Freeze drying can help to limit food waste during bumper harvests, or when the market for fresh produce might be depressed
GEA has secured a third contract from food manufacturer Pol’s to deliver and install its RAY equipment at the company’s 4,000 sqm fruit and vegetable freeze drying facility in Karaman, Turkey. The order will see another freeze dryer installed at the site, increasing freeze drying output from 200 tonnes to 300 tonnes per year. Delivery of the equipment is expected to take place mid-2022.
The manufacturer was established in 2017 to promote and boost sustainable, profitable agriculture, employment for struggling farming communities in the remote Ermenek region. It supports local fruit and vegetable farmers, using their produce to generate freeze dried ingredients for the global food market. The company says it maintains complete oversight of the freeze-drying process, from harvest to the storage and release of packaged products.
Freeze drying can help to limit food waste during bumper harvests, or when the market for fresh produce might be depressed. The extra revenues may represent a lifeline for farming communities and small producers, as well as ensuring that valuable crops and harvests are used productively, rather than thrown away.
“GEA’s freeze drying equipment works very reliably and at a high-quality level. We of course reviewed freeze drying systems and technology from other global companies, but GEA’s technology competence and services convinced us and we have repeatedly returned to GEA for new equipment”, said Ali Polat, CEO of Pol’s.
The freeze dryer will triple capacity at the plant since the first units from GEA were installed in 2017. The RAY 125 unit is the second largest in the company’s range, with a potential output of up to 460 kg per 24 hours, when running with fruits. Featuring an automated continuous de-icing system, the device is designed to minimise energy consumption in the refrigeration plant while offering hands-off control of the drying cycle for each batch.
Serdar Gez, MD at GEA Turkey explains: “Local GEA experts, on the ground, will continue to work closely with Pol’s going forward. This is particularly important given the geographical remoteness of the Ermenek site. Our experts know the environment, can develop the best solutions and provide remote support in a timely manner. If necessary, we will do our best to be on site within the shortest possible time.”