What did Native Americans contribute to the world?

Freeze drying1(Inca) and the nexus of the cold chain, is an under-regarded but tremendously influential invention. Although other civilisations developed ways to transfer frozen or chilled foodstuffs large distances, their techniques weren't transferrable for bulk transfer across large distances. The transfer of frozen potatoes across the Atlantic that's the modern starts off one of our biggest supply chain success stories.

1 Here's a description of freeze drying. Just took it from Wikipedia.

Freeze-drying, also known as lyophilisation, lyophilization, or cryodesiccation, is a dehydration process typically used to preserve a perishable material or make the material more convenient for transport. Freeze-drying works by freezing the material and then reducing the surrounding pressure to allow the frozen water in the material to sublimate directly from the solid phase to the gas phase.

The origins of freeze drying The Andean civilizations preserved potatoes using a freeze drying process. They called this foodstuff chuño .[1]

Modern freeze-drying was developed during WWII. Serum being sent to Europe from the US for medical treatment of the wounded required refrigeration, but because of the lack of simultaneous refrigeration and transport, many serum supplies were spoiling before reaching their intended recipients. The freeze-drying process was developed as a commercial technique that enabled serum to be rendered chemically stable and viable without having to be refrigerated. Shortly thereafter, the freeze-dry process was applied to penicillin and bone, and lyophilization became recognized as an important technique for preservation of biologicals. Since that time, freeze-drying has been used as a preservation or processing technique for a wide variety of products. These applications include the following but are not limited to: the processing of food, [2] pharmaceuticals, [3] and diagnostic kits; the restoration of water damaged documents; [4] the preparation of river-bottom sludge for hydrocarbon analysis; the manufacturing of ceramics used in the semiconductor industry; the production of synthetic skin; the manufacture of sulphur-coated vials; and the restoration of historic/reclaimed boat hulls.

/r/AskHistorians Thread