In planning for the long duration Apollo missions, NASA conducted extensive research into space food. One of the techniques developed was freeze drying. Action Products commercialized this technique, concentrating on snack food including the first freeze-dried ice cream. The foods are cooked, quickly frozen and then slowly heated in a vacuum chamber to remove the ice crystals formed by the freezing process. The final product retains 98 percent of its nutrition and weighs only 20 percent of its original weight. Action snacks are sold at museums, NASA facilities and are exported to a number of foreign countries. Sales run to several million dollars annually.
Full article: http://hdl.handle.net/hdl:2060/20020080087