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  • Karel Schmiedberger

Freeze-dried food not only for dogs


Freeze-dried chicken giblets
Freeze-dried chicken giblets

Nowhere is it written that AMARU has to dry food only for members of the human race. The low weight, long shelf life and the absence of unwanted preservatives can be a very good attraction for your customers.

The current model of selling barf (raw) dog food is also worth considering. The food has to be constantly frozen, including transport, not to mention subsequent storage. On top of that, you have to add the time needed to thaw (usually only part of) the package to room temperature. All this can be eliminated by freeze-drying the barfoods.

Note: This test was performed on an earlier model of the AMARU lyophilizer. We have made several improvements since then and today the capacity would be higher and the process faster.

Preparation

For the test I chose chicken hearts. It's almost pure muscle, and because of the aortas (if that's the correct term), it doesn't need to be sliced or cut in any way. Just dump it out on a tray and put it in the AMARU.

VnitřnostChicken giblets on the product tray before loading into the AMARU freeze dryer.i před nakládáním do lyofilizátoru
For the purposes of the test, I loaded each tray with 1 kilogram of giblets.

Freezing

Chicken hearts are sold chilled, but to import anything chilled in the summer heat, even within one part of Prague, is almost impossible. When the machine was started, the hearts were around 14°C. AMARU only needed to set 15 hours of freezing time to reach the required temperature before drying began.

Drying

The freeze-drying itself then took about 31 hours before the pressure in the chamber stopped around 200 mTorr, meaning that no more drying was possible.

Result

Everything dried to the point where the individual hearts could be ground into a powder. With meat drying, however, you have to reckon with fats that can't be dried and some of the hearts were still oily to the point of being a bit matted, but that's not a bad thing.

After drying, almost exactly 225 g of each kilogram remained, i.e. the final weight reduced to about 22.5%.

Rehydration

It is relatively easy to restore the giblets to their original state, but I use chicken hearts as a healthy treat. Our dogs eat them for a reward and very willingly, including the otherwise quite picky Chihuahua.

Because it is a meat product, rehydration can be done simply by submerging it in water for 10 - 15 minutes. Meat products always take only as much water as they need.

Uses

This usual passage would give way to the article itself this time. Freeze-dried giblets work best as a treat, but they can also be used to prepare a regular meal. However, various barf patties and mixes would be interesting, as they would not need to be kept frozen all the time, would be easier to transport and rehydration is easier and quicker than thawing.


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