Oregon Freeze Dry
About Oregon Freeze Dry
Oregon Freeze Dry uses quality ingredients to create great-tasting freeze-dried meals for a wide variety of uses. From military missions to family camping trips to long term food storage, we’re the solution for your freeze-dried food and product needs.
History of Excellence
Oregon Freeze Dry was formed 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. In 1969, 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 continued to manufacture packaged food products. 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 products are key components in some of America’s largest food companies, including such products as lunch and dinner entrees for the Nutri/System weight-loss program and Kirkland Signature™. We’re still a major supplier to the military, a solution for people preparing for an emergency, and our Mountain House® brand continues to be the favorite of backpackers and campers, helping make us one of the best freeze-dried food companies in the world. Oregon Freeze Dry, Contract Lyophilization Services 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.
OFD Food’s Work Environment
Oregon Freeze Dry’s world headquarters is located in Albany, Oregon, and employs over 500 people. There are three manufacturing facilities on a 35-acre industrial site and an additional plant in Henrietta, New York. Oregon Freeze Dry operates under USDA (meat and poultry), FDA (food, drug and medical device), and/or EPA regulations, according to product. USDA Organic, Kosher, Halal, and other certifications are also possible.
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 a majority share of North American Capacity. 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 freeze-dried food company. Through innovative research and product development, Oregon Freeze Dry will continue to lead the world in this type of technology.
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, making it a great long term food storage option. Here are some of the benefits to freeze-dried foods:
• Taste fresh. Freeze-dried foods, like frozen, retain virtually all their fresh-food taste and nutritional content. The process removes the water, not the flavor.
• Look fresh. 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 the process.
• Stay fresh. These 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 omelets, steak, or lasagna. In fact, Oregon Freeze Dry has produced over 400 different foods and beverages. At Oregon Freeze Dry, we’re committed to providing you with fresh-tasting, easy-to-prepare meals for your unique needs. Whether you’re searching for a long term food storage solution or an emergency food plan, we’re here to keep you well-fed with our nutritious, flavorful meals.