Gulfood 2023: Fancy an ice cream that doesn't melt?

From space to Earth: Lithuanian firm brings 'freeze-dried ice cream' to Dubai

by

Lamya Tawfik

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A staffer with the ice cream from Super Garden of Estonia at Gulf Food 2023 in Dubai - Photo by M. Sajjad
A staffer with the ice cream from Super Garden of Estonia at Gulf Food 2023 in Dubai - Photo by M. Sajjad

Published: Thu 23 Feb 2023, 4:18 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Feb 2023, 4:35 PM

From creating food for astronauts that are similar to those eaten on earth to making food offered in space available to people on earth, the food sector has indeed come a long way. There is simply no end to human innovation, as many food companies - and products - at this year’s Gulfood have demonstrated.

Laura Kaziukoniene, owner and CEO of Super Garden, and the brain behind the innovative “freeze-dried ice cream” showcased at the fair said that it all started because she wanted to create a healthy snack alternative for her children.

“I was looking for something healthy for my children. I noticed that they liked dried berries, in fact they picked them from their cereal. That’s when I realised that berries could work, so I started freeze-drying them,” she said.

Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad

Her product line started to develop and as she started looking for more interesting snacks for her children, she began freeze-drying ice cream. The ‘ice cream’ snack is made out of cutting ice cream into small pieces, freeze drying it in very low temperatures — -80 degrees – and then using vacuum machines to remove all the humidity. The result is a crunchy ice cream snack that doesn’t melt except after one bites into it. The texture is very similar to a meringue.

Laura says that they are one of the leaders in this category with the largest assortment of different kinds of ice cream flavours – all with no added sugar, preservatives, and made with plant-based milk. She developed different kinds of flavours for specific markets like matcha flavoured ice cream for Japan and Bubble Gum flavour for the US.

At Gulfood, she brought vanilla and vanilla with cheese and berries. The ice cream, she said, can be done in different shapes – like small spheres or sticks. Even though children were the reason why she started, Laura said that adults who like to indulge with a sweet snack also enjoy them. “The technology was developed by NASA and it’s the most effective food preservation method because it retains all the vitamins and nutritious qualities of the food. It has a long shelf-life,” explained Laura, adding that they not only freeze ice-cream but vegetables, fruit, cheese, meat and fish too. Everything can be freeze-dried except for fat, she explained.

“We have a unique patented product: bites – which compacts fruits and vegetables. A small 1cm cube can have 10 raspberries or one whole carrot,” she said. “If your child doesn’t like vegetables, you can give them one small cube and tell them that this is carrot candy. They get the nutrition of a whole carrot in one cube.”

This is not Laura’s first time here in the UAE. During Expo 2020 she presented their 3D printer that printed food from freeze-dried powder of berries.

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