Freeze Drying Milestones

 

 

The technique of freeze drying has been utilized since 1250 B.C. as a method for preserving food.  Since this time the methods for and science of freeze drying have been ever evolving as more uses for it emerge, particularly in the health care industry, and better understanding is gained.  Following are some highlighted events in the history of freeze drying:

 

1250 BC to 850 BC:

Ancient Peruvian Incas would place their potatoes and other crops above Machu Picchu where the produce would freeze.  What they didn’t know was that the low pressure of the high altitudes vaporized the water in the produce, essentially freeze drying it.

Bellis, Mary. "Freeze-Drying and Freeze-Dried Food." About.Com:Inventors. 13 Aug 2008

 

South Americans living in the Andes used a primitive freeze-drying method to preserve potatoes.  The tubers were carried high into the mountains where temperatures descend below the freezing point of water and atmospheric pressure is low.

Salaman RN. The History and Social Influence of the Potato.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1949

 

Monks, living on the famous Buddhist sacred mountain called Koya, would pack tofu in snow on the mountainside where drying was facilitated by the high altitudes and bitter cold winds.

Costantino, Henry. Lyophilization of Biopharmaceuticals. Arlington, VA: American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, 2004

 

The Vikings utilized their local dry, cold conditions to freeze-dry their own staple food, the codfish.

Costantino, Henry. Lyophilization of Biopharmaceuticals. Arlington, VA: American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, 2004

 

1890:

Altman reported that he was able to obtain dry tissue, at subatmospheric pressures, at temperature of about -20 degrees Celsius.

L. R. Rey in Recent Research in Freezing and Drying (A.S. Parker and A. V. Smith, eds.), Oxford, England: Backwell Scientific Publications, 1960,  p.40.

 

1905:

Benedict and Manning reported the drying of animal tissue at pressures less than 1 atm by means of a chemical pump.

L. R. Rey in Recent Research in Freezing and Drying (A.S. Parker and A. V. Smith, eds.), Oxford, England: Backwell Scientific Publications, 1960, p.40.

 

1910’s:

Shackell took the basic design of Benedict and Manning and used an electrically driven vacuum pump, instead of the displacement of the air with ethyl ether, to produce the necessary vacuum.

D.L.Harris and L.F. Shackell, Jr. Am. Pub. Health Assn., 52: (1977)

 

1920’s:

Lyophilization was established as a stabilizing process for heat-liable materials.

Jennings, Thomas. Lyophilization: Introduction and Basic Principles. Englewood, Co: Interpharm Press, 1999

 

1925:

The Dry Ice Corporation of America first trademarked the name Dry Ice in 1925.

Bellis, Mary. "Dried Ice-Trademark." About.com: Inventors. 15 Aug 2008

 

1927:

The first U.S. patent was issued to Tival and made reference to the drying of frozen materials under vacuum conditions.

Jennings, Thomas. Lyophilization: Introduction and Basic Principles. Englewood, Co: Interpharm Press, 1999

 

1934:

U.S. patent issued to Elser describes drying equipment that replaces Shackell’s sulfuric acid desiccating system with a cold trap chilled with dry ice.

B.W. Hammer, J. Med Research, 24: 527 (1911)

 

1938:

Freeze-dried coffee was first produced, which led to the development of powdered food products.

Bellis, Mary. "Freeze-Drying and Freeze-Dried Food." About.Com:Inventors. 13 Aug 2008

 

1940’s:

The first commercial use of Freeze Drying.

"Interesting Bits of Freeze Drying History." Petal Mania. 2008. 13 Aug 2008

 

Equipment and techniques were developed to supply blood plasma and penicillin to the armed forces during World War II.

"Interesting Bits of Freeze Drying Hisotry." Petal Mania. 2008. 13 Aug 2008

 

Greaves provided the first scientific insight into the drying process by identifying the key operating parameters.

R.I.N. Greaves in Biological Applications of Freezing and Drying (R.J.C. Harris, ed.), Academic Press, New York, 1954, p.87

 

1950’s and 1960’s:

The coining of the term lyophilization is generally attributed to L.R. Rey because of the porous nature of the dried product and its “lyophil” characteristics to rapidly reabsorb the solvent and restore the substance to its original state.

L. R. Rey in Recent Research in Freezing and Drying (A.S. Parker and A. V. Smith, eds.), Oxford, England: Backwell Scientific Publications, 1960, p.40

 

1960’s:

Freeze drying foods grew in popularity.

 

1968:

Freeze-dried ice cream, also known as astronaut ice cream, was developed by Whirlpool Corporation under contract to NASA for the Apollo missions.

"Freeze drying." Wikipedia 13 Aug 2008

 

1970’s:

Freeze-Drying was commonly used for taxidermy, food preservation, museum conservation and pharmaceutical production.

"Freeze drying." Wikipedia 13 Aug 2008

 

1980’s:

The freeze-drying industry discovered the allurement and longevity of freeze-drying flowers.

Gronka, Paul. "Freeze-Dry History and Process." 07 June 1998. 13 Aug 2008

 

1992:

Lyophilization Technology, Inc. was founded by Edward Trappler.

 

2003:

Kellogg Company began freeze drying strawberries and blueberries for their innovative cereal, “Fruit Harvest Strawberry Blueberry”.

"Kellogg "Breakfast with Barry" Warms Trading Day at NYSE." Kelloggs. 07 Feb 2007. 15 Aug 2008

 

2006:

Lyophilization Technology, Inc. expanded their current capabilities to include Phase I/Phase II Clinical Manufacturing.  January 2006 marked the first media fill.

 

2012:

Lyophilization Technology, Inc. celebrated their 20th year anniversary.  With over 20 years of experience, LTI has successfully developed formulations, manufacturing processes and prepared material for clinical trials for over 384 diverse products.

 

 

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