Oregon Freeze Dry was incorporated in 1963, when the company began drying fruit for breakfast cereals. Later, Oregon Freeze Dry worked with the Department of Defense to develop and produce military rations that tasted better, weighed less, and were easier to prepare than canned rations.
By the early 1970's, the company was marketing its own Mountain House® line of freeze-dried foods for outdoor recreational use. In the 1980's, the Company grew rapidly as it began to manufacture private label packaged food products, and expanding its ingredient line.
In the 1990's Oregon Freeze Dry moved aggressively into the drying of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and biological materials.
Today, Oregon Freeze Dry is the world's technological leader in freeze-drying. Our freeze-dried ingredients are key components in the products of some of America's largest food companies. Our private label lines include such products as lunch and dinner entrees for the Nutri/System weight-loss program. We're still a major supplier to the military, and our Mountain House® brand
continues to be the favorite of backpackers and campers. Oregon Freeze Dry's Advanced & Specialty Products division processes pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals, medical devices, cultured microorganisms, enzymes, and other sensitive biological materials. For these products, freeze drying creates functional properties unattainable by other drying methods.
Oregon Freeze Dry's world headquarters is located in Albany, Oregon, and employs over 300 people. There are three manufacturing facilities on a 35-acre industrial site. Oregon Freeze Dry operates under USDA (meat and poultry), APHIS, FDA (drug and medical device), and/or EPA regulations, according to product. Kosher and Halal certifications are also available. Today Oregon Freeze Dry is the world's largest custom processor of freeze dried products. The company has over 20 million kilograms of drying capacity at its three Oregon plants, representing about 70% of North American Capacity. Oregon Freeze Dry's subsidiary in Europe, European Freeze Dry (United Kingdom and Denmark), is the UK's largest freeze dryer, and is both ISO 9002 and HACCP certified.
Oregon Freeze Dry has internal R&D and engineering support available to assist in the development and scale-up of commercial products. Our modern research and development center is equipped with basic research facilities, development kitchens, and pilot processing and packaging equipment. Product and processing development - from prototyping new concepts to developing full-scale manufacturing systems - is one of our strengths.
We're proud of our reputation as a progressive, quality-conscious company. Through innovative research and product development, Oregon Freeze Dry will continue to lead the world in freeze-drying technology.
Freeze-drying has several advantages over other food preservation methods.
Frozen foods retain fresh flavor and nutritional value, but require uniform, low temperature storage conditions. Dehydrated and canned foods are shelf-stable, but high-temperature processing can degrade flavor, texture and nutritional content. Freeze-drying combines the best of these processing methods. It preserves freshness, color and aroma similar to frozen food, while providing the shelf-stable convenience of canned or dehydrated food. Freeze-dried foods:
Freeze-dried foods, like frozen, retain virtually all their fresh-food taste and nutritional content. Freeze-drying removes the water, not the flavor.
Freeze-dried foods maintain their original shape and texture, unlike dehydrated foods, which shrink and shrivel due to high-temperature processing. Freeze-drying removes water under low temperatures (typically a maximum of 100 to 130 degrees F), which keeps intact the moisture channels and food fibers. Just add water, and in minutes every fresh food detail returns.
Weigh less than fresh.
Freeze-dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This reduces the food's weight by approximately 90%, making it easier to handle and less costly to ship. For example, twenty-five pounds of celery weigh only one pound after freeze-drying.
Freeze-dried foods can be stored at room temperature, without deterioration or spoilage. This is because freeze-drying and packaging remove both water and oxygen - the two primary causes of food deterioration.
Almost any food, from apples to zucchini, can be freeze-dried. So can entire meals, such as omelettes, hamburgers, or Chicken a la King. In fact, Oregon Freeze Dry has produced over 400 different foods and beverages.