Once an overlooked fruit, passion fruit has recently soared high in consumer demand, thanks to its exotic aura. The purple granadilla – or ‘little pomegranate’ as it is affectionately referred to in Spanish – with its unique, intense taste and aroma, is enjoying a remarkable resurgence, appearing in exciting food and drink applications across the world.

Home to other exotic fruits, like papaya and açaí, it won’t surprise you that the passion fruit is also native to the hot climate of Brazil. Now, other countries are also joining in, with passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) grown in many tropical regions across the world, including Ecuador and Peru – both key areas for producing purees and concentrates.

Passion fruit is one of the more unpredictable fruits, as harvests vary between growing areas and they mature at different rates. To make sure they have that recognisable sweet-tart taste that we all love, growers let nature take its course and usually wait for the fruit to fall off the plant rather than harvest them from the vine. Although most consumers will know passion fruit for its thick, purple skin, some are yellow, others banana-shaped, and others much larger. In fact, there are more than 500 varieties altogether, so food and drink manufacturers can take their pick.

Don’t forget passion fruit’s health benefits – there are quite a few. 100g of the fruit only contains about 97 calories, offering vitamins C and A and is rich in potassium, as well as iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. Often added to juices to enhance taste and intrigue, passion fruit blends well with other fruits, making it a perfect accompaniment or standalone beverage. We’re not just talking about juice, either. Other adult-friendly drink applications that have proved popular in beverages around the world include passion fruit flavoured vodka, rum or cider, as well as cordials and cocktail mixes.

For consumers looking for an exotic twist on everyday classics, dairy applications such as ice cream, yoghurt, frozen yoghurt or cheesecake are popping up in refrigerators and freezer cabinets around the world. Plus, sauces, fillings, mousses, cakes and desserts – even pizza, for those wishing to mix Mediterranean and South American influences – are benefitting from the distinctive, refreshing flavour of passion fruit.

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