Innovation in freeze-drying creates healthier eating habits
Freeze-drying has slowly and steadily made its name across the food industry. It’s easy to see why – most of us want to eat healthier food, but the fast pace of life makes it difficult to do so. That’s where freeze-drying comes in handy. But there are even more innovations available to create healthier, ready-to-eat food. For instance, there’s a 3D printer on the way that can print out the freeze-dried food of your choice! Just imagine – we’re talking about vegetables, different types of meat or even desserts. Let’s discover what’s next for the food industry by following the story of Lithuanian brand Super Garden.
Innovation in the food industry – the latest trends
Freeze-drying preserves the nutritional value of a food (up to even 98%), while maintaining its original shape. No wonder it was adopted by NASA to ensure astronauts could get nutritious and easy-to-eat meals in space! The method can also be used to freeze-dry animal-based foods such as cheese or other dairy products, poultry, or meat. Believe it or not, you can even freeze-dry alcohol! According to Laura Kaziukonienė, the director of Super Garden, a brand that offers a wide range of freeze-dried products, few companies worldwide currently, freeze-dry animal-based products, so this is definitely a niche.
One innovation Super Garden is working on is that 3D printer we mentioned earlier. The company is collaborating with Lithuanian scientists to be the first producer to bring this innovative solution to market in the food industry. But just how will a 3D printer work?
“Just imagine: you choose your lunch: beef, beetroot and broccoli, – then you press a button, and a 3D printer will instantly print out your selected food cubes,” says Laura Kaziukonienė, emphasising that this is truly a worldwide first. Super Garden has already received interest from offices that appreciate the idea of switching from junk food snacks to fast foods full of nutrients and energy.
The company has already developed innovative snacks that are high in nutritional value, made from freeze-dried berries, fruits, vegetables or even superfoods, cocoa butter, and pea protein isolate. These snacks help people to consume their recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables while snacking on the go. Super Garden has patented these snacks and is able to modify each snack’s recipe, taste or even nutritional content.
Building healthier eating habits and going global
Unlike a lot of companies, which only produce freeze-dried fruits and berries, Super Garden focuses on creating value-added products. “The demand is truly high because freeze-dried products have a really long shelf life,” says Laura Kaziukonienė. “For example, some types of cheese have a shelf life of six months; freeze-drying it can extend that shelf life to 24 months.”
Most freeze-dried products are suitable for people with diabetes; they can also be used to supplement a raw food diet because these products have not been thermally treated. According to the company’s director, by producing nutritious and easy-to-eat freeze-dried snacks, Super Garden wants to encourage people to eat more vegetables that fill them with energy and goodness and help to prevent heart disease or chronic illnesses in the long term. The Lithuanian company’s main goal is to encourage healthier eating habits in simple, tasty and innovative ways. Moreover, all products by Super Garden meet the standards of the Keyhole label, commonly used in Scandinavian countries to indicate healthier food options.
Laura Kaziukonienė says that Super Garden products are already available in the UK, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and France. Demand is growing in Ireland, Japan, the USA, and other markets. She believes the company’s next challenge is to enter Scandinavian markets as well as the Netherlands. “These markets value natural and eco-friendly products. In addition, people want to save time in the kitchen. We can offer them healthier products that are ready to eat”, says the director. Super Garden already has an Amazon account in the Netherlands and actively sells products in the region. The company has plans to develop a local e-shop.
Lithuania is a perfect place for women to join tech industries as the country is one of the fastest-growing centres of life sciences in Europe and has a vibrant ICT, financial technologies, video game, and laser sectors. The start-up community, which has already exceeded one thousand companies, attracts talents from all over the world to innovate and think about solutions that can contribute to a global change for the better in many spheres, ranging from gene editing to solving circular economy challenges.
In implementing the Strategy for the Presentation of Lithuania Abroad 2020-2030 and ensuring the country’s overall positioning as “open for co-creation”, the entrepreneurship and export development agency Enterprise Lithuania presented the Co-created in Lithuania country of origin brand and unified national export stand concept at the Lithuanian Business Forum.