Fresh vs freeze-dried

Fresh vs freeze-dried

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At Haskapa HQ we think hard about the value of our powder.  We ask ourselves, will a customer purchase a 100 gram pouch when they can go to a shop and buy fresh berries? 

How does Haskapa powder compare with fresh berries?

Firstly, its first worth pointing out that Haskapa powder is 100% pure haskap berry…nothing added, just water taken out. 

So, are fresh haskap berries available?  The answer is yes, but they have an extremely short shelf life unless frozen.  For that reason we don’t sell fresh haskap berries from our farm. Some farms in Canada do – and the berries are lovely – but they only last for a couple of days.

How our powder is made
The haskap berries grown on our farm in Nova Scotia are frozen almost immediately after harvest. The berries are then cleaned before passing though a process called freeze-drying, which, in a vacuum chamber, lowers the temperature of the already frozen berries from minus 18 degrees down to minus 40 degrees.  At a certain temperature and air pressure, we hit a sweet spot that is known as the ‘sublimation point’, when nearly all of the water contained in the berries is instantaneously driven off. 

We are left with whole, crispy, dry berries.  Because the process is a cold one – as opposed to a hot one - the high levels of the naturally-occurring nutrients in the berry remain largely intact. The dry berries are then milled into powder, and bagged in our Haskapa pouches. 

Amazingly, each Haskapa 100g pouch contains about 800 haskap berries, so if we divide that by 30 for each day of the month, a teaspoon contains about 26 berries, a nice daily portion, equivalent to eating a handful of fresh haskap berries, but without the water.

We know that Haskapa, being a superfood berry powder, always contains an impressive nutritional content score, which is even more significant during the colder seasons when other types of (fresh) berries take so much longer to fly from a farm to a store.  Nutritionally speaking, its challenging to make comparable year-round claims for fresh berries because there are just so many unknowns in the supply chain, a subject we will return to in our next blog. 

So is a powder comparable to a fresh berry?  Certainly yes in nutritional terms, and in truth probably a lot better for most of the year.  Our powder is as deliciously tangy as fresh berries – a blend of tangy and sweet.  The deep colour of Haskapa powder comes from the mix of the haskap’s blue skin and crimson flesh.

The response to our Haskapa Berry Powder has been amazing. 70% – 80% of our business is from returning customers, as they discover the taste, versatility and nutritional benefits of this amazing superfood.