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Freeze Dryer

Have you always wanted to preserve food for long-term storage & preservation? That’s where freeze dryers come along. Freeze-drying allows you to preserve your foods for long periods without nutrient loss.

Freeze-drying also maintains the quality of your food. It doesn’t alter any physical appearance, and when you're ready to consume the food, all it takes is some water to make it ready for consumption.

What is Freeze Drying?

Freeze drying, or lyophilization, is a sophisticated dehydration process that takes place entirely within a freeze dryer. This process is designed to preserve perishable materials while maintaining their structure and nutritional content. Here's how the process works inside a freeze dryer, broken down into the key steps:

  1. Freezing: The material is frozen at extremely low temperatures (-40℉ or lower). This preserves the material's structure and nutrient content.
  2. Primary Drying (Sublimation): Once frozen, the material remains in the freeze dryer which creates a vacuum. This reduces the surrounding pressure, enabling the frozen water in the material to sublimate - meaning it converts directly from a solid to a gas, skipping the liquid phase.
  3. Secondary Drying: The material undergoes a further drying process to remove any remaining water molecules.

The food is frozen to -40℉ or lower.

After the food is frozen, the freeze dryer uses a vacuum pump to pull out the air inside its chamber. The ice in the food then changes into a misty gas. The freeze dryer takes this gas away, leaving only dry food behind.

Once the food is dry, it's sealed in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Mylar bags block light and moisture, and oxygen absorbers remove air. This combo keeps the food fresh until opened.

When the freeze-dried food is ready to be consumed, just add water. It will taste, smell, and look as if it's fresh.

Once the freeze drying process is complete, the product must be promptly sealed in moisture-proof packaging to prevent reabsorption of water and maintain its quality until rehydrated. For added protection against oxidation and to prolong shelf life, it's recommended to include oxygen absorbers inside the packaging. When ready to use, the freeze-dried product is rehydrated with water, returning almost to its original state, while retaining its original structure and nutritional content.

Freeze Drying Benefits

Benefits of Freeze Drying

  • Retains nutrients and taste without altering food
  • Maintains the appearance and appetizing aroma of food
  • Allows conversion of freeze-dried food into powder for cooking
  • Extends shelf life of food significantly
  • Quick and easy rehydration by adding water
  • Preserves nutritional content effectively
  • Versatile applications in recipes and as seasonings
  • No need for preservatives
  • Minimal flavor alteration, retaining natural taste
  • Helps reduce food waste by preserving excess produce

What Can You Freeze Dry?

A freeze dryer offers remarkable versatility, allowing you to preserve a wide range of items, from everyday foods to specialized products such as:

  • Candy such as Skittles, gummy bears, etc.
  • Fruits such as Strawberries, apples, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, mangoes, etc.
  • Vegetables - Carrots, corn, peas, green beans, mushrooms, etc.
  • Meats & Fish: Beef, chicken, pork, seafood (raw or cooked)
  • Eggs
  • Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream
  • Soups, Stews & Meals
  • Pet Food, Treats or kibble
  • Coffee, herbs, baby food, camping food, dips, etc.
  • Medications and vaccines.
  • Homeopathic Remedies:
  • Biological Samples: Freeze-drying allows for long-term storage of tissue samples, cells, and bacteria for research and medical purposes.
  • Document Restoration
  • Taxidermy
  • Flower Preservation:
  • Cannabis Products

Shop Freeze Dryers & Accessories for Sale

Purchasing a Freeze Dryer? Here are Things You Should Consider

Consider the following points when buying a freeze dryer

Freeze Dryer Frequently Asked Questions

A freeze dryer is a machine that helps you preserve food by removing as much moisture content and while retaining its physical characteristics. In effect, you get a longer storage life without altering any flavors.

Freeze drying entails three steps: freezing, primary drying, and secondary drying.

Freezing entails taking your starting material to a temperature between -20 and -40 degrees Fahrenheit for rapid freezing to avoid the formation of large crystals, which can ruin your product.

Primary drying seals your food or buds in a vacuum to vaporize ice crystals without evaporating them.

Secondary drying involves raising the temprature of your starting material to a higher level than in the primary drying stage, and a lower pressure is applied to further remove the residual moisture

The end result of freeze drying is a dry, stable material with a long shelf life. Freeze drying removes water from a material by sublimation, which means the frozen water is converted directly from a solid to a gas without passing through a liquid phase. This process preserves the material's structure and properties while removing the water, resulting in a product that retains its original shape, size, color, and nutritional value.

A freeze dryer costs anywhere between $2,400 and can go up to almost $950,000 for industrial-capacity machines. They might not be cheap machines, but having one will improve productivity in food preservation or cannabis curing and pay for itself quickly.

Cannabis growers will also greatly benefit from using freeze dryers to cure their buds. For one, you can have cured buds in days instead of weeks. You save on space, as you don’t need a dedicated room to dry and cure your buds for long periods. If you like making bubble hash, a freeze-dryer quickly removes the moisture, which takes days to dry. By freeze drying, you let your hash dry faster and in a more controlled environment, which retains flavor qualities. And because the environment is controlled and done faster, you can use these dried buds and hash to extract high-quality live rosin.

Due to the diverse range of applications for freeze dryers, certain manufacturers such as Harvest Right and CannaFreeze have dedicated efforts to develop specialized freeze dryers specifically tailored for cannabis and herbal-related purposes.

The energy consumption of a freeze-drying machine depends on its size and the duration of the drying cycle. On average, a home freeze dryer might use between 1.0 and 2.5 kWh per hour. This means that a 24-hour drying cycle could consume between 24 and 60 kWh.

The freeze-drying process can take anywhere from 20 to 40 hours, depending on the type of food and its water content. For example, fruits and vegetables typically take shorter to process compared to meats.

You can freeze dry a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, complete meals, and desserts. In addition to food, you can also freeze dry flowers, medicines, and biological specimens. Always check the manufacturer's guidelines or consult with a professional to determine what you can and cannot freeze dry.

Need help choosing a freeze dryer?

Choosing the right freeze dryer can be a complex task given the number of options available, along with various technical aspects to consider. If you're feeling overwhelmed or simply need some professional advice, we're here to help!