If EnWave Corporation has anything to do with it, we all may be able to savor summer fruits and vegetables with the same flavor, nutrition, and moist content during the long cold winters. EnWave has developed a new continuous process for drying fruits, vegetables, and other foods with its proprietary machine called nutraREV™, which today was awarded a 2009 Institute of Food Technologists (“IFT”) Food Expo Innovation Award.
If you've ever eaten frozen blueberries, or paid a fortune for a small bag of dried blueberries, you will appreciate the innovative technology of nutraREV (soon, I hope). We all know what happens to the taste and texture of frozen berries... yuck! But nutraREV promises that its process improves the retention of natural food flavors and colors better than freeze drying, which is the current most prevalent means of commercial fruit drying.
Hopefully, a lower cost for dried food will be passed on to the consumer, as nutraREV's features include faster processing ("in minutes rather than hours or days") and a reduction in batch losses. Adding to its production savings, the machines are energy efficient, have a low carbon footprint, and have a lower start up cost than traditional processes. The machine can dry meats and snack foods as well as fruits and veggies, and has features that control moisture as well as food "plump."
The IFT is currently holding its annual meeting in Anaheim, California. EnWave was one of four Food Expo Innovation awardees; other winners were 1) Ecolab Inc. for its Peroxyacetic Acid-based Commercial Sterilant, which sterilizes
plastic bottles at lower temperatures than hydrogen peroxide, thereby
reducing energy; 2) The National Center for Food Safety & Technology was honored for
its Pressure Assisted Thermal Sterilization—an FDA-accepted processing
technology which combines mild heat with high pressure to produce
commercially sterile low-acid food products; and National Starch for its NOVATION Starches, which can
be used to manufacture products such as salad dressings with texture
attributes and process tolerance that were formerly only possible with modified
nutraREV using both microwave and vacuum technologies in its propriety drying formula. Though the first nutraREV machine was created in 2008, it was March of 2009 when nutraREV had its first commercial sale to a blueberry and cranberry farm, CAL-SAN Enterprises Ltd., a neighbor of EnWave in British Colombia. Now actively marketing the nutraREV in North America, its European partner, Hans Binder Maschinenbau GmbH, is marketing and servicing the nutraREV technology in Europe.
Hmm. Can't wait until this dried fruit hits the supermarkets!
IFT, Enwave, via Marketwire