We use REAL ice cream that is placed into a vacuum chamber and frozen to 60 degrees BELOW zero. This causes the water from the ice cream to turn into ice. Next, the pressure is lowered in the chamber and enough heat is slowly added to allow the ice to change directly from solid to vapor without passing through a liquid phase. This process continues for hours, resulting in a perfect freeze-dried ice cream.

The typical machine used in the freeze-drying process consists of a chamber, heating unit, vacuum pump, and freezing coil. The airtight steel chamber withstands large temperature and atmospheric pressure changes. The heating unit heats the shelves inside the freeze-drying chamber. The vacuum pump removes air, lowering the pressure inside the chamber. The freezing coil and compressor, which is like the one in your refrigerator at home, collects the evaporated water.

Removing water via freeze-drying reduces food weight by up to 90%. This helps astronauts meet weight restrictions on space missions, and it can help you lighten your pack on the trails. Freeze-drying preserves food’s shape, color, and texture, making it last longer. Microorganisms, the food spoiling culprits, are eliminated in the freeze-drying process.

Recent studies have proven that freeze-drying is a top technique for retaining nutrients in fruit. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, freeze-dried foods retain the vast majority of the vitamins and minerals found in their original state. In fact, freeze-dried food typically retains 97% of its nutrition due to the cold vacuum process that is used to extract the water.

It has long been disputed whether or not freeze-dried ice cream made an appearance on the Apollo 7 mission. However, what we do know is that our ice cream was created with the intention of being used for the space program and space education. In early 2016, late show host Stephen Colbert sent Astronaut Foods ice cream into space LIVE, so yes, we can confirm it has been to space! Check out the fun video here.

Freeze-drying is like suspended animation, because it keeps the ice cream totally intact, but without the water. As you eat the crunchy pieces of ice cream, it melts in your mouth and becomes a creamy yumminess.

Yes! The inner paper wrapper has two slits to facilitate the freeze-drying process. You’ll find these in each package.

Unfortunately, no. Our products are produced in a dry facility, and though we keep every machine and space clean, we cannot help the dust particles in the air.

The “Best By” date can be found on the bottom of every pouch. Astronaut Foods are shelf stable and can be stored up to 3 years in their airtight, sealed packaging.

Yes. Our freeze-dried fruits are totally vegan! No additional ingredients are added to our strawberries, peaches, bananas, and grapes. We add a touch of cinnamon and sugar to our crunchy cinnamon apple wedges.

Breakage commonly occurs during the freeze-drying process. It still tastes great!

All items are shipped from our facility in Boulder, Colorado. Transit times vary depending upon geography and shipping method. Please allow 1-3 business days for processing.

After processing please allow:

  • UPS Ground: 1-5 days depending on where you are in the country
  • US Postal Service Priority Mail: 1-4 days

We do not allow refunds do to late shipments if they fall within these processing/shipping times. 

Please note: UPS/FedEx cannot ship to a PO Box. If you're shipping to a PO Box, your only shipping option is US Postal Service.

Contact our Customer Service Team regarding any special circumstances or with any shipping questions: info@astronautfoods.com or 303-736-6362.

We offer a FREE Pick-up option for Boulder/Denver area residents (or if you happen to be passing through).

No FREE shipping to Alaska or Hawaii.