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Master of Science (M.S.)
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Fruit snacks have become a popular and convenient snacking choice and have the potential to contribute to a well-balanced diet. However, the nutritional quality of fruit snack products has not yet been studied in the fruit snack category. This study used the Mintel Global New Product Database to collect fruit snack product data launched in the United States from 2017 to 2022. Fruit snack products (n=2,405) are divided into nine product categories based on product characteristics. We assessed the nutrition profile by using a comprehensive score, Nutrient Rich Food (NRF6.4) model, and examining individual components (added sugar and fiber) among all fruit snack product categories. The results show that dry fruit has the highest nutrient density, fiber content, and lowest added sugar content per Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC). Conversely, fruit-flavored snack has the least nutrient density, fiber content, and the highest added sugar content per RACC. Fruit puree, canned fruit with juice, and dried fruit currently are the only fruit snacks that meet the current recommendations set by the USDA Dietary Guidelines. Decreasing added sugar content, increasing fiber content, and enhancing sensory profile can be the directions for fruit snack product development in the industry.
Fu, Hao, "Nutrient Density, Added Sugar, and Fiber Contents of Commercially Available Fruit Snacks in the United States from 2017 to 2022" (2023). Masters Theses. 1373.