SASKATOON, SK, CANADA, March 11, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Freeze drying is the technology behind some of the most innovative food and beverage products: camping and hiking meals, the addition of fruit to cereals and space ice-cream. Believe it or not this process has been around for centuries. The ancient Peruvian Incas used the Andes Mountains above Machu Picchu for its high altitudes and low air pressure to preserve their foods. The cold mountain temperatures froze the food and the low air pressures slowly vaporized the foods water content, similar to the food preservation process of freeze drying.
Consumers today are health-conscious and live fast-paced lives, making high quality, shelf stable foods an attractive investment. Hundreds of freeze dried food and beverage products have been commercially produced, mainly because the benefits of this form of drying trump all others. The drawbacks found in other drying technologies are addressed in the ideal preservation technology of freeze-drying:
• Dehydrating - drying food with heat turns the water inside the product from a liquid to a gas. As a liquid evaporates from the food the cell walls are often damaged, leaving food flavour, shape and texture lost. Only 90 to 95% of water is removed which slows down bacteria and enzyme activity, but does not stop it. Dehydrated foods cannot typically be restored to their original state with water. This form of drying can compromise food quality.
• Freezing - preserves foods in a low temperature storage conditions. This method of preservation maintains foods flavour and nutritional value but must be kept below temperatures of -18C and foods have a short life span.
Freeze-dried foods are created by shifting the water content from a solid directly to a gas, skipping the liquid phase, by using a vacuum chamber. This process removes 98% of water, so bacteria and other harmful organisms cannot survive, making perishable foods shelf-stable at room temperature for a long period of time.
Food and beverages which are freeze-dried are nearly perfectly preserved, there is no change in the shape, flavour, nutrition or texture of a product and it can be restored to its original form with water. Nestle used this application in the launch of their Nescafe brand, creating freeze-dried quality coffee that could be quickly soluble in water, without sacrificing any flavour or aroma. Since the water content is removed food products are typically 90% lighter, making transportation easier. There are a tremendous amount of benefits to creating a freeze-dried product: a shelf life of up to 25 years, reduced shipping costs due to a lightweight product, easy storage, organic compliance, label friendly (no-additives or preservatives), concentrated nutritional values and high antioxidant levels.
Freeze drying creates premium, quality ingredients which are superior within the dry food market. This process provides all the benefits of fresh foods in a lightweight, shelf stable creation. Freeze drying could be the solution for food industry innovation challenges.
Canagra Technologies Inc. - 'Created by nature, refined by science.'
About Canagra Technologies Inc.
Canagra has quality and expertise down to a science. We offer solutions for businesses that are looking for consultation on processing techniques and product design. We operate the largest custom freeze-drying facility in Western Canada and feature solutions for freeze-drying, fractionation, concentration and contract processing.
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