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Local freeze-dried food business to be featured on Food Network

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Via the Wyoming News Exchange

BUFFALO (WNE) — When food phenom Guy Fieri visited Buffalo last year to film an episode about Pie Zano's restaurant on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” he and his crew made an additional stop along the way.

In the basement of Bomber Mountain Civic Center sits Wyoming's first commercial freeze-dried manufacturing facility called EternaFresh, owned and operated by resident Beau Fowler.

The facility will be featured on another one of Fieri's Food Network television shows, "Guy's All-American Road Trip.”

The business is part of season 3, episode 2, "Father's Day Feasts and Camp Side Competitions,” scheduled to premiere this week.

Fowler said that the network was interested in EternaFresh because commercial-scale freeze drying is a relatively new part of the food industry.

The process begins with fresh food – fresh fruits, vegetables and even beef and homemade ice cream – that are, first, chopped up into bite-sized pieces. Beef is also cooked before the freeze-drying process begins. When possible, food is sourced from local producers, Fowler said.

Through research, Fowler discovered that freeze-drying not only keeps food fresh for a long time – his products have at least a 25-year shelf life – but that foods preserved this way also retain their nutritional value.

“With traditional dehydrating, you actually cook or bake out a lot of those nutrients because it's a pure heat process,” Fowler said. “Freezedrying is completely different.”

The more than 100 products the company offers can either be enjoyed as is, which have a crunchy texture, or, with water, they can be sort of brought back to their original state. The website has recipes and tips for cooking with freeze-dried food.

Fowler said that customers have reported losing weight after substituting processed snacks and other foods for their products.

This story was published on June 13, 2024.

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