An SME in the food processing industry has developed a novel vacuum dryer to process food products. In conventional food processing technologies, if the humidity is less than 20% at the final stage of drying, the drying process tends to slow down. Also, high operating temperatures in conventional drying tends to affect the biologically active ingredients, especially vitamins, in the food product. The innovative vacuum dryer mitigates these two major challenges associated with drying of food products and produces good quality dried food products. Using this novel dryer, the drying process takes only 1-3 minutes approximately. Also, by maintaining low pressure, the boiling temperature of water is reduced drastically. This aids in performing the drying at lower operating temperatures and maintaining the quality of dried food product. Along with effective drying of food products, the SME also produces puffed fruits and vegetables
Food products such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and meat products can be processed in this innovative vacuum dryer to dry the food products. Post drying, the food products are processed into dried fruit, dried vegetable, dried herb or dried meat, which can be directly consumed as snacks or be used as food additives.
The global dried/processed food market size is currently around USD 257 billion and is expected to reach USD 345.50 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 5.80%. An increasing urbanised lifestyle and food preferences of consumers are the primary drivers, significantly boosting the demand for dried/processed food. Drying/processing of food improves the shelf life of the product. Also, in comparison with conventional food processing technologies, the superior quality of the dried food is an attractive feature of this novel drying technology.
Utilizing this novel vacuum drying technology to process food products, food manufacturers can reap the following benefits, including: