Demand of freeze-dried ingredients increases

09 March 2020


European Freeze Dry, which provides freeze-dried ingredients to the F&B sector, has cited changing consumer demands as the reason for a significant rise in plant-based protein ingredients, with sales of ingredients such as brown lentils and red kidney beans driving the increase. As environmental pressures on sustainability to add value for the consumer accumulate, the company’s products also come with traceability declarations, providing clarity on whether food is sustainably sourced.

During the first six weeks of 2020, European Freeze Dry increased sales of its freeze-dried vegetables and pulses over the same time period in 2019 by an increase of 1,783 percent. Sales of vegetables and pulses in the first six weeks of 2020 have already outsold the first nine months of 2019 for European Freeze Dry, the company reveals.

“Consumer demands are changing significantly and quickly. Food producers are adapting to that new market with quality alternative products, such as plant proteins,” says Diana Morris, Country Manager for European Freeze Dry. “When freeze-dried, plant proteins benefit from a considerably longer shelf life, while retaining the shape, taste and nutritional benefits of the fresh product. These benefits give new product developers the versatility to use them in a range of products, such as food-to-go snacks, ready meals and toppings for pizza and pasta,” she notes.

The rise in consumer demand for vegan products is influencing the whole food and beverage market, with Innova Market Insight recently citing a 59 percent average annual growth in global F&B launches with a “plant-based” claim (CAGR 2014 to 2019). At European Freeze Dry, all products for freeze drying start as frozen raw materials and undergo a process known as sublimation under specifically designed programs. During the freeze-drying process, a deep vacuum is applied. Under these conditions neither ice or water can exist. The pressure from the vacuum, with a controlled amount of heat applied, causes the ice to leave the product as a vapor trail. This is then captured on an ice condenser within the freeze drier, upon which the vapor forms again as ice, notes the company.

The process takes on average a day to complete, carried out in a set of “chambers” that can be controlled at various temperatures and time schedules depending on specific product requirements. The reduction in water in the final freeze-dried product means there is a much reduced potential for microorganisms existing in such low amounts of water, leading to a shelf life of up to two years at room temperature, says European Freeze Dry.

Published by on February 28, 2020
Image by Shutterstock


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