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Almost any aqueous based material, and some non-aqueous solutions, can be freeze dried.  Fruits and vegetables are common materials that are freeze dried.  But did you know you can freeze dry many other materials? The end result is a stable powder that can be packed and stored, or used in a new form, like encapsulating, compressing into tablets, or just storing in air tight bags for resale. Botanicals, aqueous blends, extracts, nutraceuticals, chemicals, biologicals, cultures, and many other materials can benefit from freeze drying.

At Apex Lyo we can dry a wide range of materials. Our customized dryers and automation system adapt to differences in materials allowing us significant flexibility. Coupled with our knowledge and experience, we ask, "what can we dry for you?"

Scroll down to learn more about freeze drying and its application to a variety of materials. Or contact us directly to discuss your current drying needs or ideas for the next new product.


Herbal Extracts and Botanicals

Extracts from plants, fruits, vegetables, roots, and other botanical materials are well suited for freeze drying.  As aqueous solutions, freeze drying will stabilize the extract in a solid powder form that can be repackaged, formed into tablets, encapsulated, or used for further processing. Freeze drying preserves the chemical integrity of the extract ensuring high potency and effectiveness.  In a stable, powder form, scientific studies on the extracts can be performed using known, repeatable quantities.

Some examples of freeze dried extracts are coffee, açaí berry, aloe vera, tea, vanilla, peppermint, ginger, grape seed, kava, wheat grass, ginseng, and many more.


Nutraceuticals     back to top

Nutraceuticals, or functional foods as they are sometimes called, are isolated nutrients from foods that offer various health benefits beyond their simple nutritional value.  A pharmaceutical is a synthetic drug used in the treatment of disease. A nutraceutical uses concentrated natural nutrients to treat disease and provide various health benefits.

Freeze drying is an ideal method of stabilizing the food while maintaining the effectiveness and function of the nutrients. In the dried form the nutrient can be accurately controlled and administered in scientific studies.  Stabilizing the food allows the time necessary to conduct such studies.

A major benefit of freeze drying foods for nutraceutical use is the concentration effect.  Whereas a food, such as broccoli, may have 1% nutraceutical value in its natural form, freeze drying concentrates those components to 10% of the dried weight. One pound of fresh broccoli will have less than 0.2 oz of nutraceutical. One pound of freeze dried broccoli will have over 1.5 oz of nutraceutical. This is quite useful for controlled testing and determining effectiveness.

An example of a nutraceutical is the sulforaphane found in broccoli which may be a cancer preventative. Antioxidants found in many foods are also considered nutraceuticals such as resveratrol found in grape seed and the polyphenols found in green tea.


Proteins, Enzymes, Peptides, Etc.     back to top

If you are looking to stabilize proteins, enzymes, peptides, or other biologicals, freeze drying is an excellent method.  Aqueous solutions of these materials can be frozen and lyophilized to produce stable, easily handled products for use in research, and commercial or consumer applications. 

Examples of these materials are egg white albumin, HSA (human serum albumin), BSA (bovine serum albumin), pancreatic ribonuclease A, lysine, wheat gluten, and arginine. The latter three offering various health benefits. 


Chemicals     back to top

Numerous aqueous solutions of chemicals or compounds can be stabilized by freeze drying. Once in the dried form they can be used in ways not possible in the liquid form.  Chemicals that are unstable in solution can be stabilized by freeze drying. Having chemicals or compounds in a dry form allows for exceptional convenience in handling and application.  Paint pigments are a good example. Chemicals and compounds can also be rendered to a more safe form by freeze drying.

Imagination is the only limit in determining if freeze drying is useful for your chemicals and compounds.


Bacteria Cultures     back to top

A variety of bacteria and yeasts can be preserved by freeze drying. Once dried and packed, these organisms are stable and can be reanimated at a later time by adding water. Bacchus malolactic, acidophilus, bifidus regularis are just a few examples. The probiotic market continues to grow as a source of health and nutrition. Yogurt with active cultures is probably the most well known application.

For more information on types of bacteria and their application, follow these links

Chr Hansen


Algae & Fungi     back to top

Algae has been found to be a dense food source for humans and animals. Blue-Green Algae may have additional health benefits. Algaes benefit from freeze drying in a number of ways. Freeze drying preserves the nutrients creating greater potency. The resulting powder is conveniently handled and can be formed into tablets or encapsulated. In the freeze dried form algae is easily soluble and absorbable. 

Freeze dried algae is also used as a food source for zooplankton growth and nutrient release studies and as fish food.

Fungi are also suitable for freeze drying.


Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices     back to top

Freeze drying stabilizes medicines, creates powders for tableting or encapsulating, and allows rehydration at a later time. Pharmaceutical companies often use freeze drying to create products with long shelf life such as vaccines or other medicines for injections. These medicines can then be transported all over the world without spoiling.

Medical Devices
drying preserves the form and shape of materials that may be used for wound care, stints, patches, etc. that are rehydrated by wound fluids. Hemcon is a company taking advantage of lyophilization to produce revolutionary wound care products.

Please note:  We are not a cGMP facility at this time. We dry these materials for testing, R&D, cycle development, and/or manufacturing purposes.


Other?     back to top

There is no limit to what can be freeze dried. New and interesting materials are being freeze dried every day. Electronic devices, pharmaceuticals, chemical gas generants, thousands of biologicals, thousands of extracts, paint pigments, water damaged books and papers, wound care devices, and always various foodstuffs. The range of creativity is unlimited.

What will be your next new application of freeze drying. Contact Apex Lyo for more information.


What We Don't Normally Freeze Dry     back to top

There are some materials that we do not normally freeze dry. These include fruits, vegetables, meals for home food storage, and flowers/floral arrangements. Freeze drying these items is usually cost prohibitive and can be obtained other ways or from other suppliers. If you absolutely must have these done, please contact us.

We do not freeze dry animals and animal parts for taxidermy.

Our dryers hold up to 120 pounds (50 kgs) each and we can process approximately 500 pounds per week (60 gallons liquid).