What Is Freeze-Drying?
During WWII, freeze-drying (technically called lyophilization) was developed to preserve medical supplies that would otherwise need refrigeration. As the process was perfected, freeze-drying food and other perishable substances became a viable preservation solution for businesses.
Unlike a dehydrator or simple food dryer, a food industry freeze dryer removes ice particles by utilizing two processes at a very low and steady temperature:
Sublimation, which is evaporation directly from a solid state to a gas or vapor. You may have seen this natural process in action when ice disappears from a window without melting first. Desorption, which goes past natural sublimation to remove the remaining bound water molecules from the material being freeze-dried.
What Are the Benefits of Freeze-Drying?
By keeping the temperature extremely low during the process, a freeze dryer protects the appearance, characteristics, and nutritional value of foods and other highly perishable and valuable substances.
Some of the reasons to use food processing freeze-drying equipment include:
Maintaining supplies of life-saving medicines, resources, and plasma for community support during a crisis.
Preserving food for up to 25 years without the use of chemical preservatives by removing the potential for bacterial growth.
Retaining more nutritional value, color, and natural appearance than traditional drying methods.
Allowing the freeze-dried product to be easily ground, measured, and/or blended into custom product formulations at a consistent rate.
Enabling purchasing, processing, and preservation of key industry ingredients when prices are seasonally low for the entire year’s production needs.
Drastically lowering the size and weight of the product, reducing storage and shipping costs.
Popular and Profitable Applications of Commercial Freeze-Drying
For use in gourmet food preparation and health food products, this process is highly effective at preserving the taste and quality of vegetables, meat, and fish.
Freeze-Drying Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies
This process stabilizes pharmaceuticals and makes it possible to create powders for tablets or capsules. It can also preserve vaccines and other injectables.
Nutrients that are extracted directly from plants and offer specific benefits to health and wellness are called nutraceuticals. A small food or commercial freeze dryer preserves the active ingredients and helps concentrate these products to a consistent potency level.
Freeze-Drying Pet Food
Many discriminating pet owners are interested in high-quality pet food which is preservative-free and natural. Freeze-drying pet food increases shelf life and greatly reduces shipping costs.
Freeze-Drying Dairy Products
Very few food items begin to degrade as quickly as fresh dairy products. By freeze-drying immediately, milk, cream, and all types of cheeses can be preserved at the peak of quality and taste, for use in cooking and food products.
Finding the Right Commercial Food Processing Freeze Dryer for Your Application
Choosing the right equipment for your intended use is easy with the customizable product line from Parker Freeze Dry. We offer small units which meet the needs of small businesses for reliability and consistency, and large industrial or laboratory units with more than 2,000 square feet of usable shelf area.
Contact Parker Freeze Dry today to find out how commercial freeze-drying can help your business control supply costs and increase product quality far into the future!