Aiming to diversify into air drying, add capacities in freeze drying and strengthen backward integration by individual quick freeze (IQF), Saraf Foods Ltd, a Vadodara-based food processing company specialising in freeze drying, will invest Rs 60 crore in a manufacturing plant in Vaghodia, near Vadodara. The bhoomi pujan ceremony for the unit was held recently. Saraf Foods has a significant presence in global markets like the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom.
The site development for the new facility is already underway and the building construction is expected to start shortly. The investment will come through an equal mix of debt and equity, while an approval for a sum of Rs 10 crore as cold chain subsidy from the ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI) has been obtained.
IQF, which will form the foundation of its ambitions in backward integration, is expected to start functioning by mid-January 2018. The new freeze drying unit will commence operations by the end of April, 2018. Freeze-dried food has made steady inroads, given the fast-paced lifestyle globally, which has pushed up the demand for instant foods with a longer shelf life to save on time.
Shikha Saraf, general manager, business development, Saraf Foods Ltd stated that there was a growing demand from the key customers for air-dried products of an enhanced quality. At the same time, the company has witnessed a steady demand for freeze-dried items. The expansion and capital expenditure has been made to meet the need. This will be the second manufacturing unit, with key technological investments made to make it future-ready. This is a significant milestone achieved in the history of Saraf Foods.