Originally Posted by Mr2005
Does a home food freeze dryer exisst? The only ones I have been able to locate are large commercial machines?
Anyone know of a smaller scale machine?
On a side note, I was looking at my cans of frreze dried food and noticed the food didn't list potassium in the nutritional info. It caught my eye on the can of freeze dried bananas? Anyone know if the freeze dry process alters the nutritional content ...... my understanding was that it does not ..... but where is the potassium?
Yes. Physically smaller machines do exist.
Commercially manufactured machines start at about the size of a washing machine. Used and refurbished start at around $30k.
I have spoken with three distributors and we even had one distributor come by here to visit our homestead.
On the other hand, you can also make your own. But a DIY model will usually be slower.
We have made one from an antique 10-gallon pressure cooker and a vacuum pump. However it does eat up gaskets.
Your ideal DIY freeze-drier would start with a large bell-jar, small enough to fit inside a chest freezer.
I have a few lab catalogs with bell jars, but they are also expensive. Hoping to find a cheap used one somewhere.
We tried using a 55-gallon oil drum once, but the vacuum crunched it like an empty soda can.
Most 'full service' florist shops will have a freeze-drier that you can rent. Or if you know a florist you may be able to work out a deal. We have a florist in our Bible study group, so using a commercial freeze-drier is not entirely uncommon.
Freeze-drying does not subtract any nutrients other than water.