THEY can be a dry lot those New Zealand avocado growers.
In fact, dried avocados are set to become a new income stream for them.
The Waikato Innovation Park in Hamilton has announced it’s working with Bay of Plenty company, Avocado Oil New Zealand, to turn dry avocado pulp into a high value powder for use in cosmetic, nutriceutical and food products.
The product, to be marketed under the Avopure brand, will be sold initially in Australia, the US, Japan and China.
Brian Richardson, executive director, Avocado Oil New Zealand, said it’s been a long process to gear up to commercial production of the avocado powder 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, such as face masks, nutriceutical supplements and capsules, and food products such as re-hydrated guacamole, smoothies and even baby food.
“The avocado powder we have developed has a unique point of difference on the international stage compared to our competitors,” Mr Richardson said.
“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.”
With two avocado drying trial runs under his belt, FoodWaikato plant manager Dave Shute said drying fruit is just one example of the diverse nature of the 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,” he said.
“We are talking to around 10 different companies at the moment who want to do trials with us and several of those are fruit and vegetable products.
“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."