Energy Consumption and Freeze DryingCategoriesGuide

Energy Consumption and Freeze Drying

Freeze-drying method is frequently used to preserve perishable products, extend their shelf life or make them ready for export. When using freeze drying, the material is frozen first. Then the pressure is reduced and heat is added to turn the frozen water into steam (sublimation). However, attention should be paid to energy consumption in the drying process.

The freeze-drying technique is frequently used, especially in the food and pharmaceutical industry. A wide variety of foods, from ready meals to fruits or snacks in the markets in daily life, are produced with this technique. In this way, food preserves its freshness and nutritional value. So, how is the energy used in this technique?

Energy consumption during the freeze-drying process cannot be prevented. Although this technique is advantageous and economical, the energy consumed during the realisation of the aforementioned process is extremely high. However, considering that the shelf life of the foods in which freeze-drying is used will be long, it can be said that it is economical even if the energy consumption is high.

Thanks to the freeze dryers, among the latest technology products, you can preserve your food as it was on the first day. “Why should I use freeze-dry?” The answer to the question is quite simple. Because thanks to these machines, you can store and use your food for up to 25 years without any changes.

Things to Know About Energy Consumption in the Food Industry

There are many methods used to protect products in the food industry. When these methods are used to dry foods, extend their shelf life, and make them healthier and more durable, a high amount of energy consumption may occur. Although freeze-drying machines are handy for the food industry, it is also known that they consume more energy than many technological tools.

Some methods can be used to reduce energy consumption in the food industry. Thanks to these, foods can be made ready for consumption economically and economically. Some of these methods are:

Automate, Monitor and Control

By setting specific energy targets in the food sector, energy consumption in different business areas can be reduced. A robust control process can be achieved by monitoring the kilowatt consumption to optimise equipment utilisation. In addition, making operators and facility managers more aware of this issue can also help reduce energy consumption.

Making Cooling and Temperature Controlled Systems More Efficient

Cooling and heating account for about 30 to 80% of energy consumption. Using more efficient heat exchangers or high-efficiency cooling systems in this area makes it possible to save money.

Using Variable Speed Drives and Motors

Using variable speed drives for electrically powered equipment can save up to 50% in energy consumption.

Using Energy-Saving Lighting Systems

LED lights that consume the least energy can be used in the food industry to save money. With this system, which requires less maintenance, both more efficient results can be obtained, and costs can be reduced.

By using these and similar simple methods, energy consumption in the food sector can be reduced to a minimum. These methods can also be preferred for freeze drying, which is frequently used in the food industry, especially recently. Thus, it is possible to carry out the process much more economically.

How Much Energy Does Freeze Drying Consume?

Freeze-drying devices; refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and other household appliances also need more electricity. However, although energy consumption is high, freeze-dried food is much more durable and long-lasting on the shelf. Therefore, when all food storage capacity and time are considered, the total cost is considerably reduced.

Freeze-drying machines have been used frequently recently and greatly benefit the food industry. In addition, it consumes energy according to the area in which it is used. To have information about the energy consumption of the machines in question, you can take a look at the list below.

  • A freeze dryer used in a small or medium household consumes approximately 990 to 1500 watts per hour.
  • Depending on the local electricity costs of the region in which it is used, the cost of the freeze-drying process varies.
  • A medium sized freeze dryer uses approximately 30 kilowatts of electricity per load.

Another important issue here is that the products to be put into the machine should be manageable. The more weight put into the machine, the longer the drying time will be. Therefore, cutting food into small pieces and slicing it thinly to minimise drying time will save energy.

Relationship Between Time of Freeze Drying Process and Energy Consumption

The machines preferred for freeze-drying consume energy in direct proportion to the time they are used. Freeze dryers do not dry the related products in one step. For products that go through 4 different stages, the machine provides a different time for each of them. You can check the list below for the mentioned stages, time spent and energy consumption.

  • The shortest stage of freeze drying is freezing. The freezing process takes about 1 hour, depending on the amount of product, and approximately 56 kWh of energy is consumed in 1 hour.
  • The second stage is drying. The drying process is completed in approximately 9 hours, and the machine uses 3.6 kWh of energy.
  • The third stage is the final drying. This process takes about 33 hours and consumes approximately 20.1 kWh of energy.
  • The final stage is the full cycle. Here, 47 hours of operation are made, and approximately 29.9 kWh is consumed.

The values above may vary depending on the amount loaded into the machine. The more nutrients loaded into the machine, the longer the drying process will take. Therefore, energy consumption also increases at the same rate. For example, if an average machine runs for 47 hours, approximately 1414 watts of electricity is consumed per load.

If you want to know how much electricity the freeze-dryer consumes, you can use an electricity meter. After installing this tool in the machine, you can have information about the consumption of watts, amps, hertz, kilowatt-hours and volts while the freeze dryer is running.

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Freeze Dry and Cold ChainCategoriesGuide

Freeze Dry and Cold Chain

Cold chain is the name given to all processes, such as freezing and cold transportation, from the production to distribution of foods that need to be kept under a specific temperature. Temperature is the most important criterion in order not to spoil the chemical structure of foods. If sudden changes occur in the temperature parameter, fares start to produce microorganisms and become harmful. Therefore, the cold chain is the cornerstone of healthy eating.

