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Dev Biol Stand. 1976 Oct;36:29-32.

Historical recollections of freeze-drying.

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American National Red Cross, Blood Research Laboratory, Bethesda, Maryland.


The history of freeze-drying is surprisingly recent. Although Altmann used freeze-drying for the preparation of histological sections as early as 1890, his technique went unnoticed for over 40 years. Shackell independently rediscovered the technique in 1909 for the preservation of biologicals. The industrial applications of freeze-drying do not appear to have been appreciated prior to the patients of Tival in 1927 and Elser in 1934, rapidly followed by the important contributions of Flosdorf in the United States and Greaves in England who were largely responsible for making large scale applications of freeze-drying possible. Stimulated particularly by a series of symposia in England and the United States and the renowned courses on freeze-drying organized by Rey in France, the atmosphere in the 1950s and early 60s was one of optimism for the future of freeze-drying, particularly in its application to food stuffs. Many of the dreams of that time remain unfulfilled, largely because of the higher costs of quality processing. Nevertheless, although the optimism may have somewhat dimmed, the promise remains, and economic changes in the future may well stimulate another surge in development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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