History of Lyophilizers and Freeze Dryers

Before finding your lab, lyophilizers and freeze dryers underwent a long history of development to offer the capabilities they have today.

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The Invention of Lyophilizers and Freeze Dryers

While which civilization invented freeze-drying proves challenging for researchers to determine, we know that ancient societies, such as the Peruvian Incas, removed water from food before freezing it for preservation.

By 1890, scientist Albert Altmann in Germany was able to freeze-dry pieces of organs using sublimation for drying, not just freezing. The modern lyophilizer was invented in 1905, when Benedict and Manning created the first freeze dryer, though they called it a chemical pump. The company designed this machine to dry and preserve blood tissues. 

In 1906 in Paris Jacques-Arsene d’Arsonval was refining freeze-drying by removing water at low temperatures. For this reason, he’s sometimes credited as the inventor of freeze drying, though this process has a history tracing much farther back. A few years later, in 1910, L. F. Shackell updated the design using an electric pump. 

The first US patent for a modern freeze dryer was issued in 1934 for Elser. The company’s design had a cold trap and dry ice.

How Have Lyophilizers and Freeze Dryers Changed Over Time?

Freeze dryers changed over time in response to how they were used. Through the 1930s and during World War II, freeze-drying was used for preserving biological materials and plasma, which was important for field medicine and ensuring life-saving blood donations could be preserved without refrigeration. 

After the war, freeze-drying became increasingly popular in the food industry. The Nestle company developed freeze-dried instant coffee after Brazil experienced a surplus of coffee and needed to preserve it. As NASA prepared to send astronauts into space, they used freeze-drying processes to ensure crews would have nutritious snacks, which eventually became popular in museums and other sites.

Currently, manufacturers are seeking ways to make freeze-drying more cost-effective for even wider use. Some have been focused on pre-treatments through infrared heating, osmotic dehydration or ultrasound to reduce energy use and cost. Other manufacturers have implemented spray nozzles or microwaves in the drying chamber to reduce costs. 

Shop Used Freeze Dryers

Choose New Life Scientific for Affordable Lyophilizers and Freeze Dryers

If your lab requires high-quality equipment like lyophilizers and freeze dryers, start moving your science forward with New Life Scientific. We sell used equipment tested by our quality control technicians. Our devices come with an after-sales warranty and support, and when you shop with us, you receive help and advice from our friendly and knowledgeable staff

Browse our lyophilizers and freeze dryers today to explore a better way to buy lab equipment. 

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