I first just want to say that I don't know the people who make or own Froozer or have any relation to them. The brand was mentioned on a social media forum and piqued my curiosity, so I headed to the grocery store for a trial to see if these might be an option for the people I work with who have dysphagia and are on thickened liquids. The #1 complaint I get about thickened liquids is that these patients have a hard time quenching their thirst because thickened liquids are like drinking snot. They're never cold enough or refreshing enough. I'm always on the lookout for strategies to make thickened liquids more tolerable.
These Froozer popsicles are made with 100% pureed fruit. I don't think the people who designed this product had people with dysphagia on their minds, but they inadvertently produced a product that, because of the ingredients, theoretically melts into a thicker consistency than traditional popsicles made with water or fruit juice. I decided to test the popsicles out for myself to see if it was true.
I found them at Albertson's for $5.49 for a box of 6. I set one outside to let it melt, so I could see what it looked like when it melted. And I ate one, to see how it felt to let it melt in my mouth. And this is what I found:
The ingredients and nutrition
The ingredients listed on the box were: whole grapes, whole strawberries, whole bananas, less than 1% guar/acacia.
The grapes had me wondering... since grapes are naturally so full of water, I wasn't sure if when it melted, the Froozer would turn into a thin liquid.
Froozers come in 5 flavors: Mango Tango, Raspberry Blast, Strawbanana Bliss (pictured in this post), Blueberry Burst, and Orange Zinger. Ingredients are as follows:
Mango Tango: Mangos, Grapes, Pineapples, Bananas, and less than 1% Guar/Acacia
Raspberry Blast: Raspberries, Grapes, Plums, Apples, and less than 1% Guar/Acacia
Strawbanana Bliss: Strawberries, Grapes, Bananas, and less than 1% Guar/Acacia
Blueberry Burst: Grapes, Blueberries, Pineapples, Bananas, and less than 1% Guar/Acacia
Orange Zinger: Grapes, Mangos, Apples, and less than 1% Guar/Acacia
Nutritionally speaking, the popsicle is on par with fresh fruit. I liked that it had no added sugar and only 10 grams of carbs (compared to 16 grams in a half a cup of ice cream). The fact that it's whole fruit and not fruit juice or juice concentrate is a plus for people who have diabetes.
The taste and feel
The taste is cold, refreshing, and fruity, with a smooth consistency- no pieces or chunks of fruit. Since there is no added water or juice in the product, it does not melt into a thin liquid. Rather, it melts into a thicker smoothie-like product in the mouth. There is no added sugar, so it tastes like real fruit; not too sweet.
After the Froozer outside melted, I decided to do a spread test on it. Let me just say that this is no way a scientific endeavor, though it was based on Lund et al's article "Line Spread as a Visual Clinical Tool for Thickened Liquids." Also as a side note— if we truly want to make the thickened liquids spread test a useable tool for both clinicians and patients (as suggested by researchers), we have a lot of work to do to make it more accessible and user-friendly! This is what I managed to put together with Photoshop, a pyrex dish, and a cylinder tube.
The spread test indicates that it's somewhere along the lines of a thicker-than-nectar-almost-honey-thick consistency, though again, one quick glance at my line spread test and you can see that our ability to actually measure these things currently requires special tools and measurement systems that aren't just laying around my house.
For most of us, we currently rely on clinical knowledge/look/feel of a liquid. So here's a video:
So from this crude little experiment, I'd say that these Froozers are a good option for people with dysphagia who are on thickened liquids and can't have a refreshing popsicle or ice cream cone this summer.
You can learn more about the Froozer company, including locations of where to buy them, on their website.