Avopure - Avocado Powder

FOODWAIKATO

Spray Dryer Going Green

The country’s only open access product development spray dryer is helping Bay of Plenty company, Avocado Oil New Zealand, dry avocado pulp into a high value powder for use in cosmetic, nutriceutical and food products.

With two avocado drying trial runs under his belt, Plant Manager Dave Shute, says drying fruit is just one example of the diverse nature of the FoodWaikato facility.

“Our plant has been up and running for one year now and we’ve primarily been drying milk products. So, drying avocados – in fact fruit of any kind - was new territory for us. We did our first trial run in January, which introduced us to the challenges of dealing with a fruit that is fibrous, highly viscous, and oxidises rapidly if exposed to air”

Brian Richardson, Executive Director of Avocado Oil New Zealand, says it’s been a long process to gear up to commercial production of its new avocado powder, Avopure, and it has finally become possible with access to FoodWaikato’s product development spray dryer.

High quality avocado powder is in demand by manufacturers across the world for use in cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and food products. “The avocado powder we have developed has a unique point of difference on the international stage. It will be the first premium avocado powder available which contains no added fillers or carriers and contains higher levels of potassium, fibre and energy. Avopure is developed using 100% natural New Zealand grown avocados. Without the extra additives seen in our competitor’s products, manufacturers will essentially get twice the product – and twice the benefits - from the same volume,” said Mr Richardson.

Avopure will be sold initially in the US, Japan, China and Australia.

“Once the Food Innovation Network was established a few years ago, however, we had huge support and it’s got us to the point of finally being able to develop a commercial product. Before coming to FoodWaikato, we used the FoodPilot facility in Palmerston North to help us with research and development. We did our first small scale trials with Peter Walker Consulting in Auckland, and gearing up to commercial production at FoodWaikato was the final step that proved we can do it.

“We want to get the word out to food innovators within New Zealand and throughout Australasia that we’re here to help. If you have a great idea for a new dairy, fruit or vegetable product that requires drying, come talk to us. FoodWaikato’s purpose is to contribute to the Park’s wider aim by supporting food innovators. Avocado Oil New Zealand’s story is just one example of how we’re making that happen,” explained Mr Shute.