Freeze-drying is said to be the biggest thing in the food business since the sliced bread. Thanks to the process of freezing and sublimation of water from the products, the shelf life of freeze-dried foods can be significantly extended, which means less waste.
People often take packs of freeze-dried porridge and soups on hikes and long expeditions, as they are very nutritious, well stored, and take up little space. For the same reasons, astronauts can enjoy freeze-dried foods in orbit.
Let’s see what other neat facts we can find out about this miracle technology!
1. What is freeze-drying?
As we’ve already said, freeze-drying is one of the methods of food conservation. By removing moisture from fresh food, using vacuum, we can reduce the mass of the final product by five to ten times, while at the same time, preserving all the beneficial properties and taste qualities.
2. What products can be freeze-dried?
Aside from the obvious meats, fish, fruits, porridge, and soups, you can very successfully freeze-dry vegetables, dairy products, confectionery, mushrooms, and all kinds of seasoning.
3. What should you do before eating freeze-dried food?
Rehydrating your snacks is important. Open the pack and put the contents in water. After a few minutes, it will return to its previous size. Always check the package for how much liquid is required.
4. What nutritionists say about freeze-dried food?
In short, they claim freeze-dried foods to be very good! Due to the fact that only fresh and high-quality products are chosen to be freeze-dried, such food is rich in vitamins, and things like artificial flavorings, dyes, and preservatives are completely absent.
5. Freeze-dried food can be stored for decades
Thanks to the low temp and vacuum environment, freeze-dried food will remain suitable for consumption for up to 40 years (maybe more). One guy ate a 37-year-old beef-stew to demonstrate it’s more than just words.
6. Freeze-dried food can be sent to space
When sending astronauts into space, it’s vital to account for every single pound of equipment and other resources, so the rocket reaches the ISS successfully. And since freeze-dried food weighs 5-10 times less than regular food, it’s only logical that the spaceship will be jam-packed with goodies.
7. Do astronauts eat freeze-dried ice-cream?
One would think that, of course, they do! But it’s nothing more than a marketing ploy. Freeze-dried ice-cream crumbles to pieces very easily, so in the zero-G environment, it would be a real safety hazard having all those tiny particles fly around the space station.