tna will also add over 3000m² of office and manufacturing space to its existing facilities around the world including a Food Innovation Centre, to test its technology.
Vacuum frying and de-fatting technology
Bob Fritz, business development director, tna, told FoodProductionDaily thanks to the deal it will gain access to Florigo’s engineering expertise, patented vacuum frying and de-fatting technology.
Vacuum frying is ideal for products that are high in natural sugar, such as sweet potatoes or fruits.
“After our acquisition of FOODesign, which makes fryers and cookers for food processing plants, based in Oregon, in the US, last May, we started to get more into the processing side of the business and saw that Florigo International would complement that with its processing equipment and open up more opportunities for us,” he said.
“We felt we had a gap in our product range and that is now filled by Florigo.”
Fritz would not comment on how much the deal was worth but said it has a lot of history with Florigo as it used to work with the company 25 years ago when tna first started operations.
“We used Florigo as an European agent to sell our packaging, its ownership has changed twice since then, but we still employ people that used to work there,” he added.
“We’ve been on one side in packaging and they have been in processing so we regularly crossed paths on joint projects.”
French fry processing lines
Florigo specialises in the design and manufacture of frying technology for large and medium-sized snack and french fry processing lines, including washing, de-stoning, peeling, slicing, blanching, drying, frying, cooling and freezing equipment.
Fritz said the snacks market has experienced significant growth over the past few years because there is a lot of emphasis towards healthy snacks. He said that was another attraction for them for acquiring Florigo as it has a lot of technology that deals with lower fat and reduced acrylamides.
“The food industry is rapidly changing in terms of the technology that’s being used in the production of various products. From that context, it amazing what manufacturers are able to produce now in terms of quality and output from 10 years ago,” he said.
“There are also differences in the way companies have a team of engineers. Before, manufacturers had a large team but now there’s a minimal engineering team and you need to take responsibility for the complete processing line.”
Talking about expanding its facilities worldwide, Fritz said the company covers all the main geographical locations but it wants to grow the support base and user base in each country and is now ‘building up a number of people in those areas’.
“We opened a Food Innovation Centre in The Netherlands last year with smaller versions of our larger equipment for product testing. Customers can come in and taste vacuum friend kiwi fruit or French fries, now we want to add a data service to take it to the next level inviting clients to test and record their own data.
“This latest acquisition has opened the door for us to a broader range of processing equipment. There is some really good technology here and we have more processing equipment that we want to bring to market and we are specifically looking at machines that can offer a higher efficiency. We are exploring specific technology from other acquisitions and adding it to our product mix to take us to the next level.”