Adya's freeze-dried fruits approach answers a key question people and eco-thinking companies have when it comes to the current trade business.
Can we reduce global food transport from around the globe and reshape the trade to make it more sustainable?
There are opportunities.
With our fruits, we only transport the essence of the fruits. No water, no peels, pits or other parts we don't consume. We read about the waste percentages coming from fruit parts that are thrown away. Traders ditch tons a year during transport when fruits do not comply with Western standards. The consumers buy in great numbers early harvested fruits and throw away what's not eaten and sometimes also ditch entire fruits when not appropriate in their minds. We get used to this, while we shouldn't. Reducing what is shipped to what is eaten here and only sending natural sunripe fruits is a solution.
Freeze-drying is not new as a technique. Ancient Peruvian civilisations used to put their potatoes outside in freezing temperatures during the night and then later on dry them out in the sun. As a result they could transport much lighter potatoes on their travels. The water has simply evaporated from the potatoes.
It is exactly that what is done by a freeze-drying machine in Wayanad, Kerala. Our partner-cooperative is freeze-drying the pieces of fruit that were harvested in the region on their peak of ripeness. The water in the fruits (in between 60 to 75% of a tropical fruit) is cristalized in the freezer and then right after 'sublimated' as the plates they are put on are warmed up.
That's all that happens, packaging is done on the spot. You get a additif free natural product on the top of its maturity. And only that is transported to the final consumer.
There is a social feature as well. We discuss on the fruits and quantities, packaging and shipping, but in the end, all is planned and done by the cooperative. They know their farmers, fruits, seasons and processing capacity. We were looking for a true partnership. It is what we found at Wayanad Social Service Society in Kerala.