The 2011/2012 recipient of the Foundation’s award for innovation was Dr. Timothy Durance, co-CEO, founder and chairman of EnWave Corporation.
Dr. Durance was recognized for leading the innovation and advancement of commercial-scale food dehydration technology, known as nutraREV (Radiant Energy Vacuum).
Dr. Durance has been honing NutraREV technology for more than a decade. It is the application of microwave energy in a low-pressure or vacuum environment, which reduces energy usage and increases productivity.
It is currently used in the food industry to dry fruits, vegetables and other products more quickly and less expensively than the conventional methods of freeze drying and air drying, with better flavour, colour, texture and more nutrients.
NutraREV promises to make a significant impact in the BC agri-food sector, allowing producers of raw commodities to also supply value-added dry products.
It has already been used to dehydrate BC blueberries for sale throughout the world, and is currently being developed for specific commercial applications for several global companies.
“It’s very gratifying to be recognized in BC, where I’ve spent nearly my entire career, and especially the last decade of it focused on developing this technology,” says Dr. Durance. “BC is an excellent location for agricultural innovators, given the diversity of the agri-food industry. NutraREV has the potential to benefit all agri-food sectors by providing producers with an economical, high quality method to diversify their operations.”
Dr. Durance was formerly a professor at UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems, where he originally developed the technology.