Freeze-Dried Dairy Preparation


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Since its advent during the Second World War, freeze drying has become a namestay in many facets of production and manufacturing. From the preservation of fruits and vegetables to its uses in the pharmaceutical industry, freeze drying has proven itself to be an indispensable tool in commercial preservation practices. In this article, we’ll be exploring the freeze-dried dairy industry and how preserving milk-based goods in this way can be beneficial to a variety of different consumers.


The Freeze Drying Process
When a dairy product is freeze dried, it is first gently frozen and then placed into a strong vacuum. This vacuum is where the drying process occurs, as the item’s water content is removed as a vapor in a process known as sublimation. This preservation process results in a product that has lost, on average, 95% of its initial moisture content, allowing it to preserved for as much as thirty years!

What dairy products can be preserved this way and what are the benefits?

All of the most common dairy products can be freeze dried. These include milk, cheese, cream, yogurt, and ice cream. This capability is most beneficial in regards to cheese and yogurt, as many other preservation processes, such as pasteurization or dehydration, can rely on high heat. These high temperatures can ruin the composition of these dairy items, changing their flavor and becoming unpalatable.

Aside from flavor, one of the key reasons we consume dairy products is the abundance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that this food group contains, including calcium, vitamins B12, B6, A, D, E, and K, as well as nutrients such as riboflavin and niacin. Many of us rely on a humble glass of milk to top up our diets. One of the best features of freeze drying is that it preserves raw products without the use of heat. All this goodness is preserved, as though the dairy product was still in its fresh form.

What are freeze-dried dairy products most commonly used for?

For many of us, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of dried dairy products is: survivalists. While survivalists, preppers, and the military certainly do represent a large proportion of the preserved produce industry, freeze-dried dairy products are also used in restaurants in the forms of mozzarella on pizzas or in bakeries for use in bread making.

What makes freeze-dried dairy products so useful within these sectors is that while the item still tastes the same and has the same structure and nutritional content, as spoiling bacteria have been left inert by the preservation process, dairy items prepared this way no longer require refrigeration. This means they are ideal for servicemen and women in remote areas as well as small bakeries who may not have the necessary fridge space available for storing large quantities of dairy products.

Final Thoughts

While unlikely to become a mass-market top seller in the future, there is no doubt that freeze-dried dairy products certainly have their benefits for a plethora of applications. From keeping military service-people well-nutritioned, and providing a practical solution to low refrigeration space, it is clear that freeze-dried dairy products are a valuable asset.