Moist, chewy apple bars pack the flavor and nutritional boost of two orchard-fresh apples into a handy, all-natural snack. These sweet treats--about the size of an ordinary energy bar, but slimmer--result from patented technology developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in California.



The scientists' food-processing procedures enable the bars to stay moist and intensely flavorful without artificial preservatives. Also, the rich flavor means there's no need to add salt or sugar.



The bars make a tasty addition to a child's school lunch or a grown-up's afternoon coffee break, according to Tara H. McHugh in the agency's Western Regional Research Center at Albany, Calif.



The soft, single-serving bars are made from apple puree that's mixed with apple concentrate and shaped--in a standard piece of food-processing equipment--into neat rectangles.

Apple bars are the newest addition to the line of all-natural fruit snacks from McHugh's team, the Processed Foods Research Unit.

Gorge Delights of Hood River, Ore., uses crisp, delicious apples from the region's picturesque orchards to make the bars. Great Foods of America, the Cresskill, N.J., marketers for the well-known Earth Balance and Smart Balance brands, markets the bars under the Earth Balance name.



Apple bars are already showing up in natural-foods stores.



ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.



Source: ARS News Service