Freeze drying is like sending food into suspended animation. It feels dry to the touch, yet, by simply tearing open the foil outer and popping the freeze-dried block into the mouth (thereby re-hydrating it in the process) astronauts find that, more often than not, the unappetising-looking substance explodes with flavour!
The ice cream is placed in a vacuum chamber and frozen until the water crystallises. The air pressure is lowered, forcing air out of the chamber. Next heat is applied, vaporizing the ice. Finally, a freezing coil traps the vaporised water. This process continues for hours, resulting, over time in a perfect freeze-dried ice cream slice that keeps the ice cream totally intact, minus any moisture. Amazing.
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