New kit and capabilities at Dragons Garden

We have started 2022 with some exciting changes (new toys!) at Dragons Garden. To meet customer demand we have recently installed some new kit/expanded our existing set up. 

Our products now have a retail presence on two continents, with a substantial amount of the retail packing done at Dragons Garden and new product launches on the horizon for mid-2022. We therefore needed to make investments to improve efficiency.

Freezing and chilling

New blast freezer

We have converted one of our smaller coldstores into a large blast freezer. Our coldstore space was recently expanded with the addition of a new coldstore in a neighbouring building on the factory site, and this freed up some space. This new blast freezer is in addition to the existing blast already in service.

This new unit is very efficient for frozen purees and sugar added blockfrozen fruits.

Freezing is such a crucial part of our process. The idea of a blast freezer is to bring down the temperature of foodstuffs very rapidly and freeze them very quickly. The longer the freezing process takes the larger the ice crystals that will form in the foodstuff. Large ice crystals can damage the fruit by causing cell rupture and thus reducing quality. Rapid freezing results in very small ice crystals, less damage to the fruit and a better quality product.

Blast freezing brings the temperature down to -35 °C very fast. After food has been blast frozen it can be moved into normal freezer at around -18 C


We have expanded our drying workshop, replacing one of our older dryers and installing a new a chill-dry chamber. The new chill-dry chamber will dry products at a cooler temperature with a resulting improvement in colour of the finished products.

New drying chamber
New chill-drying chamber


Last year we introduced a colour sorter and X-ray sorter onto our production lines. The colour sorter allows for more efficient sorting of smaller berries such as raspberries, blueberries  and cranberries. It can pick up differences in colours and textures and differentiate between good product and everything else. Unwanted material is ejected from the sorting belt by a puff of air into a quarantine container. This more efficient sorting will speed up production considerably.

The X-ray sorters are designed to remove specific foreign materials. They can identify metal, stones, hard plastics and other materials based on density differentials. We now have one machine each for our frozen and dried lines.

Metal detector and X-ray sorter on frozen fruit line

Size reduction

We have an Urschel dicer and automated cutting machine to speed up size reduction jobs previously undertaken by hand.

Urschel dicer for frozen fruits
Cutting machine for dried fruit

Retail packing

Dragons Garden is now well set up to offer RTE (ready to eat) retail packs in doy bags, pillow bags, bags with a hang sell, all available in shelf-ready cartons if required. Our products now have a retail presence on two continents, with a substantial amount of the retail packing done at Dragons Garden and new product launches on the horizon for 2022.

Our new multi-head weigher has been a major factor in our ability to offer this service. This piece of kit basically takes bulk product and weighs it into smaller increments. Our machine is effective for filling packages of 80g and upwards and works for both frozen and dried product lines. Packing is now 2 x faster than it previously was by hand, with less handling of products.

In exciting news we are currently setting up a fruit leathers production line, more information to follow….