Freeze drying, also known as lyophilization, involves three processes: freezing, primary drying (sublimation), and secondary drying (desorption).
When we freeze-dry our organic fruit here at Chelan Beauty, it goes through all three processes before it’s packaged in air-tight pouches. The process involves very low temperatures and a vacuum chamber with low oxygen to preserve the fruit’s nutrients, flavor, color, and appearance. The resulting freeze-dried fruit has less than 4% moisture allowing for long-term storage without degradation.
1. Individual Quick Freeze
After we harvest the fruit, the freezing process begins. Since it happens immediately as the fruit rolls by on a belt, it only takes a few minutes. The Individual Quick Freeze, IQF, prevents the formation of large ice crystals in the fruit cells, which helps our fruit keep its shape.
2. Primary Drying
We then place the frozen fruit in a vacuum chamber with reduced pressure for the primary drying. Here low heat is applied, causing the frozen water to vaporize without passing through a liquid phase in a sublimation process.
3. Secondary Drying
After the primary drying, the fruit goes into secondary drying (desorption), which also occurs in the vacuum chamber. This time with even lower pressure and a low secondary heat application to remove any remaining moisture.
The drying process preserves the nutrients and cell structure of the original fresh fruit. We love its delicious, delightfully crunchy qualities with the concentrated fruit flavor. Since we use only fresh fruit from our orchards at Chelan Beauty here in Washington state, you know the taste and the nutrients will be of premium quality. Enjoy the recommended 1 1/2 cups a day of fruit in a convenient, lightweight pouch for your snacks, workout recovery, emergency preparedness, travel, outdoor recreation, and baking. Years ago, this freeze-dried convenience was only available to astronauts. Now it’s available for you!