commercial freeze dryer

What Is a Freeze Dryer and How Does It Work?

Mariam Scott

Have people ever considered how their favorite food stays fresh for so long or how medicines don't expire for years? It's all because of something called Freeze Drying.

Freeze drying, also known as lyophilization, is a long-term storage method for foods, medications, and cannabis. It is becoming one of the most common methods for preserving a wide variety of products.

This is a dehydration process in which water is dried out while maintaining the product's taste, color, and essence, which may be food or any other product like cannabis, 

The reason behind the innovation of this process is that people didn't want to spoil the extra food and tried to keep it for long-term use, even without refrigerators. When the water is dried off from the product, the life expectancy of that product is increased as it saves the product from getting spoiled. 

The best part about lyophilization is it maintains the nutrients and taste of the material. No matter how long people keep the food, pharmaceuticals, or even cannabis, their nutrients' freshness will be maintained. 

Astronauts, Campers, Hikers, etc., prefer to use materials that are frozen dryers, either edibles or medicines, as it increases the shelf life of the products. Even preserved cannabis can be used for various effective treatments in case of emergencies. There are freeze dryers for these purposes, such as freeze dryers for cannabis and many other harvest freeze dryer machines.

Say goodbye to traditional ways of preserving material, which sometimes spoils the material, and adopt this new innovation;  growers are amazed with the results.

Freeze Drying Cannabis

The Basics of Freeze Drying

To understand the actual meaning of freeze drying, take an example of a banana and slice it into pieces. Please place them in a freezer so they become solid and icy. Now, pass these banana slices under low pressure to evaporate the water droplets without melting the banana. This way, water will be eliminated from the banana as vapors while maintaining the nutrients and taste. 

In the last step, the temperature is raised for the banana slices to dehydrate any remaining water droplets. It is done to ensure that bananas are dehydrated and ready to pack. These crunchy, portable, and delicious freeze-dried bananas are prepared with natural sweetness and flavor and have a long shelf life. The healthiness of bananas is also preserved, which means the food passed through the best freeze dryer machines is also healthy. 

Now imagine, with the help of this process, how many products growers can preserve for later use. 

People have used this process for a long time, even in the 15th century! In Peru, the Incas would freeze-dry potatoes to keep them fresh for later. 

During World War II, freeze drying became super important. They used it to turn blood plasma into powder, making it easier to transport and store for injured soldiers. Then, in the 1950s, they figured out how to use this method for food, too, especially for military meals. It was a big step forward in keeping food fresh for longer, especially in challenging situations like during wars.

And now, in this era, everything can be freeze-dried for various purposes.  

Various foods like seafood, meats, dairy products, vegetables, herbs, spices, and even cannabis can be freeze dried. New inventions of freeze dryers for Cannabis make this process simpler.

Food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other products like drugs, vaccines, antibiotics, skin care products, fragrances, etc., can be preserved.  

How Freeze Drying Works?

Freeze drying is a step-by-step process in which special foods, pharma supplies, and cannabis are preserved for longer-term use by dehydrating them. It has three steps:

  • Freezing Stage: The product is frozen at a super cool temperature in this stage. It makes ice crystals inside it, just like the ice cubes of water.
  • Primary Drying: Let's lower the pressure in this phase, as this lowering of pressure will turn ice crystals directly into vapors. This is the famous process called sublimation.
  • Secondary Drying: This step raises the temperature to eliminate any remaining water droplets. Temperature is increased to make sure the product is dehydrated. This process is called absorption.

Process of Freeze Drying

Now, the material is ready to roll! Also, don't forget to rehydrate the food if it is placed back into any liquid or water. 

Let's discuss this process and how important each step is for drying cannabis and other materials by harvesting a suitable freeze dryer machine. 

In the freezing stage, the temperature must be lowered to -40℃ (-40℉). It helps turn water molecules into ice crystals. This step plays a significant role in maintaining the shape and structure of the product. 

In commercial freeze dryer processes, primary drying is the most essential step in which water is removed as vapors. Heat is increased while lowering the pressure to remove ice crystals from the product, which helps extend the product's shelf-life as it prevents spoilage.

The temperature is further increased to remove any remaining water molecules. This secondary drying is vital to remove the water from the product altogether because any remaining moisture can cause the product to rot.

Benefits of Freeze Drying

From the above details, it is clear that this process has a wide variety of benefits, ranging from homemade spices and snacks to industrial products. Now that growers may know everything about freeze drying, let's take a look into its advantages in detail:

Environment Friendly Way of Preserving

When food or products are stored with the help of this method, less energy and no chemicals are used, which means the environment will remain safe and clean. This process has less carbon emission than other traditional techniques of preserving products. 

Increases Shelf Life

When the materials are preserved in this way, their life expectancy increases as water is removed, and there will be no chance for bacteria to grow. Freeze drying makes cannabis last much longer than other drying methods. The freeze dryer for cannabis removes the moisture that can cause mold and bacteria to grow; freeze-dried cannabis stays fresh for a long time. This means growers don't have to worry about its quality at any stage as they can enjoy it whenever they want without any worries about spoilage. 

