From the cherry tomato to drip irrigation, Israel has been a powerhouse in food and agriculture technologies and solutions. One company, Gat Foods, just released an innovative solution as a substitute for white sugar used in RTE cereal production. The product is named Fruitlift, a real-fruit-based ingredient that can replace refined sugar, a new and brilliant solution for wet ingredients for dry foods. 

Written by Nachshon Ben

Behold Israel spoke with Gat Food’s International Marketing Director, Michal Katzir Emek who has been working on the new product released just two months ago. Gat Foods has been active in the Israeli market for over 75 years and specializes in the export of raw materials and ingredients. FruitLift is the result of years of research and development by Israeli food scientists and engineers. With the help from Practical Innovation, a company that works to expose and assist traditional industries with new ideas and solutions for products, Gat Foods will now be able to continue its tenure as a leading brand in Israel, while addressing consumer trends with its solution to sugar. 

The patented product is a “new ingredient in the market, provoking a lot of interest”, Katzir Emek explaining the product is “based on fruit and used for cereals and actually can replace white sugar used by producers today.” She explained that sugar is an essential ingredient needed chemically for the production of dry cereals. “As a company, we look at the challenges and consumption trends. We saw the trend that consumers are looking for solutions involving less and less sugar. This is a challenge for all the food and beverage industry.” She added, “We know this very well from the beverage industry and we also identified the same need from consumers for a better product, a no-sugar product, in the cereal industry.” 

Gat Foods is a leading company working within the beverage industry in Israel and owns the major juice and syrup producer, Prigat. “Gat Foods has been producing foods for many years and specializes in creating raw materials and smart ingredients. We saw the potential in offering a very specific fruit-based solution that can be used by cereal manufacturers and solve an issue and challenge of a declining category,” in reference to consumer trends and the “need and desire to avoid the intake of white sugar”. 

The solution of putting fruit components instead of sugar is not a new concept. It is a common practice in many juices- instead of sugar, fruit or fruit concentrate is added. This practice is more expensive, of course, and not applicable to dry food production. “The cereal category is a dry category. The process is dry, and there is flour inside… If you try to use the fruit concentrate, it cannot work because it is a liquid.” And this is what Fruitlift has solved: how to take this wet solution and apply to a dry industry. Katzir Emek explained the significance as there are many factors involved, from the technology to recipes and ingredients. She said, “this is the big challenge that we solved, and this is why FruitLift is specifically working in the cereal industry. We combined our expertise and abilities and know-how as a company that produces raw materials, into a new industry that carries its own challenges, mainly technological.”

Gat Foods is exploring collaboration with foreign and Israeli companies and is already working on new innovations for new categories.

Photos: Courtesy of Gat Foods, 2019.