Freeze-drying, or lyophilization, is the process of preserving food by removing the water from it. It is done by freezing the food at a very low temperature and using a vacuum to remove the water vapor. Freeze-drying causes the food to become very light. Because most of the water is removed, there is less chance of the food spoiling due to bacteria; therefore the food has a very long shelf life.
Freeze-dried foods are stored in water-resistant vacuum packaging and are used frequently by campers and backpackers. Freeze-dried foods are easily reconstituted with a small amount of water.
Things You'll Need
- Telephone book
- Computer with Internet access
Check in your local phone book if there are any listings for businesses that sell freeze-dried foods or products to produce freeze-dried foods. You may want to check with your local hardware store to see if it carries freeze-drying equipment.
Call any place that may have the type of freeze-drying equipment you need. For personal home use, a small unit will be sufficient to produce enough freeze-dried food for your family. Write down the following information for future reference: the size of the equipment, how much freeze-dried food it produces, how much it costs and if there is any shipping cost.
Log on to the Internet and search for "freeze-dried foods." This will bring up many sites that sell freeze-dried foods and equipment for freeze-drying.
Look over the information you have collected. You should be able to determine where you can obtain the cheapest equipment, how much it will cost to ship the equipment if this applies, and how much food you will be able to freeze-dry with the equipment.
Tips & Warnings
- Check with suppliers to see how much it will cost to produce a batch of freeze-dried food and take this into consideration when buying your equipment.
- Be sure to buy equipment from a reputable dealer. Check on the length of warranties offered on the product and remember that cheaper is not always better.