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A Slovenian company with experience in lyophilisation is using this procedure for different types of fruits and vegetables from local environment and final products are sold in convenient packages. Dried fruits and vegetables are suitable for all age groups and diabetics. Company is looking for partners to sell and market their products via distribution services agreement.
A company from north-east part of Slovenia specializing in distribution of different products, has recently focused on food preservation processing with freeze-drying (lyophilisation or cryodesiccation) fruits and vegetables in order to keep their shape, nutrition value, sweetness and structure.
Main objective of dried fruits and vegetables is to lower (remove) original water to make the remainder more sustainable and make it ready to use out of season when they are originally ripening and are ready to be harvested.
Fruits and vegetables can be dried whole, in pieces or slices, while after completed drying they can be additionally transformed (chopped, smashed). There are many natural and technical methods for removing water out of the fruits and vegetables like sun, air, smoke, oven, vacuum, microwave or freeze drying. Each method lasts specific periods of time (some are more time consuming) and has different costs (some are substantially less expensive than others). Despite these differences, final products are praised for their low-to-moderate glycaemic index (level of affection for blood sugar), high concentration of nutrients, natural sugars and fibres. They are also a good source of antioxidants (e.g. phenols) and B vitamin.
Although lyophilisation is among more expensive and time consuming processes, it is suitable for premium sorts of fruits and vegetables. After preparation, fruits and vegetables are cooled to the temperature where all three phases – solid, liquid and gas – intersect (triple point). At this stage sublimation starts. and temperature needs to be precisely controlled to prevent melt-back resulting in loss of nutritive content and poor texture. Pressure is applied and is followed by primary and secondary drying. Heat is supplied to initially remove water (around 95% of it) and later to remove unfrozen water molecules. In the end, there is around 1% to 4% of water content in the fruits and vegetables.
Company is using this process for mushrooms, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, truffles, apples, pears, bananas, royal jelly, dandelion blossom, pine and spruce (peaks), pineapple and pollen. There are no additionally applied substances like sugar, allergens and preservatives to final products, only those that are present naturally. All fruits and vegetables are from the local environment. Products are normally sold in 25 g and 50 g packages.
Company is interested in a cooperation with other partners in a form of a distribution services agreement to sell and perform marketing activities on their respective markets. Partners should already have an established sales network and experience with sale of (dried) fruits and vegetables. Company will provide full array of its products to partners.
Fruits and vegetables dried with lyophilisation have several advantages and innovations compared to fresh fruits and vegetables:
- (bio)chemical stability, structure, colour, flavour, minerals, vitamins and oxidants are preserved
- are appropriate for diabetics and all age groups
- are resilient to changes in temperature and are lighter (they weigh less)
- can be stored for several years without decomposing
- energy value can be six to ten times greater due to concentration of compounds
The company is looking for partners in foreign countries to expand its distribution network with trading companies that already have experience with sale of (dried) fruits and vegetables. Partnership is envisioned in a form of a distribution services agreement, where company will provide final products to distributors, who will take care for selling and marketing activities