PANHELLENIC UNION OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS S.A.
The Agricultural Cooperative of Organic Producers of Western Greece in the New Era of Organic Products Processing
The Agricultural Cooperative of Organic Producers of Western Greece enters the new era of organic product processing, through the operation of an innovative pilot unit of Cryodrying (Freeze-drying) at its facilities in Gastouni, Ilia.
Given the increasing demand for safe foods with high nutritional value, the operation of the Freeze-drying unit aims to develop innovative, domestic know-how for the production of high nutritional value and increased distribution time, dried organic agri-food products.
The method of Cryodrying (Freeze-drying) has advantages over other dehydration methods, as it has the following advantages:
- does not destroy the nutrients of the food and additionally retains its volatile aromatic components,
- It better preserves the characteristics of the structure and appearance, as shrinkage is negligible,
- the samples do not foam, harden, oxidize, and
- undergo no substantial change in the microbioflora, vitamins and antioxidant activity of cryodried products as compared with fresh products.
For these reasons, cryodrying (freeze-drying) is used for products where quality is paramount. Such are the nutritional active ingredients, vaccines, antibiotics. Also, instant coffee, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, trekking meals, breakfast cereals. Also food for astronauts, instant luxury soups, high-value chemicals and dyes.
According to the President of the Cooperative, Mr. P. Petropoulos, the operation of the innovative pilot plant for cryodrying (freeze-drying) of organic products will offer serious prospects for the development of the primary sector, since the production of dried products of high nutritional value will lead the processing sector to a safe and lucrative green transition, as the demand for such products ensures their availability in global markets. Consequently, it will help create new and quality jobs, improve the environmental footprint of agricultural processing and boost the income of producers in the region. Cryodrying (Freeze-drying) pilot plant
The innovative production unit of organic cryodried fruits is the first unit that will operate in our country and its implementation and operation is significantly based on research funded under the second cycle of the program “Research – Create – Innovate” and especially through the research project: “Production of Dried Organic Agri-Food Products of High Value, Using Innovative Freeze-Drying Applications”. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2014-2020.
For the implementation of this project, the following companies cooperate:
– The Panhellenic Association of Organic Products AEP SA
– The Agricultural Cooperative of Organic Producers of Western Greece
– The Agricultural Cooperative of Organic Olive Farmers of Neochori
– The Agricultural Cooperative of Zevgolatio Superfoods
– Operation Ioannis Sarris – SPECIAL DEVICES
– The company Baylos K. – Chondrogianni A.– BAILOS CLIMATENERGY