The freeze-drying process offers the flexibility to remove moisture content and preserve almost any fruit or vegetable.
But apart from sheer variety, the major advantage of freeze-drying lies in the ability to produce clean, whole and nutritious food ingredients with a highly prolonged shelf life, making food products versatile, accessible and convenient.
Freeze-drying, or lyophilization, removes moisture from raw, frozen product through a vacuum system and process called sublimation.
Frozen raw product is cut down to the desired piece size and spread evenly onto trays that are stacked and stored in freezers. The sized product freezes at an even colder temperature, reaching an optimal state at which the original shape of the product can be retained.
The trays are then placed into a freezer drying chamber that is refrigerated and firmly sealed. In a process known as sublimation, the vacuum system in the chamber removes the ice from the product and transforms it straight into a vapor without going through the liquid state. Since the water is taken out of the product while it is still frozen, the cell structure is preserved, and the completed product closely resembles its fresh version, maintaining the piece identity.
Add freeze-dried ingredients to your next application and gain value from these specific benefits.
More individuals are seeking nourishment from authentic, high-quality food sources with clear labelling as a result of changing consumer values. Freeze-dried foods can contain clean components that are devoid of synthetic, artificial, and highly processed materials because they are only minimally processed.
Since freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are genuine produce, businesses are free to make claims about their nutritional worth. The TruServTM program from Van Drunen Farms offers a unique form of substantiation that links just our fruit, vegetable, and leafy green products to our production statistics and the USDA nutrient database.
Consumers’ desire for nutrition from real and understandable sources drives the appeal of verified, whole food serving claims from freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. Reach on-the-go millennial consumers with whole food servings in convenient delivery forms like bars or bites.
The customer preference for nutrition from whole foods is further supported by the fact that freeze-drying retains nutritional content better than other drying techniques. Additionally, the method maintains the original raw material's color and shape, guaranteeing consumers that the fruits and vegetables they are consuming are in fact real. Freeze-dried substances' potent flavor and scent closely mirror the raw material's character.
Another advantage of freeze-drying is the ability to customize to unique needs and project goals. Freeze-dried ingredients can be cut or ground into many different sizes and shapes – everything from whole fruits and vegetables down to fine powders. Finished product can be easily mixed into any blend or formulation for a flavor profile completely unique to your final product.
Customization and blending capabilities give food processors the ability to incorporate real fruits and vegetables into a large variety of applications. Growing categories of freeze-dried applications include breakfast applications like hot and cold cereals, retail-ready or ready-to-eat snacks, and beverage applications like smoothies or whole fruit pieces added to beverages.
Any particular product's moisture content has a direct impact on its shelf life. By using the freeze-drying method to remove water, bacterial development is prevented. Although moisture content varies from product to product, freeze-dried goods typically have a moisture level of roughly 3%. Any given freeze-dried product's actual shelf life will vary depending on its packaging, storage temperature, and the product itself.