How Does Freeze Drying Work?

When you think of aloe vera, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is aloe vera plants, aloe vera juices, or maybe even aloe vera gel. One thing you may not think about is freeze-drying your aloe vera to make it into a powder. Have you ever wondered how freeze-drying works? The process of freeze-drying is actually much more straightforward than one might think.

By freeze-drying aloe vera, you can preserve almost all of the product’s nutrients, and use it in several different applications, from cosmetics to supplements and toiletries. Learn more about the step-by-step process of freeze-drying your aloe vera products.

Advantages of Freeze Drying

When it comes to creating a quality aloe vera product, freeze-drying can be a significant key to retaining the health benefits inherent to the plant. By freeze-drying, you are extending the shelf-life of your aloe vera for many years to come — without the need for preservatives. Without the preservatives, this maintains the aloe vera’s 100% organic status and is environmentally friendly.

This also allows you to reduce the amount of volume of your product that needs to be transported — which ultimately leads to less energy consumption when getting your product to others.

What is Freeze Drying?

Freeze-drying, also known as lyophilization, is a low-temperature dehydration process that allows for freezing the aloe vera, lowering pressure, then removing the ice by sublimation, which is not to be confused with dehydrating effects through heat and the evaporation of water.

Due to the low temperatures used for these processes, the quality of the aloe vera powder, once it is rehydrated, is excellent. Not only does it maintain an incredible rate, but it also retains its original shape once it is rehydrated.

Step by Step on How Freeze Drying Works

There are three main phases when it comes to freeze-drying — freezing, sublimation, and absorption. These steps help complete the process and provide you with a long last product to use for your unique creation.

Phase 1 — The Freezing Phase

The freezing phase is the first and most crucial phase of freeze-drying. You could freeze in a freezer, a chilled bath, or on a shelf in a freeze dryer. Once you are ready to cool the material, it's essential to cool the material below its triple point to ensure that sublimation occurs. By also cooling it, it allows for the product to preserve its physical form. 

For a faster and more efficient process, large crystals are preferable. For the product to be frozen, the production crystals are needed. The product needs to freeze slowly or in a cycle with fluctuating temperatures in a process called annealing.

Phase 2 — Sublimation 

The second phase is sublimation, or also known as primary drying. Sublimation is where the pressure is lowered, and heat is applied to the product so that the water inside it will sublimate. The product will be put in a vacuum to speed up the process. 

Then it is set in a cold condenser to provide a place for the water vapor to adhere to and solidify. This condenser will help the vacuum be protected from the water vapor that comes out of the product. During this phase, almost all of the water is removed from the product and can be a slow process.

Phase 3 — Absorption

The final phase of the freeze-drying process is absorption or otherwise known as secondary drying. During this phase, ionically bound water molecules are removed from the product. 

This removal of the water molecules is done by raising the temperature to be higher than the primary drying phase to break the bonds between the water and the material. After this process is complete, the vacuum is broken before the material is sealed. Breaking the void makes the material only have 1-5% of its residual moisture.

Let Aloe Labs Handle The Freeze-Drying Process

The best way to ensure that you’re getting the highest quality aloe powder possible is to choose a company with complete control over the manufacturing process, from growing to harvesting and processing. 

At Aloe Laboratories, we maintain our aloe vera farm and production site, allowing us to craft the most satisfactory products possible while keeping bulk and wholesale prices low. We pride ourselves on producing aloe vera gel, juice, and powder specific to each customer’s needs.
If you’d like to learn more about how aloe vera gel can enhance your products, or if you have some ideas of your own, reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you make your product a reality.

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