Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research
Project Number: 5325-41000-063-25
Start Date: Mar 20, 2014
End Date: Oct 31, 2016
Innovative Foods and Treasure Brands will partner with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to demonstrate novel infrared blanching and dehydration processes to produce healthy fruit and vegetable snacks. Move pilot scale infrared dry blanching and dehydration demonstration equipment to Treasure Brands in Vallejo, CA, and test its potential to produce high quality, healthy snacks from fruits and vegetables. Innovative Foods, licensee of the technology, will oversee trials. All snacks will be 100% fruit or vegetable. They will not contain any added oils and will be blanched and partially dried using infrared energy. Final drying will be completed at USDA, Albany, CA, using our hot air driers. Energy and water savings in comparison with current commercial processes will be evaluated. Final product quality parameters will also be measured (flavor, color, texture, moisture, water activity, nutritional properties, sensory properties) and compared with traditional processing methods. Funding for research provided by prior grant from California Energy Commission and newly funded $884K grant from California Energy Commission. The previous grant required ARS to run demonstrations at various commerical sites which were carried out under Material Transfer Agreements (MTA's) and Confidentiality Agreements. The new grant requires distribution of funds to Treasure Brands which will be done through a Specific Cooperative Agreement. New grant provides funds to build a commercial unit incorporating both infrared blanching and partial dehydration and hot air drying into one unit to produce optimum product quality with low water and energy consumption.