Stay Fresh Foods Adds Second High Pressure Processing Line

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Avure Certified Tolling Partner reaches milestone a year early, will double HPP capacity this fall.

Joe Ragozzino of Stay Fresh Foods talks about the processing capability of the Avure 350L HPP system during a recent customer workshop in the Meriden, Conn., facility. (Photo courtesy of Avure.)

Processors are embracing HPP primarily for shelf-life extension and food safety benefits.

Hitting its volume targets more than a year ahead of schedule, high pressure processing (HPP) services provider Stay Fresh Foods is leapfrogging over its original growth plans to launch a second HPP line in September. The Meriden, Conn.-based company, the exclusive Avure Technologies Inc. Certified Tolling Partner in the Northeast U.S., is actively preparing to expand to accommodate the new system.

It took only four months for Stay Fresh to triple its customer base and ramp up weekly plant output to 75 percent of capacity. The company began HPP operations February 5, 2013, and projects reaching near capacity sometime in August as meat and sausage production increases for the picnic season. Fresh juice is another booming sector, with business coming from a diverse group of processors who have been consistently building their demand for these innovative products.

“We did not expect to be at this point until late summer 2014, so we are very excited about responding to the brisk pace of the market,” notes Managing Director Amy Lawless. With the installation of a second Avure 350L system this September, Stay Fresh will be running 14 shifts weekly on each line.

What’s behind this exceptional upsurge in demand? According to Lawless, processors are embracing HPP primarily for shelf-life extension and food safety benefits, and Stay Fresh is growing because of its level of service. “We are food industry veterans ourselves, so we understand what it takes,” she relates. “Processors have schedule changes and delays. As a service-oriented company, we have to flex to accommodate these changes.”

Adding a second line not only boosts capacity but also builds redundancy into the HPP operation. “Purchasing another HPP system from Avure demonstrates our commitment to our customers,” points out Stay Fresh principal Joe Ragozzino. “When a company’s business is based on HPP, they are fully reliant on us and our service. We want to assure them that our operation will now be based on two Avure systems.”

Commenting on the accelerated chronology that has taken the company from its founding in July 2012 to a second HPP unit on order 10 months later, Lawless remarks, “Being linked in to the Avure network has given us comprehensive support in everything from sales and customer contacts to operational training and system maintenance optimization, and, not the least, the ability of our customers to participate in a three-way business relationship with Avure’s Food Application and Marketing teams.”

Thanks to the joint efforts, Stay Fresh is serving customers “in segments we had not imagined before, and we bend over backwards to make sure they like their interaction with us,” she says.

The increase in capacity will be accompanied by a doubling of the Stay Fresh workforce, with headcount surging to 80 by late fall.

ABOUT Stay Fresh Foods, LLC
The exclusive Avure Technologies Inc. Certified Tolling Partner in the Northeast U.S., Stay Fresh Foods, LLC provides custom high pressure processing services on a contract basis to the food industry, utilizing proven technology that substantially improves the safety and extends the shelf-life of packaged foods without chemical additives or preservatives. Based in Meriden, Conn., the company was established by a team of food industry veterans in July 2012 to serve food processors throughout New England, New York, and New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.stayfreshfoods.com.

ABOUT Avure Technologies Inc.
An innovator with a strong record of accomplishment, Avure Technologies demonstrates its expertise in high pressure by occupying leadership positions in industrial and food applications. Avure is the largest provider of ultra-high pressure systems to enhance material properties, form sheet metal, and pasteurize foods without heat or chemicals. The company offers total solutions to keep food pathogen-free and stay fresh longer–from recipe development to installation of the fastest, most reliable high pressure presses in the world. Its equipment—including the high-capacity QFP 350L and the small footprint 100L--now processes the vast majority of all HPP-treated consumer food products globally.

Avure’s Food Division, including the company’s world renowned HPP Applications Food Lab, is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, USA, with manufacturing, engineering, procurement, and customer services operations in Middletown, Ohio; manufacturing and services in Västerås, Sweden; and a global network of tolling and service providers.
For more information, visit http://www.avure.com.

ABOUT HPP
HPP is the commercially established, non-thermal lethality treatment that uses ultra-high water pressure, up to 87,000 psi, to disable pathogens and bacteria such as Listeria, E.coli, and Salmonella in packaged refrigerated products as diverse as RTE meats and raw ground beef and poultry; fresh fruits, juices, and smoothies; soups, wet salads, and sauces; and seafood and shellfish. The technology delivers benefits to all levels of the market, boosting food safety, extending shelf-life and improving margins, while providing consumers with fresh, wholesome, natural food.

PHOTO CAPTION:
Joe Ragozzino of Stay Fresh Foods talks about the processing capability of the Avure 350L HPP system during a recent customer workshop in Meriden, Conn., facility. (Photo courtesy of Avure Technologies.)

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Tim Hunter

Henrik Rosander