New Zealand's free-range pioneers, FRENZ, have opened a new, state-of-the-art egg grader, increasing egg processing capacity and expanding egg export potential into Asia.
Rob Darby, FRENZ director, said the new grader increases the number of eggs that can be checked, sanitised, sorted and packaged, from 8,000 eggs per hour on the old machine to 45,000 eggs per hour.
"In terms of export potential, this grader gives us the ability to fill a twenty-foot container with eggs every six and a half hours," said Darby.
"Although Asia is the world's largest egg producer worldwide, the demand for high quality, free-range and organic eggs in Asian countries is increasing and this new machine gives us the ability to meet export demands and expand into new markets."
FRENZ currently exports eggs to Macau and Hong Kong and recently confirmed its first order from Taiwan. The company is working with NZTE to achieve market entry into Singapore and Korea.
A key point of difference for FRENZ's grader is its ability to safely sanitise eggs, making them 'Kitchen Safe'. Eggs are hygienically washed, dried and UV sanitised to produce a germ free exterior. Finally, eggs are coated in a natural oil to prevent bacteria entering the internal egg through the porous shell.
"Our sanitisation methods give our eggs a longer shelf life of up to 60 days, versus the usual 35 days, which makes it more viable for FRENZ eggs to be shipped overseas."
The FRENZ 'Kitchen Safe' initiative is also a win for the NZ consumer with all FRENZ eggs able to be safely handled during cooking.
FRENZ's new egg grader has several other features that will help to secure international orders such as the ability to sort eggs based on shell colour and to digitally print on eggs in a multitude of languages, including Mandarin.
"This is an exciting next step for the team here at FRENZ. Chickens might not traditionally migrate over vast distances, but our new technology will allow NZ's best quality free-range and organic eggs to make it overseas."