Today, the cold chain is the key point for “safe food” consumption. This method is applied for frozen products such as meat, fish and chicken, as well as for fruits, vegetables and legumes. In a way, the protection process starts in the field and continues without breaking during the preparation, storage and supply stages. As a result, foods are safely placed on the market shelves, and the elements that threaten health are eliminated.

It can be said that the freeze-drying technique has an important place in the continuation of the cold chain without breaking. Foods preserved with this technique are consumed without the risk of bacteria breeding. If you want to have detailed information about cold chain and freeze drying, you can continue reading the article.

Things to Know About Food Safety

foods; When it deteriorates biologically, microbiologically and chemically, it creates a serious danger to human health. In general, you can easily understand whether the food you consume at home is spoiled or not by its smell or taste. But there are also possibilities to the contrary. For example, a chicken that has not been cold enough will not have serious changes in taste. In addition, the sauce and seasoning of the food consumed in the restaurant can also create an obstacle to understanding the safety of the food.

It is essential for each individual to have information about food safety and to shop with consumer awareness. You can be sure that every food delivered to the consumer is healthy without breaking the cold chain. At the same time, hygiene rules and preservation procedures on market shelves are among the important points you should pay attention to.

Why Are Foods Preserved by Freezing?

It is essential to preserve foods without falling below certain temperatures. Well, what happens if the temperature balance is not achieved? The temperature range of 7.2 degrees to 60 degrees allows bacteria to survive and reproduce. When the temperature rises to 15 degrees and above, bacteria multiply very quickly and produce toxins.

A toxin is simply a biological poison. It is produced in foods by bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa microorganisms. Toxins can cause serious health problems by causing food poisoning.

It should be emphasized that the above-mentioned temperature values are not only valid for animal foods such as meat, milk and chicken. Plants, fruits, and vegetables can also become extremely harmful at temperatures conducive to bacterial growth. For example, frozen fruit is a healthy food. But a fruit that waits above 40 degrees can put your health at risk.

Relationship Between Frozen Food and Cold Chain

The cold chain is a process that includes the arrival of frozen foods on the market shelves. It is extremely important that the foods offered for sale in the markets that need to be protected by the cold chain are properly preserved. The relationship between frozen foods and the cold chain must be established correctly. For example, frozen dough, pizza or seafood should be stored at -22 degrees in a damp environment.

Cold Chain and Legal Obligations

The cold chain has been made mandatory as every person has the right to consume safe food. This situation has prepared the environment for the very strict performance of the inspections. Foods that are required to carry cold chain are as follows:

  • Beverages
  • Preserves
  • Dry foods
  • Auxiliary additives
  • Snacks
  • Chocolate and chocolate-covered foods
  • Margarine
  • Frozen dough
  • Delicatessen
  • Vegetables
  • White meat
  • Milk and milk products
  • Sea ​​products
  • Frozen pizza

Foods listed above; It is handled in 4 different categories as dry, frosty, cool and cold. Temperature values have been determined for the relevant groups within the scope of legal regulations. For example, the mandatory temperature value for snacks in the dry product category is 21 degrees. While this temperature is 4 degrees in cold products, it is determined as -22 degrees in frozen products.

The cold chain can be realised by changing the determined temperature values by +2 or -2. However, it is a crime if there is a greater difference in temperature value and food is offered for sale. Many foods bought from the market today do not produce bacteria since the controls are carried out very strictly.

Retail Industry and Cold Chain

The cold chain has an important place in the retail process, from the acceptance of the products to the moment they are sold. Food transported to retailers must be kept at legally determined temperature values. When they come to storage areas and sales points, the food must be preserved in an environment with the same temperature value.

Cold chain cargo helps products to take their place on the shelves without spoiling. Here, as a consumer, one of the points you should pay attention to is to look at the temperature measurements of the market cabinets. For example, cabinets that hold frozen food have a yellow line. Products should not go above this line.

If you see an order crossing the line, you can easily understand that the relevant market does not sell safe products. In addition to all these, you should know that as a consumer, you have the right to complain if you realise that the necessary care is not taken in the retail sector.

Precautions to be Taken to Protect the Cold Chain

Extreme attention should be paid to the refrigerants used first to maintain the cold chain. The temperature values determined for healthy preservation are the specific numbers required for the products not to deteriorate and cannot be changed arbitrarily. At this point, reliable machines such as freeze-dry devices can be preferred.

“How many degrees is the cold chain?” Consumers frequently ask this question. To protect the chain, a maximum of 2 degrees difference may occur in temperature values. Falls or rises above this cause food spoilage.

What is Cold Chain Deterioration?

Cold chain disruption is keeping any food, such as vegetables, meat or fish, at a temperature value that should not be in one of the preparation, transportation and distribution processes. The cold chain is broken as soon as the temperature changes, and a suitable environment for bacteria production is prepared.

Consequences of Cold Chain Deterioration for Freeze-Dry Foods

Freeze Dry machines prevent cold chain deterioration in a highly comfortable way. This technique, also known as “freeze drying”, provides the safe preservation of many foods such as vegetables, fruits, meat and fish.

Freeze-dry machines reduce the moisture content of foods to certain amounts. This way, even though foods encounter wrong temperature values, they cannot produce bacteria because the humidity rate is balanced. Therefore, highly healthy foods are obtained, and thus the factors that will put your health at risk are completely eliminated.