Food Lyophilisation Project
(LYO Project)

Amount of the Project: ca. 18 mln EUR

Stage of the Project: Feasibility study – 25 November 2016. If you are interested in the full feasibility study, please, request a copy at

Bulgaria was one of the first countries preparing food for cosmonauts – astronauts within the specialisation of Bulgaria in the space research programme “Intercosmos”. To make practical and effective use of the gained competence and expertise, as well as to continue and develop the traditions in this field, to popularise the “space technology” in food industry we decided to start an innovative project for a food processing plant for lyophilisation (freeze – drying) of various foodstuff – fruits, vegetables, famous Bulgarian yoghurt, meat and meat products, spices, herbs, ready-made cooked meals.

Lyophilised food


In theory lyophilisiation is the process consisting in the elimination of water from a frozen material in the course of ice sublimation, i.e. its direct transition from the solid to the gas phase without passing through an intermediate liquid phase. Lyophilisiation is carried out under much lower pressure. The beginning of the process usually involves the initial freezing of the material to the temperature of ca.-40 °C under the atmospheric pressure; next vacuum sublimation of ice and dehydration of material up to the required final humidity is performed.

A further step is the research, development and production of functional foods, food for convalescent people after illness or operations, custom prepared meals and tasty food specialties for heavy physical workers like athletes, people practicing extreme sports, soldiers, special forces, etc.

There is a growing demand for LYO food because of its inherent properties and trends:

  • Long-term shelf life of the products 10-25 years at room temperature and humidity conditions – out of the deep freezer or refrigerator
  • Preservation to the maximum extent of all nutrients and vitamins in the products in contrast to hot air dehydration technology
  • Preservation of original shape, size, color, flavor, texture and smell of food products as well of biological activity;
  • Lightweight and easy vacuum packaging in comparison to cans or heavy glass jars
  • Faster rehydration of lyophilised foodstuff when needed
  • No preservatives added
  • Growing demand of bio / organic certified foods

Potential clients for LYO foods:

  • State Reserve – in case of natural and man-made disasters;
  • Red Cross and Red Crescent
  • People looking for healthy food and drinks
  • Arctic, polar, remote bases and high mountain expeditions
  • Lifeboats on all ships;
  • Personal / Family food reserve in case of natural- and man-made disasters, for tourism, fitness, body building etc.

During the first stage of the project a factory for lyophilisation of 10 tons of raw foodstuffs per day will be put into operation.

Our green Project is planning to utilise complex renewable energy sources and complex energy storage facilities to partially reduce the inherent expenses for electric energy, to guarantee the sustainability of the Project and to reduce the carbon footprint, which completely corresponds to the Paris Agreement for climate change signed recently by all countries.

Several original innovations, inventions and utility models will be implemented for the first time in this project.

Most of the LYO foods will have a bio/organic certificate.