You might have come across Malcolm Gladwell’s principle of 10,000 hours to master a skill. At Mercer Foods, we have done around 10 million hours. Every single day is an opportunity to improve our processes and deliver the best freeze-dried food to our customers. We have been in the freeze-dried business for 35 years, and along the way, we have picked up some important lessons.

Ingredient quality matters

We have been proven right again and again that starting with the freshest and highest quality produce and ingredients leads to a superior product. The fruits and vegetables we use go straight from local farms to flash freezing facilities, and then to us. This ensures that we have the best produce coming to our facilities.

Our main facility is in the center of California’s Central Valley, where we can be at the heart of different agricultural hubs, so we always have access to fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables.

The freeze-drying process matters

Key lesson: You cannot make good products from poor-quality ingredients, but you can sure ruin high-quality ingredients with bad production processes.

We created an automated facility that ensures our products are consistently produced at a high level of reproduction and quality. On top of that, we engineer and build nearly all of our equipment and systems. We do not settle for letting someone else do our work for us; that’s one of the reasons we produce the highest quality freeze-dried foods around.

Safety matters

When working with food, safety should never be an afterthought, and we make sure it never is by carefully monitoring every single aspect of the freeze-drying process. In addition to making sure that we start with good materials, our packing rooms are humidity controlled, ensuring that food leaves our facility in top condition.

We monitor every aspect of our process with a state-of-the-art automated computer system that keeps track of everything, making sure that, no matter what, there’s a record. That’s the final lesson. Accountability is key, and we stand behind every single product we produce.

With 35 years and over 200 employees, we’ve not only put in our 10,000 hours but over 10 million, and we look forward to the next couple million. To find out more about our process and facilities, head over to our website. Or, ask us a question on Twitter or Facebook.