are unfamiliar with frozen fruits and they can taste and see.

Further experimentation.  Companies who show further interest receive larger samples for testing, trials and product development.

Product Development.   USHBC provides technical assistance in the region and works with suppliers to show uses and applications.

Anticipated result!   The Indian food industry is huge and our goal is to get the entire load into the field within three months of arrival.

1.       250 companies reached with samples, 5 distributors

2.       180 companies receiving technical assistance from USHBC, documented in log and contact evidence.

3.       65 companies who request follow-up samples for trials, log of communications.

4.       35 new products launched in next five years as a result of samples and technical assistance.   New product report.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Food Ingredients South America (FISA)

Bom Dia from Sao Paulo Brazil.   This is day two of the largest food ingredient exposition in the region.   This is a trade-only exposition and suppliers are from throughout Latin America which includes, Central America, Caribbean, South America and that other huge Latin-American country: USA!    We attended a few years back and it was a small gathering of suppliers and visitors.  Now this has boomed with three huge halls, monster exhibits from some of the leading multi national and regional food ingredient companies (ADM, Cargill...)   Attendees are from all over the region and include research and development, suppliers and factory owners.  Already, we have met with super interesting companies including Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, and just about all!    

Katia Miura, Food Engineer promotes USA blueberries throughout Latin America.   Here she offers blueberry Brigaderos, a traditional Brazilian confectionery with a blueberry twist!   Visitors are from some of the leading food processing companies from throughout the region.  

>Five years ago, we had to explain what a blueberry was.  Now manufacturers are asking for ingredient solutions to get this popular fruit into their product line.
>>Ice Cream companies look for dried-infused, and puree concentrate.  
>>Jam manufactures look for soft skinned high brix blueberries.  
>>Juice companies want to blend with blueberry juice concentrate.
>>Snack food companies are interested in powders, flakes and crumbles for extrusion into chips and bars.

Even manufacturers from countries which produce fresh blueberries are in line at the USHBC booth!

Obrigado -- Brazil

Muchas Gracias  --  Latinoamérica

Thank you USA blueberry industry for the support to keep working this developing market!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

China Blueberry Mascot

Bon Dia from Sao Paulo Brazil and the Food Ingredients South America Exposition.  Set up day and look who showed up in the China Pavilion!  Mi-Blu!

This is part of a huge presence for China in Latin America.  China is a large supplier of dried fruits such as jujube, red dates and functional ingredients.   So far, just Mi-blu and no sign of blueberries.

Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Stay strong and fresh with blueberries -- in India that is!

Here is a national advertising campaign for Delight, an early adapter to dried blueberries in India.  Stay tuned as they want to use the Real BlueberrySeal!   Dozens of national and regional brands of dried blueberries in India.  Thanks to our Raj Kapoor in Delhi for sending this along!   Actually he is the one who introduced them to blueberries in the first place!