The Sunshine Coast has always been renowned for its abundance of fresh seasonal fruit. Now that same fresh seasonal fruit has inspired a range of healthy nutritious snack options utilising a newly developed freeze dry technology pioneered by Freeze Dry Industries. The Company, Freeze Dry Industries also has a product division, SunLife Super Foods. The group may be new to the Sunshine Coast but they are definitely not new to the industry. As all good stories of collaboration begin, Michael Buckley, owner of SunLife Super Foods, formed an innovative business development relationship with the Mock family of Red Hill, Victoria after getting to know company patriarch, Neville Mock, at ballroom dancing!
Three generations of the Mock family’s apple orchard business, has seen Neville’s entrepreneurial skills and drive for innovation, lead the family business to create solutions for the many problems faced by farmers. One of these was the in house development of freeze drying. Michael, a passionate innovator himself, saw an opportunity to take the freeze drying technology to a whole new level and offered his services to develop the intellectual property of the equipment and create a state-of- the-art, all Australian, manufacturing system. Development began in February 2016 for a purpose built facility in Yandina on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. SunLife looks forward to tapping into the abundance of locally grown fresh tropical fruits, and forging relationships with growers, cooperatives and manufacturers as well as a health conscious consumer base, eager to find nutritious, healthy, locally produced snack foods.
SunLife Super Foods has a few stories to tell, one is of their new energy efficient and technologically advanced freeze dry machines and the other is the end result, a fabulous range of freeze dried fruits – StraightUp Freeze Dried Fruit. StraightUp Freeze Dried Fruit is a super nutritious new style of snack food in the way of freeze dried fruit and vegetables – no cooking, no frying, no chemicals, no preservatives, no flavourings – just a perfectly pristine product that has retained its nutritional value, maintained its shape and colour, and tastes great! Healthy snack options are far and few in between, so being able to offer a fruit snack that not only has a beautiful natural sweetness, looks and tastes like the real thing (because it is), as well as being healthy, high in fibre and devoid of the additives most other snack foods, has become a passion of Michael’s. Growers of strawberries, mangos, bananas and apples as well as many other fruits, sourced predominantly locally, but also Australia-wide, take advantage of SunLife’s sophisticated technology to freeze dry excess fruit for a variety of uses.
The convenient StraightUp Freeze Dried Fruit snack packs are fast becoming the favourite of busy mum’s, fussy children and the health conscious. Freeze dry applications are also used for fruit, vegetable and herb powders for dried food processing and pharmaceuticals. Wastage will be a thing of the past and what would otherwise be perishable food, will find itself with a new life cycle without compromising the integrity of the product or its nutritional value. So SunLife Super Foods is ticking boxes with farmers, consumers and those wanting to ensure that they are supporting producers that are minimising waste, energy efficient and conscious of their green footprint, and making an effort to do something about it. Innovative, energy efficient, sustainable – they are often words that are bandied about, but they are words that SunLife Super Foods take seriously and have become the foundation of SunLife’s philosophy and technological developments. This is where the SunLife Super Foods freeze drying technology does actually differ from other similar imported technologies in that the machine itself has much lower power requirements allowing it to be used in regional areas with low power capabilities, as well of less of a drain on a power source in general. Additionally they have developed a heat recycling technique that helps recycle energy and they are constantly pushing the boundaries in being clean and green and one day hope to be completely portable and as well as completely solar. If that wasn’t enough it is the only commercial capacity freeze drying machine and system that is fully made in Australia.
SunLife Super Foods’ Yandina facility will be opening in November and will be a showroom and production facility not only for their range of StraightUp Freeze Dried Fruit, but for their equipment and journey of innovation and they look forward to sharing their technology with the Sunshine Coast and its wonderful growers and producers.