Vancouver-based EnWave announced last week it had signed a Technology Evaluation and License Option Agreement with Ultima Foods, the Canadian dairy behind Iögo yogurt.
Ultima Foods, a joint venture created by Canadian dairy cooperatives Agropur and Agrifoods in 1993, markets a wide range of dairy products in Canada under its Olympia and Iögo brands, including milk, cream cheese, sour cream, and yogurt.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ultima Foods has "the exclusive right to develop dehydrated yogurt applications" using EnWave's REV technology for "an undisclosed period of time."
"During the Term, EnWave will work closely with Ultima to optimize several formulations," EnWave said in a statement. "At any point during the Term, Ultima may exercise their exclusive option to license REV technology for the commercial production of yogurt products in Canada."
EnWave's REV technology applies microwave energy under vacuum in a low temperature environment to "gently dehydrate" food, pharmaceuticals and industrial materials.
It has developed five REV platforms to address specific market opportunities - three of which are commercially available.
Under its deal with EnWave, Ultima Foods will use nutraREV, one of the three commercially available platforms.
nutraREV, which dries fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, seafood and dairy products at or below 37C, is less expensive and uses less energy than freeze drying equipment, and dehydrates "in minutes or hours rather than days," says EnWave.
A number of companies are licensed by EnWave to use its nutraREV dehydration technology for commercial production.
Recently, in April 2015, EnWave announced it had successfully installed a small commercial REV dehydration machine at a Gay Lea Foods plant in Ontario, Canada.
The technology allows Gay Lea Foods, a cooperative owned by more than 1,200 Canadian dairy farmers, to initiate the commercial launch of their dried cheese products later in 2015.