The newest La Unión Nice plant has been inaugurated in the Spanish municipality of Adra, Almería. With this project, the municipality of Adra will become a prominent place in the world for the production of frozen fruits and vegetables.
The technology used in the plant developed by La Unión and Nice Tech is making it possible to market frozen, ready-made fruit and vegetable products through an innovative and revolutionary system that keeps the properties of fruits and vegetables unchanged when thawed.
This project for the development of an industrial freezing process with Nice Tech technology is the result of 10 years of research and business collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. The goal has been to find a perfect freezing and thawing process, 100% physical and without chemicals or additives, that would keep the organoleptic properties of fruits and vegetables intact. The process allows for the product's vitality, nutrients, texture, moisture and flavor to be preserved. Thus, the shelf life is prolonged and the freshly picked characteristics are maintained, making it possible to consumed fruits and vegetables of the highest quality at any time of the year, without depending on seasonality, and with a shelf life of 3 years.
Difference with traditional freezing
The key objective for Alunt La Unión Nice Almería, the company created by both firms, is to use a unique technology to optimize processes without sacrificing the product's freshness. This method, the spearhead of its investment in R&D, will make it possible for the company to market fruits and vegetables and distribute them to any part of the world, allowing an unprecedented international expansion with a unique and constant quality for 1,000 days.
La Unión is currently able to market 400,000 tons of fruit and vegetable products in Europe through its 30 operations centers. With the Nice Tech method, it will be possible to gradually increase that figure each year with up to 10,000 tons of frozen fruit and vegetables within five years, with an estimated turnover of 50 million Euro by 2025 with this division alone.
Cut into slices, wedges, sticks, cubes or in julienne, the range of fruit and vegetable products available at this plant includes standard and premium tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, strawberries, avocados, mangoes and melons. There are also many others in development, including zucchini, eggplant, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, apples and beans. Other fruits, such as watermelon and papaya, are being considered for the future.
The sales channels are currently focused on the retail and food service. The project investment amounted to 21 million Euro, co-funded by the two companies: Alhóndiga La Unión and Nice Tech. A further investment of 15 million Euro is expected for the setting up of a second plant in 4 years' time.