Out-of-the-box applications are one of the reasons the freeze-dried fruit and vegetable market continues to grow at a rate of over 7% and is projected to reach $182.9 billion by 2032. Freeze-dried vegetables are used in baby foods and pet foods. As flavoring and colorant for pharmaceutical tablets. And as fiber in digestive health supplements. Outside the human body, this Swiss army knife of freeze-dried ingredients is in powdered makeup, vitamins and antioxidants in skincare lotions, and bath bombs.
Given the broad range of applications in diverse industries, many wholesalers have become available to supply freeze-dried vegetable powder in bulk. The question is, which wholesaler is right for you?
What are freeze-dried vegetables?
They are fresh, whole vegetables that have gone through a preservation process called freeze-drying shortly after harvesting. The ancients were experimenting with freeze-drying vegetables in 1250 BC, not to mention the Incas in the 15th century. Lyophilization, the scientific term, is made up of three ancient Greek word roots: “λύω” meaning to break up, ίζειν” meaning to make, – and “φιλέω” meaning to love, to kiss. Today the process involves removing moisture from the vegetables while preserving their structure, flavor, and nutritional density.
This is how it works in a nutshell:
Immediately after harvest and as close to the source as possible, the fresh vegetables are frozen to very low temperatures, typically below freezing.
After freezing, the organic vegetables are placed in a vacuum chamber, where the air pressure is gently reduced.
In the low-pressure space, the frozen water within the vegetables transitions from a solid (ice) to a gas (water vapor) through sublimation. Here, the moisture is gently loved, kissed away through the vegetable as water vapor, preserving the cellular structure and sealing in 98-99% of the nutrients and flavor.
The vapor is collected and removed from the chamber, leaving behind the freeze-dried vegetables, the nutrient and flavor equivalent of its original “whole” form.
Why buying freeze-dried vegetable powder in bulk is good for business
iThe storage time for freeze-dried vegetable powder is 12 months (without a single preservative). They’re also packed with enough nutrition to be used as an ingredient in baby formulas as they’re easier for infants to digest, or enjoyed as convenient and healthy snacks for people of all ages.
Freeze-dried vegetable powders are made from surplus post-calibration frozen vegetable outgrades, in other words, “ugly” vegetables. These perfectly nutritious and flavorful greens used to be driven by the truckload to landfills just because they deviated from the strict visual and aesthetic standards set for fresh produce. Fortunately, wastage is a thing of the past thanks to advances in global food supply chain technologies like freeze-drying at the source.
Improved ingredient availability
Available year-round, regardless of the growing season, means businesses that need to use vegetables in their products now have an option as nutritious and flavorful as fresh produce, bringing welcome relief to the fine margins of inventory management.
Catering to the clean-label demand, transparency in every bite.
Clean labeling means uncomplicated, transparent labeling that allows the consumer to know exactly what is in their food and where it came from. Less is more. The simpler, the better. Freeze-dried vegetables naturally fit this growing demand as their amazing shelf-life involves minimal processing and zero preservatives.
While no regulatory or legal definition exists for “clean label,” it’s the name of a growing consumer culture, especially amongst Gen Zs, who are consciously choosing foods that conform to this tick list below:
Fewer ingredients, commonly found
Clean-label products are all about natural coloring, flavoring, and preserving processes such as freeze-drying, which produces a product nutritionally closer to whole foods than other processes.
Clean-label foods haven’t undergone tertiary food processing, meaning absolutely no preservatives, coloring agents, or flavorings were used to enhance the product’s taste, texture, and shelf stability.
Manufacturers doing clean labels have to be open books regarding the sourcing and origins of their ingredients, not to mention the production processes they use.
Clean-label products are often richer in nutrition content due to the emphasis on instantly recognizable, real ingredients; and the absence of additives and preservatives.
Clean-label goes beyond just listing the ingredients; it’s about sharing the journey of those ingredients from farm to table. The label should disclose the sources and origins of ingredients, allowing consumers to make informed choices based on factors like sustainability, ethical practices, and quality.
Which wholesale freeze-dried vegetable powder supplier is right for you?
A modern freeze-dried vegetable powder wholesaler should offer strategic solutions that consider real-world factors, from natural events to logistic struggles, while offering ways to leverage trends like clean labels and personalized packaging options as close to the source as possible.
Here are some other things things to look out for:
Quality and Certifications
Third-party accreditation tops this list. Are they certified vegan? FDA registered? GMP and HACCP food safety certified? What about their BRC certification, which can be as challenging for wholesalers as earning a Michelin star? Are these global compliance standards displayed on their websites?
Traceability and Sourcing
Quality begins at the ingredient’s source. Chefs have said it for centuries, and in 2023 customers are saying it too. A wholesaler committed to radical transparency will be able to give you a crystal clear, panoramic window into the origins of each of their vendors. You can also ask your wholesaler if you can see their stakeholder and supply chain. Don’t be shy. Better to spot any weaknesses in their ecosystem now before it costs you later.
As close as possible to the source
Does your wholesaler fly halfway across the world to meet their vendors? Do they get their hands and rain boots dirty inspecting the vegetable plantations of ingredient suppliers? Do they head out to watch the forklifts load the freeze-dried vegetable powder into containers? Can they send you the pics on WhatsApp? (We’re always happy to do so, even if we’re out inspecting a new plantation.)
Product range and customization
Offering a range of vegetable freeze-dried powders to cater to your product needs is one thing. Ensuring that the quality always stays strong and the supply chain is consistent enough to keep your business growing on autopilot is something else entirely. For instance, if your business requires customized blends or formulations, it pays to do the due diligence to see if the wholesaler can accommodate such requests and maintain the same level of quality.
Packaging and labeling compliance
The packaging should be adequately sealed (oxygen ages freeze-dried vegetables), durable, and have accurate labeling, including an ingredient list, nutritional facts, allergen warnings, and proper storage instructions. Confirm that the packaging is designed to maintain the freshness and quality of the freeze-dried powders. Above all, check if the wholesaler’s packaging meets regulatory requirements.
Is your wholesale importer large enough to cut out the intermediaries and offer you savings? Do they do their due diligence using historical data and multiple pricing sources to formulate your final price? Do they help you plan your inventory to help reduce costs and minimize stock by considering real-world factors, from natural events to logistics?
Do a background check
Research the wholesaler’s reputation by reading online reviews, testimonials, and feedback from other businesses they have supplied. Ask for references from clients that they have supplied or have previously supplied. Contact these references to gain insights into their experiences and the wholesaler’s reliability.
Looking to buy your wholesale ingredients from a reliable importer and supplier? Our catalog offers uninterrupted supply, competitive pricing, high-quality freeze-dried vegetable powders, and much, much more.
If you require more than a standard importing solution, kickstart a discovery and connect with Us ! Before Ingredient Brothers, we sat on the other side of the table, so we could stand in your shoes while we listened to your product needs, processes, pain points, and end-game in order to create an optimized supply solution that isn’t off the peg.