25-08-2003 – FIRST EXPORT OF ARGENTINE FREEZEDRYING PLANT : Exportadora de Hortalizas, S.A. de C.V. from Querétaro, Mexico, has signed with INVAP a turnkey contract for the supply foodstuff freeze-drying plant. The produce to process will be vegetables, fine fruit, mangos, soups, etc.
Exportadora de Hortalizas, S.A. de C.V. from Querétaro, Mexico, has signed with INVAP a turnkey contract for the supply foodstuff freeze-drying plant. The produce to process will be vegetables, fine fruit, mangos, soups, etc.
The plant has a capacity similar to that of a plant previously built by INVAP in Gaiman, Argentina, and will be a part of the production complex of the Mexican company.
INVAP carried out a preliminary study in Querétaro to incorporate the new plant to the existing facilities. The current infrastructure will be used as much as possible, although contemplating possible future expansions.
The project involves engineering of the plant, the supply of the necessary equipment, mounting supervision and personnel training. The plant is estimated to be delivered in operating conditions within nine months.
The plant to be built is INVAP’s first operation in Mexico, and will be that nation’s first industrial freeze-drying facility. In INVAP, this rises expectations as to further business opportunities in the field.
The freeze-drying (“lyophilization”) process consists in freezing foodstuff and evaporating the water contained in the tissues through sublimation, i.e. transforming the solid directly to vapor. This occurs in a vacuum, which may be achieved in different ways. The system built and marketed by INVAP employs vapor ejectors. Our lyophilizer uses supersonic nozzles instead of vacuum pumps to expel the water vapor from the system. This makes our plants simpler and cheaper to operate in places where electricity is expensive and fuel – such as gas in Argentina or oil in Mexico – is cheap and abundant.
There are also possible buyers in Argentina among fruit and vegetable producers interested in building their own plants to increase the value of their exports.
In some items of high world demand and low supply, the value added may prove considerable, e.g. the value of freeze-dried strawberries is many times – as many as 15 times – higher than that of fresh strawberries. Freeze-drying allows transforming one kilogram of fresh strawberries into only 100 gram of lyophilized produce, which may be rehydrated before use. This provides a preservation system that does not require refrigeration, while ot preserves the organoleptic qualities of the fresh produce.