What exactly is Freeze Drying and Freeze-Dried Foods?
Freeze-drying is the process that removes moisture by freezing products and then utilising a vacuum to sublime the moisture leaving an almost 100% dry product. Now let’s dive in a little deeper!
The freeze-drying process is one of the best processes for preserving food items for a longer duration. The new technology allows solid food elements that contain certain moisture levels or have liquids levels that contain certain solid food elements to be dried to almost a point where the food mixture contains zero moisture levels.
- The freeze-drying process involves a few steps which are to be performed in a particular order:
- The process begins by cooking the food with its authentic recipe.
- The Blast Freezer freezes the food mix to a temperature between – 30 C and – 40 C making the food mix fully frozen at an extremely low temperature.
- After the food has been frozen, The food is transferred to vacuum chambers or freeze-drying machines. In this machine, this food is heated at 0 degrees C for nearly around 8 to 10 hours. Surprisingly the nutritional value of each food item is intact.
- Moisture from the food is taken out by nearly 99.9%
- Later the dried food is packed into small packets.
The entire process makes the food freeze-dried and can be stored for a really long time.
- Is Freeze Dried food healthy?
Freeze-dried food is really no different than regular food! It simply doesn’t have moisture.
While there is limited research specifically on freeze-drying technology, the research that has been completed shows that freeze-dried food retains an almost identical flavour, colour, texture and nutritional profile to non-freeze-dried food with some nutritional loss for water-soluble vitamins.
When comparing freeze-dried to other preserved food, freeze-dried food most closely matches fresh food.
With the exception of certain vitamins, the nutrition profile is virtually unchanged.
- Advantages of Freeze Drying Food
With freeze-drying, foods and liquids can be dried at low temperatures without damaging their physical structure. Freeze-dried foods don’t need to be refrigerated or preserved with chemicals and can be reconstituted quickly and easily by adding water.
Conventional drying methods also have a major disadvantage as the high temperatures used can cause chemical or physical changes. Changing the taste or texture of a food product could make it inedible or less palatable which would be very undesirable.