EnWave Closes 18th Commercial License and Sells 60kW REV Dryer
EnWave Corporation (TSXV:ENW – $1.17 CAD & OTC:NWVCF – $0.87 USD & Frankfurt:E4U – €0.80), which offers industrial-scale dehydration technology for commercial applications in the food and pharmaceutical spaces, signed a commercial royalty-bearing license with Van Dyk Specialty Products Ltd., a major Canadian producer of wild blueberry products.
The license grants Van Dyk certain exclusivity for the production of wild blueberry products using EnWave’s Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV) technology. Van Dyk will pay EnWave a royalty of between 3% and 10% on the wholesale value of the finished products when sold.
Van Dyk – best known for its highly successful blueberry juice – is focused on providing the market with high-quality REV dried blueberry products. Consequently, the company has purchased a large-scale 60kW nutraREV dryer from EnWave, which is scheduled for installation in the second half of 2017.
Although EnWave hadn’t mentioned Van Dyk in previous communications, the two companies have been cooperating for quite some time. Last year, a batch of Van Dyk’s fresh blueberries were dried at EnWave’s test facility for evaluation. These dried berries were subsequently shown for feedback to a number of fairly large companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. That feedback must have very positive as Van Dyk now proceeds with buying a large REV machine.
As Van Dyk has a high level of experience in the food industry, with plenty of distribution relationships throughout North America, Europe and Asia, we wouldn’t be surprised if the initial distribution for their dried blueberries has already been established.
It obviously helps that the tiny summer blueberry is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and all kinds of other nutrients that make it popular among health-conscious consumers.
The Van Dyk History
Located in West Caledonia, Canada, the Van Dyk name is widely recognized. It all started in 1954 when Case Van Dyk, and his wife Riek, moved from Holland to Nova Scotia, Canada.
A few years later the Van Dyks started a pig farm when they discovered wild blueberries on their property. The pair saw an opportunity to diversify into the blueberry business. It came to their attention that these wild blueberries were spread across other old, abandoned farms in the area, and so they started to acquire more of those fields over the years.
The business of harvesting and selling wild blueberries continued to grow. In the mid-90s, they began thinking about a convenient way for their customers to benefit from the incredible nutrition and health benefits of wild blueberries all year round.
The Van Dyks’ goal was to produce a juice that consistently retained the health properties of fresh blueberries while being simultaneously safe and shelf-stable. But obviously it wasn’t as easy as crushing some berries and putting the nectar in a bottle. In fact, it took two years of research and cooperation with a team of agricultural scientists to develop a unique production process that allowed them to make a juice that retained the health qualities of the fruit, tasted good and had a shelf life.
Nowadays, the Van Dyks have about 600 acres of wild blueberry land in Queens County, Annapolis County, Digby County, Shelburne County and Yarmouth County. They produce 180,000 bottles of pure wild blueberry juice annually, of which 35% is shipped overseas, mainly to China, Germany and the United Kingdom.
nutraREV is designed for the dehydration of fruits, vegetables, herbs, dairy products, meats and seafood. It provides higher nutritional content, and improved appearance, flavor and texture over freeze drying, which is the industry standard for dehydrating many food applications. It is EnWave’s most popular technology and continues to grow among food companies.
nutraREV machines are available at varying scales: 2kW for product development, 10kW for pilot-scale production and 100kW or higher for commercial production.
A 100kW unit is capable of producing as much as 150 kg (340 lbs) of dried product (below 5% residual moisture) per hour. A 100kW machine sells on average for $1.4 million and generates between $200,000 and $400,000 in royalties per year at full utilization.
nutraREV machinery tumbles the product in large baskets as they rotate through the vacuum-microwave chamber. Watch the video below to see a nutraREV dryer in operation.
The REV technology utilizes radiant energy (microwaves) in a vacuum environment to homogeneously dehydrate a wide variety of foodstuffs and biomaterials at temperatures ranging from approximately 37.5°C to below freezing.
The key to the technology is the vacuum environment in which the energy is applied because it reduces the atmospheric pressure thus requiring a lower temperature at which the moisture can efficiently be removed. This reduction of heat and oxidization minimizes the damage inflicted on the REV-dried products while preserving richer flavors, brighter colors and higher nutritional content. This explains how the Van Dyk blueberries remain rich in antioxidants and nutritional benefits when REV dried.
Total processing times can range from forty-five to ninety minutes depending on the individual product and desired end moisture content. nutraREV® is continuous and is controlled by a PLC operating system.
This is EnWave’s eighteenth commercial royalty-bearing license. The Company’s technology licensing business model continues to gain momentum with each additional commercial partner agreeing to pay royalties for the use of the Company’s innovative REV machinery.
The agreement with Van Dyk, also marks EnWave’s third commercial REV machine sale in 2017, after Ereğli Agrosan and Natural Nutrition earlier this month.
The Company is clearly in sixth gear and making progress on all fronts. We expect more commercial license deals in the near future, and as a result a continued improvement of the Company’s financials. Buy recommendation.
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