Milne Fruit Doubles Production Capacity with EnWave Machine Purchase Order
Milne Fruit Products, Inc, a processor and global supplier for the industrial food ingredient, beverage, and health & wellness markets, has ordered a 120kW Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV) dryer from EnWave (TSXV:ENW – $0.93 CAD & OTC:NWVCF – $0.74 USD) to double its processing capacity of MicroDried fruit and vegetable products.
Milne entered the dried fruits and vegetables market a couple of years ago positioning MicroDried products as pure, healthy alternatives to sugar-infused offerings.
The MicroDried products are all-natural fruit pieces and powders with no added sugars, flavors, colors or preservatives. Consequently, they offer more consumer appeal than most other commercial dried products. In fact, in independent side-by-side sensory comparisons, Milne’s MicroDried products were found to “actually look, smell and taste more like fresh fruit” than air-dried and freeze-dried products.
The 120kW REV machine will be installed at Milne’s facility in the spring of 2017, after which it will start to generate a quarterly royalty stream for EnWave.
Following an extensive product and market development effort, Milne’s MicroDried products have been gaining traction with a growing network of customers. The Washington State based food processor recently had to ramp up its production to satisfy significant orders from several major food companies.
Judging by the new machine purchase order, Milne clearly expects to ramp up its sales even more.
Milne introduced MicroDried fruit products to the market in the summer of 2012 and the first vegetables in the spring of 2013. Its wide scope of products include strawberry, peach, apricot, cranberry, mango, pineapple, sweet potato, etc.
Along with the purchase of the new REV dryer, EnWave agreed to expand the current license agreement with Milne to also include Concord and wine grapes, parsley, kale, green beans, squash, zucchini, cabbage, spinach, bell peppers, apricots, apples and legumes for the pet food industry.
Milne currently offers MicroDried fruits and vegetables as whole or fragmented. In addition, the fruit products are available in several moisture ranges from crunchy to chewy, making them ideal to bring natural color, intense flavor and real fruit and vegetable nutrition to breakfast cereals, baked goods, snack chips, smoothies, spreads and juices.
Additionally, thanks to EnWave’s innovative vacuum microwave dehydration technology, each MicroDried item retains vital nutrients; offering high levels of polyphenol antioxidants, which are perfect for new health and wellness consumer products.
The MicroDried fruits and vegetables can be packaged as a snack, used as an ingredient, or as a healthful additive to products. Milne is currently supplying a diversified array of clients in several commercial applications, such as:
- Private label vinaigrette raspberry salad dressing for a major grocery chain;
- Bite-size blueberry, cranberry-raspberry snack item for all natural snack manufacturer;
- Industrial blueberry cookie product for the baked goods market;
- Bulk snack or ingredient items for the nation’s premiere natural foods grocery chain; and
- Smoothie ingredients for McDonalds.
And it doesn’t stop at the above customer list for Milne. Early 2016, for instance, Milne introduced MicroDried sweet potato cubes, which quickly became a consumer favorite. With a delicious sweetness and mild flavor, they can be used in both ethnic and traditional dishes. Naturally sweet, the cubes are healthy, low calorie – only about 100 calories in a medium potato baked in the skin – with no added sugar or other ingredients. Ideal for desserts, baked goods, trail mixes, snacks and more.
And in April 2016, Milne partnered with Cornelius Group, a manufacturer and distributer of branded and own brand specialty raw materials and ingredients across the health and nutrition, industrial and care products sectors.
Rachel Fordham, dairy, desserts and beverages sales manager at Cornelius, said: “MicroDried fruit products are unique in that they deliver real fruit color, flavor and enhanced nutritional performance to consumers. Our partner Milne is also working on powdered fruit which can be used as a natural colorant. The demand for powdered fruits is growing particularly within the sports nutrition sector as a low GI carbohydrate source.”
In addition, a number of new products and varieties, including Wine Varietal Grape Powders are in development at Milne.
Since 1956, Milne Fruit Products has been an industry leader in creating fruit juices, concentrates and purees from Concord grapes. Over the years, the company has expanded its product line to include over 25 different all-natural fruit and vegetable varieties and more than 50 ingredient products. Today, it’s conquering the market again with its MicroDried product assortment.
The success is partly due to the fact that the food industry is extremely competitive and producers are constantly looking to make a difference. They can now make a difference by using MicroDried products, as independent third-party testing revealed overall superiority in appearance, flavor and texture when compared with air-dried and freeze-dried products. Consequently, it’s no surprise that major corporations like McDonalds use Milne’s MicroDried ingredients.
All of this is very good news for EnWave, as it not only benefits from the sale of 120kW REV machine, but also doubles its potential royalty income. Buy recommendation.
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