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A Fascinating Origin Narrative For The History Of Freeze-Drying?

Views: 276     Author: Kaylee     Publish Time: 2023-11-28      Origin: Site

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A Fascinating Origin Narrative For The History Of Freeze-Drying?

While freeze-drying is an ever-evolving method that has transformed the conventional manufacturing of foods, probiotics, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and medications, its historical roots must be explored extensively.It does, in fact, have a curious history that began as a result of necessity, much like so many other discoveries that have arisen as a result of man's need to survive and demonstrate his cleverness and adaptability.

The Intriguing History Of Freeze-Drying

Where in the old alchemy of Egypt, Persia, China, or Greece can we discover the roots of such a novel technology as freeze-drying? Though it might make sense to believe so, the truth lies farther away—on the other side of the globe.

The Aymara were a pre-Inca tribe that ruled the areas surrounding Lake Titicaca. Let's begin by visiting the ancient indigenous cultures of the Andes in South America. The extreme weather conditions there, about 4,000 meters above sea level, made survival a continual struggle.

The potato was one of the most significant foods in the Aymara diet, which was mostly composed of agricultural products (the same potato that the Spanish would later bring to old Europe). You might be unaware that potatoes, when exposed to extreme temperatures or other environmental stressors, produce a toxin called solanine, which can cause serious symptoms of poisoning.

The Aymara people, however, figured out a way to get rid of these pollutants while also extending the shelf life of potatoes. With these freeze-dried "potatoes," they have been making a simple yet exquisite dish known as "chuno," a staple meal of the region, for over 1,500 years.

The traditional method of freeze-drying "papa".The "papas" would readily freeze at that height because they were left outside the Aymara dwellings all night. The wild tubers discharged up to 97% of their poisons when they were later crushed, as is customary with grapes in our Mediterranean cultures, and then placed in loose wicker baskets and left in streams for a few weeks.

After that, the potatoes were once more placed on the doorsteps of the homes, where they were periodically squeezed, dried in the sun, frozen at night, and so on until the product was able to completely drain the water it contained.

The Aymara accomplished the first freeze-drying in history in this straightforward (but clever) manner by making use of the resources given to them by their natural environment: high altitude, low pressure, and strong sunshine!

The fundamentals have not changed since then. By employing low pressure, intense cold, and moderate heat, freeze-drying eliminates solid water from frozen food without the need to thaw it first. Even so, the outcome made it possible for the Aymara people to acquire food that could be stored for up to 20 years and was edible.

When Did Contemporary Methods Of Freeze-Drying Emerge?

Curry Leaf dryer

Other applications of freeze-drying, originally in the fields of science and medicine, took a long time to emerge. Thus, a German scientist was able to successfully freeze-dry organ parts toward the end of the 19th century, and Vansteenberghe and D'Arsonval experimented with and subsequently patented a method of freeze-drying the rabies virus at the beginning of the 20th century.

Other applications of freeze-drying, originally in the fields of science and medicine, took a long time to emerge. Thus, a German scientist was able to successfully freeze-dry organ parts toward the end of the 19th century, and Vansteenberghe and D'Arsonval experimented with and subsequently patented a method of freeze-drying the rabies virus at the beginning of the 20th century.

Nonetheless, the Americans believed that this procedure was the most effective means of preserving penicillin and blood plasma throughout the Second World War. The requirement for them to be transported and stored in optimal circumstances spurred scientific creativity and marked the advent of contemporary freeze-drying methods.

This technology was developed, expanded into other industries, and became widely used in consumer food products during the 1950s—including food for moon landings and camping trips!Instant coffee is among the hundreds of freeze-dried goods that have been available in stores since the 1960s.

NASA technology: the first ice cream to be freeze-dried

One of the main difficulties in the early years of the space program, in the 1970s, was providing food for the astronauts on their missions. They required food that was easy to make, stable, storable, robust, and lightweight.

They were first fed bite-sized cubes, semi-liquids and powders that had been freeze-dried and squeezed into aluminum tubes, much like toothpaste. This was all unappealing, so creativity was required. Gradually, foods that could be reconstituted in cold water in under ten minutes or fewer were available, owing to advancements in freeze-drying techniques. It goes without saying that these freeze-drying methods were not only applied to the production of food for hikes and adventures, but also achieved success in the general consumer market.

The Rise In Popularity Of Freeze-Drying

Rice Dryer

We can argue that freeze-drying is popular right now.It is a trend in the culinary arts and is being utilized more and more to make probiotics, medications, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and vaccinations. It is also being used to preserve mother's milk, blood products, vaccines, and even taxidermy and historical records and literature.

The market for freeze-dried foods worldwide

According to Mordor Intelligence, the global market for freeze-dried food is expanding at a 7.4% annual rate. North America holds the largest proportion of the market, at 35%, while the markets in South America and Asia-Pacific are expanding at the quickest rates.

Regarding procedures, they have advanced significantly. In a low-energy system, water is extracted by sublimation from previously frozen food, and a vacuum pump lowers the pressure to nearly zero, causing the frozen water to begin to evaporate.In this technique, the product loses less weight while maintaining its shape and volume and approximately 99% of its water content is collected. It will take on its original flavor, texture, and scent after being rehydrated.

To put it succinctly, freeze-drying is a fantastic method of maintaining food's organoleptic qualities and nutrients (freeze-dried food keeps 97% of its nutrients). It's also a clever approach to assure survival (say that to the Aymara).