Passion Fruit: The Essence of Tropical and Exotic Flavor

Post Date: 10/08/2015


Demand in Europe for passion fruit juice concentrate is five times US demand, even though it offers compelling benefits for the American consumer. Every significant brand in Europe has a prominent passion fruit based beverage and every multi-vitamin drink in Europe (one of their most popular beverages) includes passion fruit. Europeans have been using passion fruit for more than 30 years as the essential flavor in the beverage industry. Passion fruit use is steadily growing as US markets begin to recognize the many benefits of using passion fruit in beverages ranging from beer to smoothies, vegetable blends and 100% juice blends. It also grows in our own “backyard” in Ecuador and Peru.

Why Passion Fruit? Health benefits, Flavor Profile and Acidity.

Fruits and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. Passion fruit is nutritionally rich. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, and potassium, and, like many fruits, is low in sodium and yields zero saturated fat and cholesterol.

Passion fruit is also believed to reduce the risk of cancer due to plant compounds, or phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and polyphenols, both of which are found in abundance in passion fruit juice.

Beside the health benefits, why consider using Passion Fruit?


Passion fruit has the unique and remarkable ability to mask inexpensive filler juices and unpleasant tasting ingredients with its intense flavor. This provides the ability to produce a better tasting end product with less expensive materials. Additionally, passion fruit compliments other fruits quite well. It is known to assimilate well with mango, banana, and pineapple. These are fruits that are known for their intense flavors that don’t generally compliment easily.

Passion fruit is also naturally concentrated, so the actual amount of concentrate required is minimal, making it a relatively inexpensive ingredient for drinks and other applications such as yogurts, ice cream, water ice, sorbets, sauces, salad dressings, and teas.

Also, due to its higher acidity, Passion Fruit provides additional shelf life to beverages, also enhancing cost effectiveness.

What is Passion Fruit?

Passiflora edulis, more commonly referred to as Passion fruit, is generally believed to be native to Brazil where 16th Century Spanish Catholics named it “Flor de las cinco llagas” or “flower of the five wounds” after its distinctive purple flower and adopted it as a symbol of the death of Christ. However, despite its Catholic beginning, Passion Fruit remains nondenominational and is found to be grown nearly everywhere in the tropical belt.

Passion Fruit is a unique, colorful, egg-shaped fruit. It is a characteristically flavorful, aromatic, and refreshing tropical fruit which makes it the ideal ingredient for a number of sophisticated applications as well as traditional applications.

Passion fruits contain numerous small, black wedge-shaped seeds that are individually surrounded by deep orange-colored sacs that contain the juice, the edible part of the fruit. It is this juice, which is naturally concentrated, that is extracted and further concentrated.

Types of Passion Fruit

Passion fruit is botanically part of the Passifloraceae family and are a close relative to violets. There are more than 500 species in this family and more than 50 of them are edible. Only two varieties, purple passion fruit and yellow passion fruit, are grown commercially. The purple is grown only in small quantities and is generally sold as fresh fruit. The primary plant used for producing juice and juice concentrate is the yellow variety, Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa.

Fruit of the yellow passion fruit is deep yellow and similar in shape but slightly longer than the purple passion fruit.

Passion Fruit from iTi Tropicals

iTi has been offering passion fruit juice concentrate, NFC, and clarified concentrate for 20 years and is the leading supplier in the USA. High in color, vitamin A, titratable acidity and tropical flavor, passionfruit often eliminates the need for other acidulants such as difficult to source lemon or lime concentrates, citric, malic or sodium sulfite acids. When synthetic acidulants are eliminated, so is the need for identifying the acidulant E-number for products in the EU. Passion fruit is well-loved all over South and Central America as well as the Caribbean; it is a truly pan-cultural Latin American fruit. Formulators use passion fruit to economically deliver intense tropical highlights to consumer-preferred juice beverages:

  • Passionfruit Aseptic Not-From Concentrate is easy to use, requires no tempering.
  • Passionfruit frozen concentrate has a premium flavor and reduces shipping, storage and logistic costs.
  • Clarified frozen passionfruit concentrate delivers the same bold taste but without the orange color contribution that comes from the pulp.
  • Passionfruit aroma (also called essence) is a TDNS (totally derived from the named-source) flavor that need not be listed separately on the label from the other forms of passionfruit. In instances where more flavor is needed passionfruit aroma is the way to achieve success without adding color or acidity.

For more R&D ideas and Technical inputs for using passion fruit contact our R&D team at iTi Tropicals.