Healthy snack tackles food waste in Australia

Pipan Foods, an Australian food producer, wants to offer a healthy snack with Chippy Apples while preventing food waste.

Director Phil Gomizel says the target audience for the new product is the family. Chippy apples can contribute to a healthier diet in children known as ‘picky eaters’.

“Kids especially love it,” he says. “It’s the most important thing to me. Our business is about food, including exports to Asia. When I first tasted Chippy Apple for the first time, I knew kids would love it. It’s a snack for families. Kids are much more likely. to eat processed foods than fresh fruits and vegetables so children give it a try.We get good answers and we already sell the product through suppliers of packed lunches for children.We use class II apples.Apple is also a fruit that is available “All year round. We work primarily with Pink Lady, but occasionally also with apples for the juice industry. We focus on local products. Especially this year, a lot of apples have actually been thrown out.”

The idea arose when a grower, a good friend of Phil, had lost much of his orchard due to extreme weather conditions and did not want to rebuild everything completely. He went looking for alternatives and discovered vacuum drying through a Taiwanese picker in Australia.

“After visiting a very experienced technician in Taiwan, a relative of one of his pickers, he found the technology promising and invested in it,” says Gomizel. “It led to the construction of a small pilot plant under the corona. He called me and told me he had made this product but did not know how to sell it. So we came up with a brand and a strategic plan for to launch the product.product and to expand production.Chippy Apple was launched in one flavor: apple.So we also thought of trying some other flavors, such as cinnamon and a slightly salty flavor.We built a prototype machine to put new flavors in the product and now we are investigating the possibility of a number of hot sauce additives, including wasabi. “

Following the launch of the apple products, the company has already considered expanding to other product lines, such as pears, tangerines, mangoes and bananas, but this requires further research and development work.

“We can make delicious snacks that are not immediately available on the market, but we need to find out how we do it with seasonal fruits. How do we maintain a stable production of fruits that are only harvested a few months a year?” he wonders. “In our processing plant, we can produce about two million packages a year, and according to our forecasts, we will reach maximum capacity within the next 18-24 months. Then we plan to open an extra large plant or close more small ones. For the fruit supply . to build.”

Gomizel explains that the product is 100% fruit, with no added sugar or preservatives.

“Only the core casings are removed from the apples, they are then cut into slices, and there is a two-step drying process,” says Gomizel. “The first step is a normal 24-hour drying cycle, just as you would dry any fruit. Then the slices go into our vacuum dryer, where they are baked at a very low pressure at a low temperature of 70 degrees. We have four small ovens that can bake very efficiently in terms of energy consumption.They absorb the moisture from the apple slices to 0.1%, after which the slices end up directly in the package.The Chippy Apples are crispy and retain all the natural sweetness of the apple, which means no oxidation or taste of a boiled apple.Our interest for this technology is so great that we now see more opportunities for other fruits and vegetables. “

The packaging is currently recyclable through the ‘REDcycle program’, but work is now underway to introduce a compostable film.

Pipan Foods has just signed a national distribution agreement, which means the product will be available in over 400 stores across Australia. There are plans to present it to major supermarkets in the coming months. The company also uses the Birchal platform, a crowdfunding site, to support product expansion research.

For more information:
Phil Gomizel
Pipan Foods

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