Spray-freeze-drying: A novel process for the drying of foods and bioproducts
S. Padma Ishwarya, C. Anandharamakrishnan, Andrew G.F. Stapley
Spray-freeze-drying (SFD) is an unconventional freeze drying technique that produces uniquely powdered products whilst still including the benefits of conventionally freeze dried products. SFD has potential applications in high value products due to its edge over other drying techniques in terms of product structure, quality, and the retention of volatiles and bioactive compounds. In cases where other drying techniques cannot provide these product attributes, SFD stands out despite the costs and complexities involved. This paper outlines the principles, methods, significant process parameters, particle morphology and quality aspects of SFD. Recent developments in this technique are reviewed including ultrasonic spray-freeze-drying, the application of computational fluid dynamics and mathematical modelling, and the incorporation of new technologies to improve product quality. In addition, the advantages, limitations and future scope for research in the field of SFD are discussed.