People interested in using spray drying technology to value add to local horticultural produce are invited to contribute to a pre-feasibility study of its potential use in Western Australia.
The Shire of Manjimup commissioned the study, as part of the Manjimup Agricultural Expansion project, supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
Study author, Victorian-based consultancy OzScientific, will meet with interested parties in the South West from 8-13 January to discuss potential applications for spray drying technology in WA.
The pre-feasibility study will explore the range of products, markets, costs and economies of scale of spray drying food.
Department development officer Tilwin Westrup said there had already been market interest expressed in local products that could be produced with spray drying technology.
“Spray drying involves pumping pulped material in a solution, via a spray nozzle, into a heated chamber and collecting the resulting powder,” he said.
“The temperatures used are low enough to avoid denaturing proteins or damaging flavonoids so the powders can be used in food manufacturing, as protein additives, natural flavours, or in nutritional supplements, such as antioxidants or beta-carotene.”
Mr Westrup said other benefits from spray drying included value adding alternatives and reduced costs.
“The process removes up to 90 per cent of the product’s weight by extracting its water, reducing transport cost and increasing shelf life, generating value-adding and market opportunities for excess or second grade produce,” he said.
The pre-feasibility study will also consider scale, and how facilities could be used year round to spread overhead costs.
While spray drying technology has been considered in the WA dairy industry, it has not been applied to horticulture produce.
The pre-feasibility study is expected to be completed in May 2018.
To participate in the consultation process, contact OzScientific director, Ranjan Sharma, on +61 (0) 448 004 996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the pre-feasibility study contact Tilwin Westrup on +61 (0)8 9780 6165 or email email@example.com
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison
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