Sial d'Or

SA strikes gold at global food Oscars

Port Elizabeth-based Dynamic Commodities is no stranger to awards, and has a new one in its trophy cabinet: a coveted SIAL d’Or, one of the nine main awards presented to the most innovative new products at SIAL 2010 (17-21 October 2010), the huge global foodbev showcase that takes place in Paris every two years.

It has taken top honours in the Sweet Frozen Foods Category for Bits o’ Juice, individual, cryogenically-frozen citrus pods that make a novel flavouring condiment. It also won the South African country prize.

The competition judges were food editors from 30 international magazines in the food and beverage industry. To read more about the competition and all the winners, click here

Bits o JuiceBits o’ Juice, is already no stranger to the international limelight: it was a of an IUFoST 2010 Global Food Award, and at last year’’s Anuga Food Fair in Cologne, it won the prize in the Fine Foods category at the expo’’s innovation forum, Taste ‘09.

The product is a culmination of a long R&D process, with the Port Elizabeth-based fruit processing company’’s development team, guided by founder, Manie Maritz, working for five years to refine a technique to freeze the tiny juice pods of lemons, oranges and grapefruit.

Dynamic Commodities is already exporting significant tonnage of Bits o’ Juice to Japan every month. In the catering industry, for instance, it’’s used as a topping on dishes such as fish as it doesn’’t make the food soggy, while a Japanese beverage company use Bits o’ Juice in a vodka-based FAB.

““Unlike fresh fruit juices where the fruit cells you’’re tasting are actually the spent sac, with Bits o’ Juice, the sac remains intact so it’s ideal for beverages,”” says CEO Adrian Vardy.

The innovation was a natural progression for Dynamic Commodities, which started out selling frozen fruit shells to the Japanese market. The company then extended its product range by filling the fruit shells with sorbet and marketing them in the US and Europe. It now ships millions of its Island Way fruit sorbets to the US alone.

Dynamic Commodities’ cryogenic processing of fruit is very in tune with today’s consumer demands: “”Though fruit can be preserved in cans, the process involves cooking and preserving the segments in a sugary liquid, which destroys the natural flavour profile,”” says Vardy. “”Customers are demanding a natural alternative. Freezing fruit and citrus segments is one way of doing this.””

The same freezing technique is used with piquant peppers and which retains their natural shape, texture and flavour, making them ideal for stuffing with interesting fillings. The company now sells 300 – 600 tons per year.

Processing tens of millions of kilograms of fruit a year, about 96% of the company’s product is exported. Dynamic Commodities is a brilliant South African entrepreneurial success story that epitomises excellence in food innovation, food processing, job creation and export earnings.

Manie Maritz and Adrian Vardy
Manie Maritz and Adrian Vardy, founder and CEO respectively of PE’s Dynamic Commodities, collect their IUFoST Global Food Award in August 2010.

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