The main element that characterizes the global food market today is the growing demand for safe foods with high nutritional value. The research project aims to develop innovative, domestic know-how for the production of high nutritional value and increased distribution time, dried organic agri-food products, through the creation of a pilot Lyophilization unit, of medium capacity.
For the implementation of this research project, the following collaborate:
- The Panhellenic Association of Organic Products AEP SA (coordinating body)
- The A.S.Bioproducers of Western Greece
- The A.S.Organic Olive Farmers of Neochori
- The A.S.Zevgolatio Superfoods
- The Company SPECIAL DEVICES
- The Company CLIMATENERGY
The responsibility of the Scientific Coordination has been assigned to the company CLIMATENERGY, whose members have significant scientific training, experience and specialization & extensive experience in energy systems applications.
The responsibility of the Administrative Coordination has been assigned to the Panhellenic Association of Organic Products, which has significant experience in the management of European and Research Programs. The Association will contribute significantly to the dissemination of results to the Organic Products companies of our country, but also to the promotion and promotion of innovative Organic Products that will be produced in the International and Greek market.
The implementation of the proposed project takes place in three stages:
Formulation of the required product distribution strategy, so that through the required market research & determination of quality standards, an economic and technical analysis for the production, processing & distribution of dried products is possible.
Design & construction of a Cryodrying unit, with specifications that allow the improvement of its operation and the assurance of the quality characteristics of dried products required by the market.
Pilot operation of the unit, with evaluation of the operating conditions & quality characteristics of the products produced in order to enable the optimization of the economic & technical parameters of the unit's operation as well as the required analysis that will lead to the improvement of the quality characteristics of dried organic fruits & their pilot production, ready for commercial distribution in the international market.
The final deliverables of the project are of technological maturity 8 (TRL 8), as the aim of the proposed project is to construct a Cryodrying unit that will be fully operational (already in pilot operation) and the production of innovative organic products of high nutritional value, ready for distribution in the international market,
The Cryodrying unit is compact with easy movement & can cover part of its energy needs from a Photovoltaic Park.
The main competitive advantages of the products produced by the method of Cryodrying concern:
- Maintaining the structure, consistency, color, aroma, taste, high quality, as well as nutrients and biologically active ingredients (vitamins, antioxidants) at a very high level, unlike conventional hot drying processes that destroy most of the vitamins & antioxidants of fresh fruits.
- ability to preserve the original volume of products (no shrinkage is observed – collapse of the structure)
- Quick and easy return to their original physical and organoleptic state
- Long-term storage of food without the need to use preservatives & refrigeration.
- Reduction of storage costs, since it does not require special maintenance facilities
- drastic reduction of the weight of the processed product by 90% with corresponding positive effects on packaging, transport and handling costs
The implementation of the proposed project is expected to have significant & positive results
- Significant improvement of the competitiveness of Greek Organic Fruits in the international market, with the creation of new innovative products of high nutritional value
- The development of specific know-how in the field of food technology with corresponding results for the scientific potential of the country through the consolidation of interdisciplinary cooperation
- The utilization of quantities of fruits (usually 15-25%), which for reasons of external appearance, cannot be marketed as fresh and are usually destroyed after sorting.