Dirafrost has been producing frozen fruit for food companies, bakeries and supermarkets for the past forty years. The company is continuing to innovate and deliver solutions in response to trends, such as the rising demand for fruit preparations in plant-based specialty pastries. Dirafrost also supports the transition towards a broader plant-based product range. Sales & Marketing Director Hendrik Colpaert says that bakeries looking to make that transition will find the right partner in Dirafrost: “We support these endeavours by informing customers of the best ways to combine our fruit purees and other products with plant-based substitutes for traditional butter and cream, for instance.”
Fruit for thought
Dirafrost’s mantra is ‘fruit for thought’. Headquartered in Lummen, the company makes both mono-products, mixes and purees. “The fruits are cut in line with the customers’ wishes. Oftentimes, these are strawberries cut in halves for companies that make specialist pastries and chunks or cubes for yoghurt producers. Especially for specialist pastry makers, our strawberries are given a coating to stop them from giving off moisture once they have been placed on cakes for decorative purposes. And in order to offer customers a 100% natural end product, we use natural starch and fibres,” Hendrik explains.
Dirafrost exports its products across Europe and overseas to North America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The company enjoys particular renown for its red fruits and more specifically for its strawberries, of which the company produces around 10,000 tonnes each year. Diafrost’s range also includes other products such as smoothie fruit (original combinations of various types of fruit as a basis for a delicious smoothie) or organically grown fruit such as our own organic raspberries. “We use 100% fruit at all times. At most, we add a small quantity of sugar to optimise the flavour and brix content,” Hendrik goes on to explain.
Plant-based foods and convenience on the rise
Dirafrost is currently riding the crest of the wave of interest in plant-based foods. For one thing, there is a surge in interest in fruit preparations used in various plant-based applications such as vegan ice cream and vegan meals.
And there is also the element of convenience which is fast gaining ground. Given the paucity on the labour market, a lot of food companies are also outsourcing more of the work, which in turn drives up demand for fruit puree.
Hendrik: “We supply our fruit puree in the consistency requested by the customer. This saves food companies time. Although we go well above and beyond our role as a supplier. We also lay on training courses for our customers and help them with the development of tasty and yummy looking finished products.”