First, raw material is procured from farms or processors. The raw material is surplus produce that the farmer cannot use due to minor damage and/or aesthetic imperfections. These fruits and vegetables are still very high quality and great to eat and would otherwise go to waste if North of 49 Naturals didn’t purchase them.
Depending on the type of fruit or vegetable, chopping, shredding, or dicing may be required to reduce size in order to make it fit on our drying lines. Depending on the type of produce, a quick blanch may have to be done in order to preserve the colour.
Next, the produce is placed on our lines and dried. Our drying process is low thermal, using a combination of air and vacuum drying. Air drying removes the bulk of the water in the product, while the vacuum process removes the rest. This allows for gentle but efficient drying that maintains the nutritional value of the produce.
From here, we do significant testing on the dried product to ensure that it is safe and premium quality.
The product is next sent to our milling side where, depending on whether we are making flakes, powder, or a custom order, we can lightly mill to make flakes or sift and make granules or mill fully to our powder spec of 60-80 mesh.