Freeze Drying- An Processing & Market Trend

What is Freeze Drying

Freeze drying—technically known as lyophilisation, or cryodesiccation is a dehydration process typically used to preserve a perishable material or make the material more convenient for transport. A freeze dried fruit is a dehydrated fruit derived from lyophilisation which can be stored for longer duration and can be consumed throughout the year.

Freeze dried fruit is popular globally due to its availability and usage.

As it can be easily transported, its an popular export commodity with HS code 20089999.

The taste and composition of the fruit remains the same only the water content is removed. 


The global fruit and vegetables processing industry trends are Sales of processed fruits and vegetables has increased in absolute numbers in past 5 years but the overall share in the industry revenue has been declining.

Economic growth and rising incomes has been driving demand in developing economies for frozen fruit and vegetables, this segment has seen growth in overall contribution in revenue.

For juices and related products, rising health consciousness and the increasing value of time in developed economies is expanding demand for these products from OECD country consumers. The product segment's share of overall industry revenue has grown over the past five years.

In, dried and dehydrated foods category the overall share in industry revenue has fairly remained constant due to its low cost and its inability to gain traction with rising middle income consumers. 

Some key trends in Indian & global processed food production are- 

  • Approx. 36% of the processed food industry revenue comes from frozen fruits and vegetables

  • Low-tech fruit and vegetable processors, such as fruit driers, exist in almost every country

  • High-tech, large-scale fruit and vegetable processing operations are concentrated primarily in Europe and Asia

  • Presence of production zones in Europe and Asia have helped them remain at leading positions

  • Exports from India have increased from US$373.13 million in 2013 to US$320.73 million in 2015, registering an increase of ~9% y-o-y basis.

  • Top importers from India include U.S.A, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, U.K, Iran, France etc.The strategic advantage of location helps Indian exporters to export to high demand like Gulf countries

Process of Freeze Drying of F&V

The fully developed fruits are examined, washed, decolourized, peeled, pulped (in slice or partitioned), centrifuged and finally a uniform concentrate is prepared. The uniform concentrate is then freeze dried using various automated processes to dehydrate the concentrate fully.

The manufacturing of the fruit juice powder, fruit slices, bars and dices can be manufactured using the same process and then can be precautions packaged in sterilized, storage packages which should preserve the chemical composition, taste, color and fresh aroma of the natural fruit. One of the main pre-requisite of the entire process is keeping the premises, equipment and packaging free from any contamination. The entire facility has to be made sterilized, along with that operators working on the machines should be properly dressed and trained to avoid any direct contact with the fruit concentrate or produce.


  • 1 Ton Freeze- Drying Plant

  • Sets of trays and trolleys

  • Pulper

  • Pulveriser

  • Power and distribution panels

  •  Utilities

  • Control Panel.


Minimum requirements of Land Area will be 2000 Sq. mtr.

The major component of a small-scale Freeze Drying unit are land, building and civil works. A project cost of Rs.6 Crore has been estimated.

Government Initiatives

Various government Schemes provides 35 to 50% Grant on Capital Investments.

Source: Alliance Engineering Consultant Research