Freeze drying involves freezing the product, removing almost all the moisture via a vacuum chamber, and then adding heat energy to the product, causing the ice to sublime.

Freeze-dried food has many advantages. Because as much as 98% of the water content has been removed, the food is extremely light, which significantly reduces shipping costs.

Freeze-dried food and products can also be easily transported with no refrigeration and stored for a long period of time.  And because all you need to reconstitute it is water, freeze-dried food can be consumed with a minimum of preparation. They have the same exact same look and taste as the original product.

Freeze-drying food also creates a contamination-free product since the dehydration process makes it virtually impossible for yeast and potentially harmful bacteria to survive. And since the physical structure of the food is not altered during the freeze-drying process, the products retain much of their shape, texture, and flavor when prepared for consumption. This ability to reconstitute the food to a comparable state of fresh food makes it more attractive to consumers than food preserved by canning or traditional freezing.

Oil-based vacuum pumps utilize a thin film of oil, which runs the risk of contaminating the food. However, this process was previously deemed acceptable because there wasn’t an alternative for the longest time.

Those days are over. Today, most innovations are around dry vacuum pumps.

Dry pumps offer many advantages, including the fact that the dry screw design eliminates the presence of oil, thus eliminating the risk of the back-streaming of oil into the food. The absence of oil in the process may also increase the shelf life of the product being sealed.

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Pump temperature

Low

Heavy duty operation (cycles)

Medium

Dust / Powder / Particules

Low

Moisture

High