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Stephan Ortmann from Harter Ltd on the application potential of fruit and vegetable drying

Significant increases in the conversion of supposed waste into upcycling products

For the past 15 years, South German company Harter Ltd has been dedicated to the development and distribution of high-quality drying processes for fruits and vegetables. "After we established a new foothold in the pharmaceutical sector in 2007, interestingly, food manufacturers also started to take notice of us. This showed us that both sectors have similar to identical requirements. Since then, we have continuously developed and expanded our 'Food Drying' segment and now distribute our tray, drum, and belt dryers globally," explains Stephan Ortmann, Head of Technical Sales at Harter.

The Harter GmbH team at this year's Anuga FoodTec. 2nd from left, Stephan Ortmann.

New and proven food drying solutions were exhibited at this year's Anuga FoodTec in Cologne. Ortmann: "In the fruit and vegetable sector, there were inquiries about processing apples and sweet potatoes into chips, almonds into flour, or herbs for high-quality teas. For fruit and vegetable manufacturers, it is important to preserve the unique characteristics of each product - appearance, structure, aroma, ingredients, and texture. Additionally, manufacturers also have individual goals: whether someone prefers softer apple chips with more nutrients or rather a crispy version for snacking. Thanks to gentle drying in a defined low-temperature range, we can also meet these requirements accordingly. Indeed, apple processing is a very large product area, as apples are known to be a regionally highly available and very popular fruit."

In our in-house technical center, various products are tested for their drying properties.

The willingness to invest varies significantly among customer groups, the drying expert continues. "The sharply risen energy costs motivate manufacturers to look for alternative solutions such as our energy- and CO₂-saving and exhaust-free heat pump drying. We see ourselves as a reliable technology partner for both large companies and small businesses with a special quality claim. We can also serve producers with very individual applications as a custom machine manufacturer."

From left to right: Tray dryer, drum dryer, and belt dryer.

Utilization of waste and by-products
According to Ortmann, there is significant growth in the utilization of supposed waste into an 'upcycling product'. "Some examples include wild rose oil from rosehip seeds of a jam manufacturer, powder from apple pomace generated during juice pressing, or sea buckthorn condensate sold to the cosmetics industry. Here too, we continually develop, in close consultation with customers, their new product. The major trend towards vegetarian and vegan diets is also something we are acutely aware of. We are happy to contribute to this global development and product diversity with our technology."

Images: Harter GmbH

For more information:
Stephan Ortmann
Harter GmbH
Harbatshofen 50
D-88167 Stiefenhofen
Tel: +49 8383 9223 12
E-Mail: [email protected]

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