Why freeze drying is so important

Why freeze drying is so important

From President & Founder, Nancy Smithers

More nutrients and a stable shelf life—naturally

In my efforts to source ingredients, manufacture and market the highest quality USDA Certified Organic vitamins, minerals, supplements, and fruit snacks, I take many factors into consideration.

  • The quality of the growers of the over 100 plants, herbs, algae, seeds, grains, and grasses that I use to formulate our products at Nova Scotia Organics
  • The harvesting processes used
  • The authenticity of the USDA Certified Organic credentials of each and every ingredient
  • And how we handle these precious ingredients to produce the tablets, caplets, ready-to-mix powders, and fruit snacks for you

In the 20-plus years I’ve been in business, I have never wavered in my mission to produce only the highest-quality products. I learned early on that the nutritional value of dry fruits, even the highest quality ingredients, could be significantly compromised if not handled and manufactured with care.

Nova Scotia Organics uses whole and extract powders of fruits in more than half of our products. These fruits range from Canadian wild low bush blueberries and Gala apples to tropical mango and pineapple, but they all have one thing in common: their high water content. To prepare these ingredients to either be sliced and bagged for snacks, or granulated, mixed and tabletted for our bottled vitamins, minerals, and supplements, we must first dry them thoroughly.


Freeze Drying


There are a surprising number of ways to dry organic ingredients.


Oven Drying: This process is just what it sounds like. Herbs or plants are dried at temperatures of 140 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time. These temperatures do cause some loss of vitamins A, C, Bs, antioxidants, many beneficial enzymes, and some nutrients. Oven drying also can negatively affect the taste and, because this process does not remove all the water, creates a shrivelled product that can be hard or rubbery. The amount of moisture retained can be as high as 5% to 10%. Without preservatives of some type, food products dried this way are often subject to mold without preservatives. Nova Scotia Organics does not use oven drying for our fruit snacks.


Drum Drying: Using this method, plant-based ingredients are dried in rotating drums and exposed to very high temperatures for a short period of time. The process takes a relatively short time and the cost is relatively low when compared to other methods. However, products treated this way do lose some of the nutritional value due to the high heat, and for dried fruits eaten whole, drum drying can cause browning and oxidation, reducing the shelf life. Manufacturers of dried fruits using this method usually add sulfites to the product to counteract these negative effects. We do not find drum drying suitable for our fruit snack products.


A Deep Dive into Freeze Drying Our Fruit Snacks


Early on, Nova Scotia Organics committed to using freeze drying exclusively as the way to dry our organic fruit snacks. While the capital expense to purchase, install and operate these massive freeze dryers was significant, the difference in the quality of organic products my customers would receive was so great, I’ve never looked back.


While the process is time-consuming and must be monitored very carefully, freeze drying – or as it is scientifically known, lyophilization–is a three-step process and produces uncompromised results.


Freezing the ripe, beautiful organic fruit to -22 degrees Fahrenheit retains much of its cellular integrity, preserving both nutritional values and the natural fruit fiber. This process enables the ice molecules to transform directly into a vapor state and the fruit is then dried in two stages: primary drying (sublimation) and secondary drying (desorption).


Sublimation exposes the fruits to low temperatures and low pressure which permits the moisture to be removed by changing directly from a solid ice form to vapor without passing through the liquid phase. Desorption uses a slightly higher temperatures but still low pressure to further dehydrate the product. The result is a product with only 1%-3% moisture for a naturally longer shelf life, an intact cellular structure, great taste, and an appetizing, unaltered appearance.


When we dry fruits and ingredients at Nova Scotia Organics, we use only the freeze drying method.




Only Freeze Drying for Us…and You

Freeze drying removes water from herbs, plants, and fruits, without excessively heating the products. What remains?
  • More nutrition
  • Better flavor
  • Better appearance with no browning
  • Pleasing lightly crunchy texture
  • No preservatives required
  • Longer shelf life, naturally

Get superior nutrition with organic freeze-dried products

Shop our freeze-dried snacks and supplements