Preston Freeze Dry manufacturing business expands in £1.5 million investment

European Freeze Dry
European Freeze Dry. Pic: Google Street View

A Preston-based food producer has continued to expand after a £1.5 million investment, bringing more jobs to the city.





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Specialist food producer European Freeze Dry has continued
to expand with the recruitment of eight employees across its facilities in the
UK and Denmark.

The investment will increase the companies manufacturing ability, with a plant based in Preston.

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During the coronavirus pandemic, shoppers struggled to get food leading to increased demand for freeze dried food.

The new staff will work within the cooking and packing
departments, new product development and business development.

Diana Morris, Country Manager UK for European Freeze Dry,
said: “The demand for nutritious ingredients and ready meals continues to grow,
as consumers want food that is not only ready to eat, but can be stored at room
temperature for an extended period of time.

“We’ve been experiencing unprecedented demand for our ingredients this year. With meals having a shelf life of up to 25 years in tins and seven years in pouches, our freeze dried options can offer food security in uncertain times to all corners of Europe.

European Freeze Dry
European Freeze Dry has expanded its workforce. Pic: European Freeze Dry

“In addition to meeting the growing demand, we continue to
work with companies to bring new products to market, as our development team
works on a new range of flavours and ingredients that can be freeze dried to
lock in the nutrition.”

The range also continues to grow from freeze dried gourmet
ingredients such as char sui pork for noodle pots through to a range of vegan
proteins.

At the same time, the company’s nutraceuticals and
pharmaceuticals range helps to meet the growing challenge of developing new and
emerging health supplements.

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The recruitment drive brings the total workforce to 68 across European Freeze Dry sites in Lancashire and Kirke Hyllinge in Denmark.

This follows investment in additional equipment to increase production, including a third cookpot, new rotary packer and a new freeze dryer.

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The company’s range of freeze dried long lasting ingredients
include fruit, vegetables and seafood, including its new vegan and gourmet
ranges, while the experimental kitchen allows for NPD testing for ready meals,
noodle pots and baking ingredients.

The freeze drying process uses a deep vacuum under which
neither ice or water can exist. The pressure from the vacuum, with a controlled
amount of heat applied, causes the ice to leave the product as a vapour trail
leaving a natural dried product.

The process takes on average a day to complete, carried out in a set of ‘chambers’ which can be controlled at various temperatures and time schedules depending on specific product requirements.

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Have you been getting freeze fried food while the shelves have been empty? Let us know in the comments

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