SME Solutions Centre – Shelf life, nutritional and sensory validation of value-added unmarketable strawberry produce and commercialisation trial
SSS Strawberries is a family-run and owned strawberry farm. The family has enjoyed phenomenal success in 16 short years since relocating to Bundaberg, with over 300 acres under cultivation growing over 4 million strawberry plants, making them one of the largest strawberry growers in Australia.
Regionally, the waste for strawberries would be approximately 6000 tonnes. Prices are seasonally market-driven and graded to commercial standards. SSS Strawberries’ second-grade fruit is estimated at a minimum of 300 tonnes per annum.
Our SME plan
SSS Strawberries, in collaboration with Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) and Fight Food Waste CRC, will investigate the development of freeze-dried strawberry snack products.
For Part A of the project, the technology/process that delivers the best shelf-life and nutritional and sensory response from consumers and the marketplace will be determined, with key milestones including:
- Review of current raw materials for the formulation, processing, quality and safety.
- Determine processing methodologies to optimise sensory qualities
- Shelf-life review
- Consumer testing and preliminary market assessment.
This project will also benefit other food waste from other produce streams within SSS, including blueberries and raspberries, and food waste from other streams including mangoes, berries, apples, pineapples, avocado and sweet potatoes.
In Part B, QDAF will liaise with SSS Strawberries to review the building and commissioning of the new manufacturing hub. This includes recommendations in product flow, operations and bespoke equipment optimisations associated with freeze-dried production.
The project will deliver key benefits in the development of freeze-dried strawberry snack products including:
- Transforming fresh strawberry waste into value-add opportunities
- Enabling launch into new market channels and wider geographical reach
- Business confidence to proceed with upscaling commercially in a new manufacturing hub.
Return to SME Solutions Centre main page
September 2022 – September 2023