With the advancement of the food industry today, evaluating post-harvest products has become easier. However, the inability to consume freeze-dried foods immediately has given rise to the concept of shelf life.
Various biochemical changes occurring during the waiting process of foods affect the quality of nutrition. Freeze drying, also called lyophilization, is commonly utilized for products when standard drying techniques don’t adequately address the issue. Foods with a high risk of spoilage, certain biological effects, and drugs can be cited as examples.
One of the important factors that highlight the method of freeze-drying is its significant preservation of nutritional value and the results achieved in terms of durability. Today, while freeze-dried foods occupy an important place in our homes, it has also enabled the food industry to develop quite a lot. From this perspective, it contributes to healthy and sustainable food consumption and the national economy.
Freeze dryer devices are of great importance for the application of freeze drying. You can evaluate the significance of this method for shelf life in this article and examine the most suitable freeze-dryer products under the guidance of Lyolife.
Long-Term Fresh-Keeping Methods of Freeze-Dried Foods
The shelf life of freeze-dried foods and other products can last 20-25 years. Certain points should be noted to keep these products fresh for a long time and consume them healthily.
- The storage life of unopened products is longer. It is recommended not to leave freeze-dried foods long after the package is opened. After opening, the product should be closed again in a way that does not get air.
- This method provides more durable preservation compared to other storage methods. However, care should be taken to ensure that the storage areas where the freeze-dried foods are stored are dry and cool.
- To keep freeze-dried foods fresh, performing the mentioned process correctly is necessary. Proper handling of the products as fresh and prepared, such as washing and sorting before the procedure, will make it easier to keep the foods fresh after drying.
Foods can be kept fresh for a long time, especially with proper freezing and storage. Let’s explain how this can be achieved in more detail.
The Correct Freezing Process
The freeze-drying method comes across in many fields, not just the food sector. Today, this process is among the most reliable methods in many biological products and the pharmaceutical industry. It can even be used to preserve important works, plants, or animals in the field of museology or exhibition. The correct freezing process is of great importance for this. To explain it in its simplest form, the method consists of three steps:
- During the freezing stage, very low temperatures are used, and the substance to be dried is frozen.
- In the drying stage, the sublimation of the frozen liquid and the removal of the bound liquid, referred to as unfrozen, from the substance to be dried is carried out under very low pressure.
- In the preservation stage, storage under controlled conditions is fundamental. Storage in oxygen-free and moisture-free, airtight areas is of great importance.
For the method to yield successful results, it is important to follow all stages correctly. Low pressure should be used for the necessary drying rate during this process. When each step of the method is carried out correctly, many products and foodstuffs can preserve their initial physical, chemical, biological, and organic characteristics.
The Importance of Packaging and Storage
For freeze-dried foods, the importance of packaging and storage is significant. Meeting the product’s expected shelf life and maintaining freshness when opened depends on this. So, how can we store our freeze-dried foods?
- Firstly, it is a priority for freeze-dried foods to be packaged airtight. As a packaging suggestion, it is important to be at an oxygen level reduced to 1-2% by making it in an inert gas atmosphere such as nitrogen or CO2.
- Packages should be resistant to moisture and humidity.
- The packaging process should be completed shortly after drying.
- An anti-caking agent can be used for powdered products in the freeze-drying method.
Advantages of Freeze-Dried Foods
Drying and storing some foods using traditional drying methods can be quite challenging. Coffee, onions, soup, and some seafood are examples. You may see these products are widely preferred as freeze-dried foods.
You might wonder whether freeze-drying is a healthy method. It is quite beneficial and advantageous compared to traditional methods. Here we list the advantages of freeze-dried foods for you:
- Freeze-dried foods do not suffer any loss of color, smell, taste, or nutritional value.
- No additives are used in these foods. It is worth noting that this is a very important factor in terms of health.
- One of the main reasons this method is preferred is its long shelf life, which helps to prevent food waste.
- Freeze-dried foods play a significant role in the development of the food industry. The part of these foods in import and export contributes to the national economy. Many food products that cannot be stored in time spoil, resulting in human resources and economic loss.
Freeze-dried foods are primarily noticeable in terms of health. This method helps preserve the nutritional value of foods. The convenience it provides in storage conditions also saves in many ways.
Preservation of Nutrient Values
The style of nutrition and the foods consumed are very important for body health. Particularly, consuming foods with high nutritional value meets the body’s basic needs and ensures the proper functioning of body functions. Therefore, when evaluating food storage methods, preserving the nutritional value in the best way is among the criteria that come to the fore.
Looking at the content of freeze-dried foods, it is emphasized that they undergo processing while preserving their nutritional value in the best way. The technology used and the effect of sublimation are distinguishing features from other drying methods. Considering how high the water content in fruits and vegetables is and how rich they are in terms of vitamins and minerals, the importance of the drying process also emerges.
When evaluated for preserving nutritional value, freeze-drying technology maintains 97% of the nutritional value. This shows us how advantageous this process is compared to traditional storage methods.
Easy Storage and Transportation
Ensuring timely storage conditions for vegetables and fruits harvested in season or for many foods produced is crucial. Otherwise, products can be damaged, and consuming these foods can become inappropriate for health. Therefore, one of the most significant advantages of freeze-dried foods is ease of storage. You can freeze-dry and store a large amount of product by creating appropriate storage areas.
Moreover, from the food industry’s perspective, transporting these products from one place to another is much easier. You can transport more products together and eliminate the risk of spoilage during transportation. In this respect, freeze-drying as a food storage method also creates a comfort zone for you.
Are Freeze-Dried Foods Healthy?
One of the most important issues related to nutrition is the effects of food on health. You may be particularly curious about whether freeze-dried foods are healthy. Thanks to the freeze-drying process and technology, your food retains freshness on the first day.
Healthily freeze-dried foods and products can be consumed safely. For this, freeze-dryer devices are used quite effectively. With Lyolife freeze dryers, you can store your food healthily.
Under the guidance of Liyolife, you can easily reach the device you need. You can freeze-dry the crops in your fruit and vegetable gardens without losing their freshness. You can stock up on food for your camping trips and vacations and prepare healthy reward foods for your pets. You can contact us to get acquainted with Lyolife freeze-dry technology.
You can reach our previous article from https://liyolife.com/en/medication-development-with-lyophilization-technology/