“Pure” avocado powder on the way

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th June 2013

New Zealand spray dryer, FoodWaikato and oil producer Avocado Oil New Zealand have come together to develop an avocado powder for use in food, cosmetic and nutriceutical products.

The product, to be marketed under the Avopure brand, will be sold initially in Australia, the US, Japan and China.

“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,” said Dave Shute, FoodWaikato Plant Manager. “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,” he said.

FoodWaikato said it also faced the “huge challenge” of cleaning the plant to the highest food safety standards so that it was ready to process milk again within 24 hours of the avocado drying trial. The plant is now preparing to undertake commercial production of the avocado powder with Avocado Oil New Zealand.

Avocado Oil New Zealand said the process to get to the stage of commercial production has been a long one. But it said high quality avocado powder is in demand by manufacturers across the world for use in food products such as re-hydrated guacamole, cosmetics such as face masks and nutriceutical supplements and capsules.

“The avocado powder we have developed has a unique point of difference on the international stage compared to our competitors. 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,” said Brian Richardson, Executive Director of Avocado Oil New Zealand.

This is the second avocado initiative produced by the Company. Its popular brand Grove Avocado Oil was launched in 2000, and is widely available throughout New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the US, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore and Brazil.

FoodWaikato said avocados are just one example of the different food products that will go through its facilities in 2013.

“We are talking to around ten different companies at the moment who want to do trials with us and several of those are fruit and vegetable products,” Mr Shute said.

“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,” Mr Shute said.

FoodWaikato is part of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network, a national network of science and technology resources that supports growth and development of New Zealand food and beverage businesses.

FoodWaikato plant manager Dave Shute with avocado powder May 2013