Dried fruits and herbs lose a lot of their characteristic elements during drying. Six years ago, two innovative entrepreneurs from Austria faced the challenge of developing a process in which the fresh produce can be dried gently and naturally. After numerous attempts, their modern system was successfully launched this year under the name Herb.ert.
Aroma-friendly and innovative
The name Herb.Ert is a compilation of the English word herb (herb) and ERT, which refers to the Energy Recovery Technique. The final layout looks like a refrigerator and combines hygiene, technology and ease of use, explains Eduard Paschinger. Herb.ERT has taken over, adapted and further developed the so-called condensation technology. In addition to this, the process works through the principle of cycle control, so that drying stress or over-drying is avoided and the valuable nutrients are retained.
The combination of cycle control (Relaxtrocknung) - regulation-free operations and diverter air ducting with food hygiene coating, the two Austrians have managed to bring a technical novelty on the market that has never existed before. In addition, the process creates new opportunities for direct marketers and restaurateurs to refine their products on the spot and possibly sell them as premium goods. Paschinger: "The unique product quality offers the direct marketer a unique selling point and significantly increases the achievable added value of their agricultural products."
The entrepreneurs: Eduard Paschinger and Bernhard Kastner (r)
The Herb.ERT system is already being used successfully at various points within Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Also, there is currently a pilot facility on the Philippines. Although Herb.ERT is primarily used for the processing of herbs and fruits, edible flowers, certainly mushrooms and vegetables of all kinds could also be dried through this the process.
Feedback has been particularly positive: those who have already put Herb.ERT in operation, can be primarily from its low space and energy consumption - about 2 € in a 24-hour continuous operation - convince and short drying times. In the course of this, according to Paschinger, there were so many things to be achieved: "Wherever herbs grow and there are direct marketers who want to refine their own products in order to generate more added value, Herb.ERT could theoretically be used."