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Bonduelle to Develop and Launch Dehydrofrozen Vegetables

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Bonduelle to Develop and Launch Dehydrofrozen Vegetables

Bonduelle to Develop and Launch Dehydrofrozen Vegetables
November 20
12:27 2013

Bonduelle, the world’s leading processed vegetable producer, has been granted the exclusive global rights to develop and launch dehydrofrozen (“DHF”) vegetables using EnWave Corporation’s Radiant Energy Vacuum (“REV™”) technology. Bonduelle’s global distribution reaches into over 100 countries worldwide, primarily selling fresh, frozen and canned vegetables.

DHF vegetables are partially dehydrated and then quickly frozen. The purpose of this process is to retain nutritional content, colour, flavour and most importantly texture when cooked from the frozen state. When perfected, DHF vegetables can yield product qualities that are similar to fresh product. The lower moisture levels inherent of DHF products reduce the amount of ‘weeping’ that typically occurs when cooking frozen vegetables.

Before signing the license agreement, Bonduelle conducted an extensive market evaluation of REV™-dried DHF vegetables with a number of foodservice and retail food companies, as well as chef clients. The market evaluation results illustrated that the majority of participants could not tell the difference between fresh and DHF products after being cooked. These results combined with the economic value of DHF products derived from longer controlled shelf-life, more efficient delivery and better product consistency over a calendar year, contributed to Bonduelle’s decision to secure global exclusive licensing rights for REV™ technology.

Moving forward, EnWave plans to build a 120kW MIVAP™ machine, via its subsidiary Hans Binder Maschinenbau, for Bonduelle to use for its North American operations. EnWave plans to provide the capital to finance the initial machine build under an equipment lease agreement provided the company can secure equity financing for the project and Bonduelle is able to secure acceptable levels of government subsidies to help finance the project and support ongoing product development and technology expansion. Both parties anticipate securing financing and signing a definitive equipment lease agreement by January 31st, 2014 to enable the initial plant to start up by Q4 2014.

Additionally, EnWave and Bonduelle have agreed to collaborate on the design of a commercial-scale quantaREV™ machine for DHF vegetable applications with a target capacity in the range of 3-4 tonnes finished product per hour. The two companies plan to complete final technical design work and prototype testing by early 2015, with the goal of making quantaREV™ technology available for a larger global rollout in 2015 and beyond.

This represents EnWave’s first chance to develop a commercial application for quantaREV™ in partnership with a commercial licensee in the vegetable sector. EnWave has also agreed to set up a pilot-scale quantaREV™ machine at Bonduelle’s North American facilities by Q2 calendar 2014, so Bonduelle can continue market development for DHF vegetable applications. Bonduelle’s European group also plans to rent a lab-scale REV™ unit to initiate product development efforts for the European and other global markets.

“This represents a new global market sector for EnWave to penetrate with an industry leader,” says Dr Tim Durance, chairman and co-chief executive of EnWave. “It also provides an opportunity for EnWave to advance the development of quantaREV™ for vegetables in partnership with a commercial licensee.”

“REV™ technology is potentially game-changing as it could allow Bonduelle to redefine industry and consumer expectations regarding the quality of frozen vegetables,” comments Daniel Vielfaure, president of Bonduelle Americas. “We look forward to working with EnWave to develop our DHF offerings in the North American and other global markets.”

Vancouver-based EnWave has also signed commercial licenses with Hormel Foods Corporation, a major processed meat manufacturer, for the production of healthy dried meat products; Milne Fruit Product, EnWave’s first major licensee, for the production of several dehydrated fruit and vegetable products in the whole, fragmented and powdered form; a leading North American enzyme company, to dehydrate a series of food-related enzymes for its Tier 1 clients; and Napa Mountain Spice Company, to dry high-quality California bay leaves.

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