What is Solarfruit?
All our products are dried in the sun. We are the only ones who make a naturally sun dried fruit bar, all the other fruit bars on the market are dried in ovens or dehydrators.
The labelling laws require us to list potassium metabilsulphite by its designated name (preservative E224) even though we do not use it as a preservative, and we only use a very minimal amount.
We use it at a rate of 0.1% as a steriliser, and it mostly dissipates during the sun drying. It is the sun drying which preserves the fruit.
Solarfruit is a natural product made from real, fresh fruit so you will always get variations in colour, texture, thickness and levels of sweetness – just as you get with fresh fruit.
One batch of fresh nectarines at the start of the summer will taste quite different to a batch from the end of the summer, because they will be a different variety of nectarine. We don’t add colours and flavours, so the variations you see in the dried fruit are a reflection of the variety of fresh fruit we have used.
We simply take the fresh fruit, puree it and then sun dry it, so a fresh nectarine which is yellow will dry lighter than one which is red.
When you work out how concentrated Solarfruit is, you see that it is in fact very economical. Each Giant Roll contains the equivalent of 4 kg of fresh fruit and retails for just $25.00.
This is excellent value when you consider that the fresh fruit costs about the same, and we have done all the work for you and made it into a fruit snack that will not go off and can be eaten all year round.
All the fruits we use are very high in fruit acid. The tiny amount of sugar we add acts to neutralise the acidity of the fruit making it more palatable, it doesn’t actually add to the sweetness at all.
We use natural cane sugar.
We take locally grown, premium quality, tree ripened fruit and puree it fresh (we don’t cook the fruit because that would destroy all the nutrients).
This fresh fruit puree is poured into lined trays and then placed in our specially designed drying tables and left to dry in the sun for between 10 – 12 days.
Our specially designed drying tables keep the fruit hygienically clean and protected, and the fruit is checked daily during the drying process.
As the fruit sits in the sun, gradually all the moisture evaporates, and the fruit fibres dry down to form a flat sheet.
We take the flat sheet and cut it up to make our fruit bars, platter pieces and family packs. The Giant Fruit Roll is simply the entire sheet, wrapped and made into a roll.
For all our other products, we take the whole sheet, roll it up and push it through an extruder (a bit like a sausage machine). The fruit comes out in long lengths, which we then cut up and coat with either chocolate, coconut or sugar.
Solarfruit is 98% pure plum, nectarine, apricot or peach, with only a tiny amount of added sugar (less than 2%).
Solarfruit is effectively concentrated fresh fruit, so yes it is high in natural fruit sugars. The added sugar is very minimal.
So long as you eat Solarfruit in moderation, you are only eating the same amount of sugar as in a piece of fresh fruit.
No, we do not add any fat to our products. The fat content listed on the nutrient panel is in fact fruit lipids, which are part of the beneficial natural nutrients found in fruit.
Yes, all our products are gluten free.
Yes, especially if it is Solarfruit. Dried fruit is a healthy, natural sweet treat full of natural vitamins, nutrients and high in dietary fibre. However, some other dried fruits are very high in residual sulphur, so it is best to eat dried fruits which have been sun dried from start to finish.
During the process, the fresh fruit concentrates down 10x, so for every 300g container of Solarfruit it has taken 3kg of fresh fruit to make it.
One serve of Solarfruit is 10g and is equivalent to one whole fruit – just an average sized piece of fruit, not one of the jumbo sized fruits you can now buy in the markets.
10g of Solarfruit is one fruit bar or 4 squares from a platter pieces container.
No, our jam is all made the old fashioned way. Our real fruit jam is made from fruit pieces, natural cane sugar and lemon juice in the apricot jam. Our smooth fruit jam is made from fruit puree and sugar.
We do not add any preservative to the finished product, but we do use a tiny amount of potassium metabisulphite (E224) as a steriliser at the fruit puree stage.
This is needed because all fresh fruit contains wild yeasts on its skin, and when you puree the fruit the yeasts would cause it to ferment. By treating the fruit puree with a tiny amount of steriliser, this kills the yeasts and allows the fruit to dry without fermenting.
The big benefit is that because we sun dry, any steriliser not used up simply evaporates during the drying process. We have had the finished product tested for residual sulphur and it is virtually down to nil (0.009% or 90 ppm).
No, our entire facility is nut free. However, the chocolate coated range of products may contain traces of nuts, because the chocolate factory does process nut products on its equipment.
How should I store Solarfruit?
Depending on the batch of fresh fruit, sometimes the natural sugars will crystallise and make the Solarfruit taste gritty. This is in no way detrimental and will disappear with cooking.
You are always protected by our 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you don’t want to eat it once it has crystallised, simply return it to us for either a replacement or a full refund.
Solarfruit is a long life product and will keep for many years. We put a Best Before date on each product which is 2 years from the date of manufacture, but it will keep for much longer than this.
We have some fruit which we have kept form our first year of production – it is now 24 years old and you can still eat it!
Other products added to Solarfruit will affect how long it will last. The chocolate coated products are best eaten within 12 months from date of manufacture, because the chocolate does not keep longer than this.
With the coconut coated products you may find they discolour with age, this is because over time the coconut absorbs moisture from the fruit.
No, Solarfruit does not require refrigeration. However, if you want to keep it for a long period of time (several years), or if you live in a very hot and humid climate, it will keep better in the fridge.
Also, if you find it is sticky, putting it in the fridge will make it easier to handle, especially if you are trying to cut it up and your scissors keep sticking to the fruit.
Who can eat Solarfruit?
Yes, our dog loves it! We use it as a healthy treat when training our dog or to reward good behaviour. We use a Fruity Bite to conceal our dogs worming pills and this makes an unpleasant task very simple.
We have had other customers tell us that they feed it to their cats, birds and pet rabbits. As with all foods, it is best introduced when the animal is young.
Yes, if you are able to eat fresh fruit and so long as you eat Solarfruit in moderation. One serve of Solarfruit is 10g (one fruit bar or 4 platter pieces) and this is equivalent to one whole piece of fresh fruit weighing between 80 – 100g, and it contains the same sugars and calories.
Yes, it is a healthy, natural sweet treat and a good way to get extra fruit into their daily diet. Just bear in mind that it is concentrated, so don’t allow your baby or toddler to eat too much, one or 2 serves is enough.
Where can I buy Solarfruit?
You can buy Solarfruit in many ways -
1) Direct from our factory shop here.
2) Via this website, and have it shipped directly to your preferred address.
3) Direct from us at markets, festivals and local shows – check this page for when we will be at a venue close to you.
4) Check our stockists page for local businesses that stock Solarfruit.