March 4, 2021

Freeze dried jackfruit offers vegan versatility in Europe

European Freeze Dry has revealed its latest ingredient in response to the demand from the vegan market – freeze dried jackfruit. Enquiries from customers led the team behind the scenes to examine the opportunities for this specific product as the demand grows for plant protein ingredients.

The benefits of freeze dried jackfruit come with its versatile uses, its texture and the opportunities for use in pot meals as a replacement for pulled pork or chicken.

Sarah Lacey, Development Manager for European Freeze Dry, said: “Once fully developed, the trials exceeded all expectations. The concept of this product also complemented the strategic development across our whole range of ingredients.

“The results are prolonged shelf-life of fresh products, reduced food waste, with the structure of the food retained along with the flavour and nutritional value. We’re excited about developing further products for this market as it grows and matures.

“We work closely with our customers to meet and anticipate consumer demand for healthy, originally sourced food ingredients which are also full of taste and nutrition. Our new product development involves the whole process from research, through to trials and taste sessions.”

To date, the company’s vegan freeze-dried ingredients offering has continued to soar and the most popular currently are: 

  • Turtle beans
  • Diced sweet potato
  • Black-eyed beans
  • Diced beetroot
  • Caramelised onion

More than 30% of Europeans saying they are consciously consuming less meat with a recent study from Veganz showing the number of Europeans deliberately consuming meat less frequently is growing rapidly at 22.9%.An estimated 1.9% of Europeans now eat a vegan diet, equivalent to an estimated 15m people across the continent.

In the UK, there are an estimated 600,000 vegans, while 41% of Brits reported completely removing or actively reducing the amount of meat in their diet. Meanwhile, Italy has the fastest growing meat-free population with a growth of 94.4% over 2011-2016 while Germany has the highest percentage of vegans, with the number having doubled from 1.3m in 2016 to 2.6m in 2020 — a total of 3.2% of the population.

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.