“Acai and maqui are the new superfood sensations and we are proud to offer the best quality freeze-dried powder on the market today,” said Boris Hirmas, founder and Chairman of SouthAm Freeze Dry.
The company originally started with its line of pure freeze-dried fruit snacks, called Isofrut. They positioned these as the category leader in a wide range of retailers such as supermarkets (including Jumbo and Walmart), convenience stores and pharmacies, explained a spokesperson.
“Later on, we realized there was a new up-and-coming segment, at the time, which was the fruit based powders for a wide variety of use cases such as smoothies, cereal application, dairy, and most recently popular, frozen ‘bowls’ i.e. Acai bowls among many others. Our most popular powders have been Maqui and Acai as consumer trends have shifted from pills and extracts to natural antioxidants which can be consumed in a tasty way,” added the spokesperson.
The company was founded in Chile, and its leading markets today are Chile, United States, Mexico and Korea.
“All of SouthAm’s raw produce is currently sourced from the Americas; powders like Açaí and Maqui are native superfoods which have been known for centuries by the native communities in the Amazon and Patagonia regions and we only process Non-GMO produce,” explained the spokesperson.
“The maqui berry is a millenary gift from our ancestral civilizations, we harvest it pure from the native forest in Patagonia, and turn it into a unique purple freeze-dried powder,” added Hirmas. “Without this process, the maqui berry would still be an incredibly hard crop to bring to consumers.”
Freeze-drying is a process that removes the moisture as vapor in a vacuum, allowing the fruit or vegetable to preserve its structure, color, flavor and most importantly its nutritional value. Once the produce is freeze-dried, it is finely milled, creating a rich, nutrient-dense powder which can be used for baking preparations, acai and maqui bowls, smoothies, nutrition bars and much more.
“The true virtue and advantage of freeze-dry is that the process preserves the natural nutrients in the food, with an added value that is long shelf life and no need of a cold chain,” added the spokesperson.
The powders are produced in the company’s Chilean facility, where it currently has a 270,000 metric ton capacity for finished products. The facility has been certified as BRC AA for the last three years in a row, said the spokesperson.
“The process itself utilizes large amounts of heated water in a closed system; in order to be respectful of the environment, SouthAm was the first food industry in Chile to install gas micro turbines in order to generate, in an efficient way, the necessary energy needed in the freeze-dry process.”
Beyond powders, the company has developed a proprietary process to offer its customer base a wide variety of fruit and vegetable presentations, from whole fruits, to different cuts, like slices, wedges, and tidbits.
“This really has to do with the specific application the client requires. Our top sellers are of course our antioxidant powder line, mainly açaí, maqui and blueberry along with strawberry, banana, pineapple and apples which are also very popular.”