Freeze drying used to be a kind of rarity, and seen only in space and the pharmacy, but now freeze drying is used for all sorts of things and spans across many different industries. Some of the uses may actually surprise you.
Probably the most known about use for freeze drying is in the medical field. In the pharmaceutical industry, freeze drying is used to preserve the shelf life of certain medicines. Pharmaceuticals are very easily deteriorated by exposure to excess air and water and when they are freeze dried and stored in a container they are able to last longer.
Research scientists also use freeze drying to preserve the samples that they use in their lab for longer periods of time. In museums, freeze drying has been used to restore and protect artifacts and important papers.
On your wedding day, you may want to preserve your special bouquet to display for the years to come, and freeze drying can help you with that. Freeze drying allows you to save special event flowers for many years.
Not just for astronaut food, freeze drying other foods is also fairly popular. Freeze dried fruit is often used as a snack for people on the go. Freeze dried food is also popular for people who are serious about hiking, the benefit being that they can carry more food with less weight, and perishable food will last a lot longer. This serves as a big benefit when you are hiking in the mountains for days.
Apparently a recent craze that is becoming popular is the act of freeze drying recently deceased pets. This allows you to preserve their bodies so that you can display them in your home, or keep them close by in their favorite spot. I would much prefer eating a package of dehydrated spaghetti and meatballs than having my freeze dried cat staring at me from the corner of my living room, but to each their own.