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need tips on freeze drying fruit

need tips on freeze drying fruit
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  • need tips on freeze drying fruit

    Post #1 - November 13th, 2020, 1:27 pm
    Post #1 - November 13th, 2020, 1:27 pm Post #1 - November 13th, 2020, 1:27 pm
    We are interested in freeze drying fruits. We buy so many freeze dried fruits that I am thinking that it might make sense to make it at home. Anyone have any thoughts on the best technique for freeze drying fruits (e.g. strawberries, bananas, etc.)? Is it best to do it using a freezer, oven, or dehydrator type of appliance? I don't want to buy dry ice.
  • Post #2 - November 13th, 2020, 1:37 pm
    Post #2 - November 13th, 2020, 1:37 pm Post #2 - November 13th, 2020, 1:37 pm
    Sounds like you might need a dehydrator for what you want to accomplish. I'm not exactly sure what freeze-dried is, though.

    =R=
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  • Post #3 - November 13th, 2020, 1:41 pm
    Post #3 - November 13th, 2020, 1:41 pm Post #3 - November 13th, 2020, 1:41 pm
    Hi,

    I have zero experience here on freeze dried fruits made at home.

    Just one snippet of information advised putting your fruit in the freezer, then waiting for a few weeks for the drying.

    My go-to National Center for Home Food Preservation have information on: drying and a separate advice related to freezing, but not jointly.

    When I was looking around, for my own curiosity, I saw freeze-dryer cabinets priced in excess of $1000. If you consider going that route, you may want to consider cost of fruit, your time and equipment. It could be a few years before you break even, but remember I am speculating and did not do any calculations. It could be it is worth it to you.

    Please keep us up to date on what you will do. I love learning something new.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - November 13th, 2020, 1:55 pm
    Post #4 - November 13th, 2020, 1:55 pm Post #4 - November 13th, 2020, 1:55 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Sounds like you might need a dehydrator for what you want to accomplish. I'm not exactly sure what freeze-dried is, though.

    =R=


    Here are some examples:
    https://natierra.com/products/freeze-dried-strawberries

    https://products.wholefoodsmarket.com/product/natierra-organic-freeze-dried-bananas-strawberries-82662b

    https://www.aldi.us/en/products/snacks/fruit-snacks/detail/ps/p/simply-nature-freeze-dried-assorted-fruits/

    https://www.shopkarensnaturals.com/collections/dried-fruit

    These freeze dried fruits are expensive. I also don't want to buy expensive kitchen equipment.
  • Post #5 - November 13th, 2020, 2:38 pm
    Post #5 - November 13th, 2020, 2:38 pm Post #5 - November 13th, 2020, 2:38 pm
    shorty wrote:These freeze dried fruits are expensive. I also don't want to buy expensive kitchen equipment.


    The process doesn't lend itself to a DIY approach. Even the dry ice method is not foolproof. Conventional dehydration will leave you with a different texture, but it's a far easier process.
  • Post #6 - November 13th, 2020, 3:14 pm
    Post #6 - November 13th, 2020, 3:14 pm Post #6 - November 13th, 2020, 3:14 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    shorty wrote:These freeze dried fruits are expensive. I also don't want to buy expensive kitchen equipment.

    The process doesn't lend itself to a DIY approach. Even the dry ice method is not foolproof. Conventional dehydration will leave you with a different texture, but it's a far easier process.

    Well, here's a DIY machine: A Freeze Dryer You Can Build in Your Garage. Reading and watching that will likely put an end to your desire for one.

    For freeze drying you pretty much need a freeze dryer, in other words a lyophilizer. That entails a fairly serious vacuum pump and refrigeration unit. The sample is kept frozen as a vacuum draws off the frozen water via sublimation. It's a slow, energy-intensive process and the machines (especially the pumps; speaking from experience) require a lot of maintenance. That's why most freeze-dried products are expensive.

    I suppose you could simply put thinly sliced fruit into a freezer, or outside in cold weather, and wait a very long time for sublimation to occur. That's usually called freezer burn. The outdoor method is the way certain traditional foods like freeze-dried tofu and fish are made.
  • Post #7 - November 13th, 2020, 3:36 pm
    Post #7 - November 13th, 2020, 3:36 pm Post #7 - November 13th, 2020, 3:36 pm
    Rene G wrote:I suppose you could simply put thinly sliced fruit into a freezer, or outside in cold weather, and wait a very long time for sublimation to occur.


    While a possibility, leaving fruit exposed on a rack in your freezer for an extended period will definitely impart some off-flavors. This would be true even if you bought a freezer just for this purpose. While I get the desire to hack together a solution, this is one thing that should be left to the pros (or amateurs willing to buy expensive equipment).
  • Post #8 - November 14th, 2020, 3:21 pm
    Post #8 - November 14th, 2020, 3:21 pm Post #8 - November 14th, 2020, 3:21 pm
    Rene G wrote:
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    shorty wrote:These freeze dried fruits are expensive. I also don't want to buy expensive kitchen equipment.

    The process doesn't lend itself to a DIY approach. Even the dry ice method is not foolproof. Conventional dehydration will leave you with a different texture, but it's a far easier process.

    Well, here's a DIY machine: A Freeze Dryer You Can Build in Your Garage. Reading and watching that will likely put an end to your desire for one.

    For freeze drying you pretty much need a freeze dryer, in other words a lyophilizer. That entails a fairly serious vacuum pump and refrigeration unit. The sample is kept frozen as a vacuum draws off the frozen water via sublimation. It's a slow, energy-intensive process and the machines (especially the pumps; speaking from experience) require a lot of maintenance. That's why most freeze-dried products are expensive.

    I suppose you could simply put thinly sliced fruit into a freezer, or outside in cold weather, and wait a very long time for sublimation to occur. That's usually called freezer burn. The outdoor method is the way certain traditional foods like freeze-dried tofu and fish are made.

    I will try the freezer method. I hope that the cost of these freeze dried foods come down in price as these freeze dried snacks gain in popularity. I see more and more of these snacks at the grocery store.
  • Post #9 - November 14th, 2020, 9:33 pm
    Post #9 - November 14th, 2020, 9:33 pm Post #9 - November 14th, 2020, 9:33 pm
    shorty wrote:I will try the freezer method. I hope that the cost of these freeze dried foods come down in price as these freeze dried snacks gain in popularity. I see more and more of these snacks at the grocery store.


    You will be disappointed. As noted above you're forcing freezer burn which is not like the controlled (and rapid) conditions of professional equipment.
  • Post #10 - November 15th, 2020, 1:54 pm
    Post #10 - November 15th, 2020, 1:54 pm Post #10 - November 15th, 2020, 1:54 pm
    HI,

    If you do the freezer method, I suggest weighing:

    - Fruit preprocessing (and note the cost)
    - Fruit post processing, then calculate the cost per ounce.

    Dried or freeze dried fruit, you are paying for the water that evaporated away plus time, energy and everything else bringing a product to market.

    If you do it, please let us know how it worked out.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - November 16th, 2020, 8:33 am
    Post #11 - November 16th, 2020, 8:33 am Post #11 - November 16th, 2020, 8:33 am
    This woman posted her results - not promising:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUUeZU2LAqo&t=111s
  • Post #12 - November 16th, 2020, 1:54 pm
    Post #12 - November 16th, 2020, 1:54 pm Post #12 - November 16th, 2020, 1:54 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:This woman posted her results - not promising:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUUeZU2LAqo&t=111s

    Thanks for the video. It was helpful. You convinced me that making freeze dried strawberries in the freezer is a terrible idea.

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