Throughout history, multiple ways of increasing the shelf life of products have been created. In the past, that was crucial for surviving through harsh winters. Nowadays, the food serving industry buys a variety of products with extended shelf life such as wholesale preserves or wholesale freeze-dried products. That way, business owners can experiment with different recipes and stay on top of the trend wave. Furthermore, by benefiting from the wholesale prices of these products, businesses decrease their cost of goods sold. In this article, we’ll talk about what freeze-dried products can be bought in large quantities by businesses.
What Is Freeze Drying?
Freeze drying is also called lyophilization or cryodesiccation. During this process, around 99% of the water content is removed from products. That stops bacterial growth and makes the shelf life of these products much longer. Freeze drying also has additional applications. For example, it’s used by pharmaceutical companies that wish to prolong the life of vaccines and other products.
The Freeze Drying Process
- Freezing. The first step of the process is freezing the products. This requires very low temperatures (between −50 °F and −110 °F, depending on the products) that cannot be achieved in a normal freezer. That is why businesses that produce such products have special freeze-drying machines. Lately, these appliances have become popular for households too as they can be used for preserving food or making crunchy freeze-dried candy.
- Pressure reduction. After the products are frozen, the machine creates a vacuum that reduces the pressure. That way, when heat is applied, ice crystals won’t melt, but will directly evaporate.
- Sublimation. During this process, the frozen water in the products turns directly into vapor and is removed from the product.
- Additional dehydration. Wholesale freeze-dried products usually go through a second dehydration process. It is aimed to reduce their water content to a bare minimum in order to guarantee long shelf life.
Key takeaway: Freeze drying is a process that removes around 99% of the water content of food and other products. That significantly increases their shelf life and reduces their weight. Wholesale freeze-dried products are purchased by food manufacturers and retailers. They are also popular in the restaurant industry.
Businesses That Buy Wholesale Freeze Dried Products
Some businesses invest in freeze-drying equipment. However, as professional machines can be expensive and take up a lot of space, many companies will opt for buying wholesale freeze-dried products. Let’s examine some of the main businesses that do that.
A variety of food processing companies make instant soups, snacks or other mixes. A lot of these products need to be rehydrated before consumption. That’s why they might purchase freeze-dried vegetables, wholesale candy or other products. In addition, a lot of people prefer the convenient instant coffee. Most brands available prepare it by dehydrating and freeze drying normal liquid coffee. Other popular freeze-dried drinks include tea, milk, and powdered mixes.
Some food manufacturers specialize in producing emergency food supplies. These products often come freeze dried as that significantly reduces their weight and prolongs their shelf life by decades.
Animal food manufacturers also frequently use freeze drying. Meat and vegetables can be freeze dried and use for different animal food mixes. Furthermore, as some pets prefer their treats crunchy, some pet food products are consumed without the need for rehydration.
Food Service Providers
Restaurants and catering businesses can benefit from using freeze-dried products or ingredients. They can be used in dishes or as decoration. Their long shelf life and the reduced storage space they take make them ideal for these businesses. Additionally, as freeze-dried snack is one of the popular food trends, using these products can be part of the restaurant’s marketing strategy. Wholesale freeze-dried products can be purchased by bakery businesses too. They can be used as pastry fillings or toppings.
Retailers and Distributors
Naturally, as freeze drying becomes more popular, stores will purchase more freeze-dried products. That includes not just regular retail stores but also companies that specialize in outdoor goods. Adventurers and hikers will often carry freeze-dried food during their trips because of its lighter weight. Other retailers that might purchase wholesale freeze-dried products include various eCommerce businesses like online candy stores.
Suppliers will often purchase large quantities of freeze-dried products and distribute them to retailers after. For example, wholesale dairy distributors might purchase powdered milk and wholesale coffee distributors might buy instant coffee.
Wholesale Freeze-Dried Products: Pros and Cons
There are multiple advantages to purchasing wholesale freeze-dried goods. Let’s briefly examine some of them.
- Long shelf life.
- Convenient to use.
- Easier to store because of the reduced weight.
Nevertheless, there are also disadvantages to purchasing freeze-dried products.
- Higher price. As freeze-drying equipment is expensive, these products can have a higher price compared to their fresh counterparts.
- Some storage requirements. Freeze-dried products should be stored in certain ways in order to guarantee their prolonged shelf life.
Common Freeze-Dried Products
Wholesale food distributors that specialize in freeze-dried products have various options in their catalogs. Here are some of the popular ones.
- Fruits. Berries are among the most popular things people freeze dry. Other popular fruits include apples and citrus fruits. They can be consumed as a snack directly in their freeze-dried condition. Alternatively, they can be mixed with yogurt or milk.
- Vegetables. Peas and other common vegetables are among the popular vegetables to freeze dry. Adding them to a soup or another dish will rehydrate them well.
- Meat and fish. It can be used in emergency preparedness meals or by hikers when they go camping.
- Dairy products. Milk and cheese can be freeze dried to achieve different powdered mixes like instant coffee creamers.
- Coffee and tea. When freeze dried, these beverages become like powder. Combining them with hot water afterward results in a tasty drink.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Wholesale Freeze-Dried Niche
If you wish to find suppliers of wholesale freeze-dried products or plan to start a business in that niche, the following questions and answers will assist you.
What Is the Shelf Life of Freeze-Dried Products?
Freeze-dried food has a very long shelf life. Some products might be in edible condition more than 30 years after the drying process. As the process removes moisture, bacterial growth practically stops. Keep in mind that the products need to be stored in optimal conditions in order to stay good for that long. One of the benefits of freeze-dried vs dehydrated products is that the latter have a much shorter shelf life.
How to Store Wholesale Freeze-Dried Products?
Dried products should be stored in a dry and cool place, away from direct sunlight. When their packaging is opened, it should be resealed tightly as moisture can reduce their shelf life. There’s no need to keep these products in a freezer or a refrigerator. As they have almost no water content, they can’t really spoil easily. The only thing that can damage them is moisture. That’s why it’s recommended to store them in resealable packaging or another airtight container such as a glass jar. As with preserves or other products, it’s recommended to rotate stock and use the FIFO method (first-in, first-out).
Can Freeze-Dried Products Be Consumed without Rehydration?
Yes. Freeze-dried fruits are one of the trendy healthy snack ideas. Nevertheless, eating freeze-dried products without rehydrating them significantly changes their flavor. For example, fruits taste much sweeter when they are dried as the absence of water makes the sugar concentration much higher. That’s why even if you enjoy sweet fruits like pineapple or grapes, you might not like them in their dried form as they might become too sweet. However, the different textures can make them an excellent ingredient for a variety of recipes.