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Published February 1, 2005

This tailor-made food is prepared in a drying plant for which three researchers at SINTEF and NTNU had the idea in 1989. Now, the trio’s technology is in the process of making its commercial world premiere.

Photo: Runar Emberland Lien

The Norwegian company Dtech AS - a spin-off of SINTEF and NTNU - is in the process of building a large factory in Hungary on the basis of the results obtained by the three scientists.

The new plant will supply the international food industry with dried maize and dried peas - ingredients which will end up in dried soups and powdered casserole dishes all over the world.

Professor Ingvald Strømmen, NTNU, is one of the fathers of the new technology.
Photo: Rune Petter Ness

High quality at low price
In their bags, the maize and peas are small and dry. Once water has been added in the users’ cooking pots, they become fresh and juicy again. In terms of the taste, aroma and colour of the end-products, the new technology approaches the quality of vacuum freeze-drying - the Rolls Royce of dehydration technology. But the new technology is much less expensive.

International trend
“The growing use of powdered foods is due to the fact that many people wish to put less time into preparing meals. We have gone into this field with the aim of giving people the best possible ingredients in bags of granulated food”, says Professor Ingvald Strømmen, one of the fathers of the new technology.

Well-fed adventurers
During the 16 years since the invention of the process, the scientists have tested the dehydration method on a wide range of raw materials. Two students who crossed Greenland on skis in 2004 used one of the company’s products in their canteens. They added water to minced beef that had been browned and then dried before they set off on their journey.

“It all worked perfectly”, they said when they returned home.