Maintains the Flavor and Aroma

When food, cosmetics, cannabis, and pharmaceuticals are preserved through the freeze dryer process, the best part is that it maintains the products' taste, aroma, and texture. It locks the freshness of cannabis by eliminating the moisture and retaining the potency of the plant materials, making sure people enjoy the aroma and high quality closely resembling freshly harvested cannabis.

Keeping Terpene and Cannabinoid Levels Up

Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, and terpenes are the active compounds responsible for the effects and flavors of cannabis. Freeze drying preserves these delicate compounds better than traditional drying methods, which can degrade or evaporate them due to exposure to heat or prolonged air exposure. 

No Bacteria, No Waste of Food

When the food is dehydrated, it remains last. The reason behind this is that bacteria and mold need moisture to grow. When there are no water droplets, there is no suitable environment for them to grow, which increases the life of food; hence, less food will be wasted. 

Less Transportation Cost

When products are passed through a harvest freeze dryer machine, the product's weight is reduced, which means transporting them to places will become easier. As water makes the food heavy, when it is removed, food becomes light in weight. It means transporting costs will become minimal as less-weighed items are easy to move.

Applications of Freezing Drying

One of the major industries that has emerged recently is freeze drying cannabis. It helps to maintain the quality, freshness, fragrance, and flavor of marijuana, which can be used for medical emergency purposes. The Cannabis freeze dryers are used to complete this process. 

In the science industry, the method of preserving is used to keep biological samples like cells, tissues, and proteins safe. The integrity and functionality of the sample are maintained. 

In the food sector, this technology is used to preserve fruits, vegetables, meats, and even whole meals. This allows for long-term storage while maintaining nutritional content and taste. Freeze-dried foods are also popular among outdoor enthusiasts and hikers due to their lightweight, easy-to-store nature.

Freeze dryers are used to store fruits, vegetables, and coffee beans. It can make fresh coffee anytime by adding hot water when it's freshly brewed and packed through this process. The quality, flavor, taste, and aroma of coffee are also preserved.  

Meat and chicken can also be stored for a long time through this dryer machine, and it also helps make them lightweight as water is eliminated from them. 

Choosing A Freeze Dryer

Whenever people think about buying these dryers, they must consider a few things like  the space it may take and the level at which stored products are required. If the plan is to  preserve products on a larger scale, buy a commercial freeze dryer. Otherwise, a small freeze dryer is perfect for freeze drying cannabis for later use. 

Consider the following mentioned factors as we can help to choose the best freeze dryer machine: 

1. Size of the Machine

First, measure the area where to place the harvest right freeze dryer machine. Don't buy big, bulky machines if the space is small. It can make things difficult in various situations. But if the area is big and the requirement is to use it commercially, go ahead and buy an industrial freeze dryer. The freeze dryer for cannabis is accommodative in size and can easily fit into places.

2. Volume

Think about how much stuff is required to preserve and freeze dry at once. Some freeze dryers can handle a lot of food and other products simultaneously, while others can only handle a little. Pick one that can handle the amount that is needed to be preserved.

Harvest Right Medium Freeze Dryer

3. Automatic Vs. Manual Dryers

Whether people require an automatic or manual freeze dryer to preserve the product depends on their need and budget. With manual freeze dryers, they'll need to do more work themselves, like changing settings and keeping an eye on how things are drying. But with automatic ones, freeze dryers can handle all tasks. Automatic ones are easier, although they may be more expensive.

4. Keep Budget in Mind

The most important factor is to consider the pocket when people go out to buy this machine. There is a vast range of harvest right freezer dryers that vary from lowest cost to highest, but they have to pick the one that fits their budget. 

5. Check Reviews Before Buying

Before investing:

  • Verify the reviews and check the reputation of the seller and the machine.
  • Ensure to check if it has performance or durability errors.
  • Don't hustle when purchasing, and be careful.

6. User Friendly Design

As there are different models of Freeze dryers, select the one that is easy to use and work with. Some Harvest Right pharmaceutical freeze dryers need some help to operate; read the instruction manual before handling the machine.

The Bottom Line

Freeze Dryers are a remarkable invention to preserve food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, cannabis, etc., as storing them creates numerous benefits for long-term use. The cannabis freeze dryer preserves the potency and freshness of marijuana buds, ensuring long-term quality and effectiveness. By carefully removing moisture without compromising cannabinoids and terpenes, freeze drying ensures that medical marijuana and recreational cannabis retain their effectiveness and flavor profiles over time.

It also helps in increasing the shelf-life of the products without spoiling them. This process maintains the quality, texture, and fragrance and keeps up with the taste. Whether people are in the kitchen, at the pharmacy, or in a lab, freeze-drying makes a big difference in how we store and use stuff. It's a beneficial technology we'll use and appreciate for a long time.

Make sure to buy according to the available space, as there are small freeze dryers and commercial freeze dryers.

Disclaimer: This material is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on for legal, medical, financial, or any other form of professional advice.