Seagate is a fishing and farming company that processes its own raw materials. Our philosophy is that Nature made it right and it is our job to try and maintain the valuable phytonutrients in our foods rather than to try and identify some mysterious active ingredient and isolate, separate, and then extract it. Therefore, most of our raw material processing involves freeze-drying, a very delicate method of removing only the moisture at very low temperatures and concentrating the whole plant or whole marine product without chemically altering its structure …. the way Nature meant it to be.
Freeze-drying at Seagate’s factory in Ensenada, takes place inside one of several large stainless steel rotary vacuum chambers. The chamber shown above (with Richard) is 6 feet in diameter and over 8 feet long and can hold 2 tons of wet raw material. It rests upon a set of 4 rubber tires so that it can slowly rotate to keep the raw material under a constant gentle agitation.
The key to the freeze drying is the vacuum pumps, which reduce the air pressure in the tanks to almost pure vacuum like in outer space, and draw the moisture out of the product. The water in the product is actually in the form of ice particles. It converts directly from ice to a vapor due to the vacuum in the tank, bypassing the liquid phase.
Next to the vacuum pumps is a device called the “condenser” tank which traps the moisture being removed from the product inside a cold tank, that is refrigerated with environmentally safe gases flowing through copper piping. The condenser tank below (with Jose) can capture a couple of tons of water that has been evaporated from the product circulating from one of the freeze-dryers.
Some of the products such as seaweed and tomatoes are very corrosive which over time cause the internal piping and plates of the condenser to oxidize and deteriorate and require replacement. While the freeze-dryer is entirely made of high-grade stainless steel, the condenser is made of iron and copper. Pictured below is the deteriorated piping removed last month from the condenser.
A new set of plates and copper refrigeration piping was constructed to replace the entire interior of this tank and is about to be installed.
The Seagate factory processes over 20 different raw materials which we harvest ourselves, ranging from sardines and seaweed to cactus, olive leaves and lemons. Rather investing in fancy labeling and advertising, you can see where most of our spending goes — into the factory. It is very important to our company to maintain control over the production and processing of these raw materials in our effort to produce the best quality products.
Sometimes its important to let you see who we are and what we do, rather than just discussing a topic related to good health. Most of the machinery we constructed on our own — such as welding and rolling the tanks in the above photos. However, we also value an occasional trip to clear the mind … and enjoy swimming and photographing turtles in tropical waters such as this fellow along the Caymens.