From the Top of the Tree

Marco Casol

Our Views from the Tree Editor and Marketing Manager Jillian Hillard touches on the topic of fresh versus
powdered ingredients specifically in the case of egg whites on page 18, but it inspired me to utilize this
column to elaborate a bit more on the topic as the food industry continues to drive the local, organic,
fresh-made trend forward.

As a vegetarian and an Italian who grew up in the mountains of Italy, I can truly appreciate “grown from
the ground” fresh ingredients. I would be lying if I didn’t say from time to time, I craved the fresh figs,
lemons and pistachios my country is known for cultivating. And I also appreciate the various regions
and states in the U.S. that offer spectacular produce varietals of items such as berries, citrus and apples.
The truth is, nothing can beat a perfectly grown, ripe and fresh piece of produce’s flavor. But, while I
promote the use of fresh ingredients in dishes, I also believe very strongly in our founder’s vision to
provide ingredient solutions.

In an ideal world, all fresh ingredients would be consistent: there wouldn’t be a bad bundle of apples,
milk wouldn’t spoil, the acidity of citrus would remain constant and so forth, but that is not reality. In a
local chef ’s kitchen that serves a small-to-medium-size crowd the idea of changing a menu based on
today’s fresh ingredients can work, but for many of you – our gelaterias, froyo shops and patisseries to
name a few – it’s just not a reality. This problem of consistency, and oftentimes efficiency, is what Dr.
Luciano Rabboni carefully witnessed over 45 years ago in Italy, and it was his love for food and science
that propelled so many of today’s dessert solutions.

Many of you are awed today in the various places science and desserts are mixing. Albert Adria’s hand
in the popularity of nitrogen in frozen dessert and Norman Love’s redefinition of the traditional bonbon
are examples of this. These are both chefs who were brought up in the tradition of pastry basics of sugar,
flour and cocoa but found the places where innovation defied tradition. In that same light, it’s where
PreGel stands in the wake of the overwhelming question, is fresh always best? Our foundation is rooted
in creating ingredient solutions that begin from the ground up, which means sourcing the best fresh
ingredients, but where we emerged as a company was taking those same ingredients and incorporating
technology and innovation into the mix to offer solutions to cases where fresh sometimes isn’t best.

Our Fortefruttos® and compounds are there to provide consistent flavoring when the fresh ingredients
aren’t available. When the acidity of lemons is hard to capture in concentrates, our Lemon 50 powder
offers a shelf-stable balance. What it all boils down to is that trend of fresh is a great one to champion,
but it’s one that can live harmoniously with ingredients that cater to the timeless trend of innovation
and solutions in the kitchen.