From cage egg production to state-of-the-art egg grading and liquid egg processing

The success story of Gnaser FrischEi and EiVita starts with the foundation of Gnaser FrischEi in 1970 and the goal to produce cage eggs with a flock of around 25.000 laying hens. At the peak in the 1980s the company had around 245.000 laying hens. 

Back then, Gnaser FrischEi started grading their eggs for the very first time and invested in an ECM 1800 egg grader from Staalkat (today: SANOVO) which could handle around 50.000 eggs/hour. But then, with Austria entering the EU and the price drop across many countries, the company stopped cage production and shifted towards barn- and organic free-range eggs only.

Today, Gnaser FrischEi handles between 1.5 and 2.0 million eggs every day and is one of the largest packing stations in Austria!

One of the most important aspirations of Gnaser FrischEi is to be a reliable partner that you can count on with stable conditions and price levels – not only to their customers but also to their farmers. The company counts around 200 local egg farms to their supply partners, with 2/3 being barn eggs and around 1/3 being organic free-range eggs.

“We distribute our shell eggs mostly in Austria and primarily to the retail markets, small bakeries, and wholesalers”, says Andreas Hütter, Managing Director of Gnaser FrischEi and EiVita KG.

Up to 1.5 million eggs a day including individual egg tracking

In 2020 the company added the SANOVO GraderPro 600 to their grading plant for increasing efficiency. The GraderPro 600 handles all the barn eggs, while a SANOVO Ardenta is handling the organic free-range eggs. With a max. capacity of 600 cases/hour, Gnaser FrischEi runs the machine at a speed of 160.000 – 175.000 eggs an hour, grading between six to nine hours every day on average.

“We are very satisfied with the machine. The highlight of the GraderPro is the high technical standard on the one hand and on the other hand the throughput. We need around the same amount of people for the Ardenta and the GraderPro, but the GraderPro produces more than twice as much”, explains Andreas Hütter.

Next to the GraderPro, Gnaser FrischEi decided to automate parts of their operations with automated de-palletizing and cargo palletizing.

Andreas Hütter about the benefits of automation: “At our Ardenta without automation, we need 3 persons for loading onto the conveyor. With the De-Palletizer, we need only 1 person for double the number of eggs in the loading area. So we save 2 persons, it is easier, and we have twice the throughput.”

Even when it comes to egg traceability the plant is professionally equipped. Austria was one of the first countries where traceability became a big topic, and back then Gnaser FrischEi started cooperating with Ovotrack. “They started to install different traceability solutions back then, and for over 10 years now we have a good experience with Ovotrack”, says Andreas Hütter.

Becoming Austria’s number #1 egg powder producer and entering the European market

In 2012, the company EiVita Austria KG was established. But why does a grading plant move into liquid egg processing and powder production?

“The demand for eggs is significantly higher during the winter period. That means we have a lot of surplus eggs during summer, which we must handle somewhere. So that is why we decided to establish a liquid egg processing plant to produce egg powder”, explains Andreas Hütter.

As a turnkey supplier, SANOVO supplied the whole line; egg loading, breaking, filtering, pasteurizing, fermenting (egg white only), and finally spray drying for producing the powder. The EiVita processing plant is powered by biofuel with woodchips coming from local suppliers.

“With our egg powder plant, we are able to enter completely different markets. Apart from Austria, we supply egg powder to Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, parts of Switzerland, and since recently also France”, says Andreas Hütter.

Moving into liquid egg processing as a packing station opens up new business possibilities, both locally and on the international market. Just like Gnaser FrischEi did in 2012 when taking the decision to start egg processing.

If you want to learn more about Gnaser FrischEi and its products, check out their website: If you are more into egg powder production, visit EiVita’s website for more:

About the collaboration

"There are alternatives, but SANOVO is a total solution provider, from loading to breaking, pasteurization and drying. The project handling worked fine, they develop best-practice plans for the production setup, own ideas and requirements can also flow into that and are adapted accordingly – it just works with them!"

Andreas Hütter, Managing Director Gnaser FrischEi & EiVita KG