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2017 Freeze Dryer User Survey Results

Learn readers’ key applications and more from our latest freeze dryer product survey results.

Erica Tennenhouse, PhD

Erica Tennenhouse, PhD, is the managing editor of Clinical Lab Manager.

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Freeze dryers find use in a variety of research and manufacturing environments and are commonly used for material storage, food and pharmaceutical processing, as well as for less common applications such as taxidermy and document recovery. With a wide variety of options available, there is much to consider when purchasing a new freeze dryer.

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Freeze Dryer

  1. What solvents are you using? A temperature differential between the sample’s eutectic temperature and collector temperature of 15–20 degrees is required. If solvents such as acetonitrile are used, a cascade freeze dryer is required.
  2. How much sample in liters will you run? When choosing a freeze dryer, vendors recommend loading 1/2 of the listed capacity. For example, a 6L freeze dryer will hold 3L during the run.
  3. Do you want to freeze dry in flasks, tubes, or bulk? Many drying accessories are available. On a manifold or drying chamber, flasks can be placed on each port. Test tubes and serum vials can be placed inside of the flasks for multiple samples per container. If samples are bulk, a tray dryer would be a good choice.
  4. Do you need to stopper under vacuum? Accessories can allow you to stopper under vacuum or nitrogen without using compressed gas.
  5. Is this a shared freeze dryer? A hybrid pump is recommended to prevent damage to the pump.

Types of freeze dryers used by survey respondents:

Manifold Console 40%
Shelf Benchtop 19%
Non-Sterile Production 16%
Manifold Benchtop 13%
Dry Ice Benchtop 11%
Shelf Console 11%
Sterile Production 8%
Other 3%

Freeze dryer applications as reported by survey respondents:

Pharmaceuticals 38%
Material stabilization and/or storage 35%
Food processing 19%
Starters and cultures 16%
Nutraceuticals 13%
Document Recovery 3%
Other 24%

Nearly 52% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new freeze dryer. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
Addition to existing systems
First time purchase
Setting up a new lab

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a freeze dryer:

Ease of use 83%
Product performance for intended application 83%
Service and support 74%
Reliability under high performance 71%
Low maintenance/operating costs 68%
Accurate vacuum control 63%
Price 60%
Warranty 57%
Ease of installation 54%
Energy Efficiency 52%

For more information on freeze dryers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See the most current survey results here