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10 Candies Not to Freeze-Dry and Why

10 Candies Not to Freeze Dry and Why

Sep 07, 2022

Janette dArgy

One of the great discoveries of modern science is freeze dried candy, but among these culinary marvels, we’ve identified candies not to freeze-dry. Let’s discuss what they are and why they don’t freeze dry well.

When we talk about candies that don’t work with freeze drying, in most cases, what we mean is they simply don’t change very much for one reason or another. So it’s not that freeze drying will ruin a perfectly good candy; it just leaves it pretty much the same shape and texture as when you start. So, why run the machine for all that time?

Why Don’t Some Candies Freeze Dry

Before we list specific candies not to freeze dry, let's talk about specific reasons candies might not respond well to the process.

They don’t contain enough moisture – The freeze drying process works by evaporating all the water from candy or food. If there isn’t a lot of water in the candy to begin with, you’re not going to see much difference.

They contain too much oil – Freeze drying doesn’t evaporate oils the way it does water. This means candies high in oil won’t change much when they’re freeze dried. The other issue with this is that oil will go rancid after a while. So if you’re planning on adding oily freeze dried candy to your long-term food storage, it’s not going to age well.

They are too liquid – Sugary liquids are well known to be difficult to freeze dry — not impossible, but difficult. This seems to be in part because sugar loves to bind with water. So while this is what happens all the time in freeze dried candies, it may be that the more water in the substance, the more difficult it is to remove all of it.

10 Candies Averse to Freeze Drying

Now that we understand some of the most common reasons freeze drying doesn’t work with every candy, here’s our list of candies or treats not to freeze-dry..

  1. Straight chocolate – It’s true — chocolate doesn’t freeze-dry. This is because of a combination of low moisture and high oil content since it contains cocoa butter. This doesn’t mean chocolate-covered candies can’t be freeze dried. The caramel of Milk Duds, for example, expands to several times its volume while the chocolate remains soft and creamy.
  2. Oreos – They just don’t do much in a freeze-dryer. If you think about what they’re made of, it makes sense: Two layers of hard, crumbly cookie sandwiching a layer of hydrogenated vegetable oil. The cookies are already devoid of moisture, and the inside is primarily fat, so both parts fit into the categories of things that won’t freeze-dry.
  3. Peppermint patties – These are made of chocolate coating surrounding a peppermint kind of fondant. We already know chocolate doesn’t change. The filling is low in fat, but it’s also pretty low in moisture. So there isn’t a lot for freeze drying to do when it comes to peppermint patties.
  4. Jelly beans – They are fat-free, but they also have very little moisture. You might notice them becoming slightly more crunchy after freeze drying, but it won’t change the texture much at all.
  5. Peanut butter cups – Peanut butter is quite high in oil. So candies containing it, including peanut butter cups, aren’t likely to change very much. And we’ve already covered why chocolate doesn’t change. Sorry, Reeses.
  6. Stale candy – Why would you want to freeze-dry stale candy? Maybe because it’s no longer pleasant to eat, you’re hoping to make it more palatable again. But you can probably guess this won’t work because, much like Oreos, it doesn’t contain enough moisture to interact with the freeze drying process.
  7. Any candy you don’t like the flavor of – We might sound like Captain Obvious with this one, but it’s a little deeper than you might think. The freeze drying process dramatically changes the texture of food, but it doesn’t affect the flavor. If it’s the texture you don’t like, that’s another story – definitely try it freeze dried.
    So if you don’t like how black licorice tastes, you likely won’t like freeze dried black licorice either, even though it has an incredibly satisfying crispy texture.
  8. Honey and syrup – This is a fascinating one. Many people have found it very difficult to freeze-dry, particularly loose liquids with a lot of sugar. The result is a highly viscous semi-solid but not completely dry. The great thing about honey is that it can stay edible for thousands of years without doing anything to it.
  9. Jams and Jellies – These may fall into the same category as honey and syrup – too liquid and too sugary to respond sufficiently to the freeze drying process.
  10. Nutella – Sadly, Nutella won’t freeze-dry. Like peanut butter, it contains the oil of nuts along with the oil of chocolate. It never really had a chance.

What Candies Do Freeze Dry?

This feels like a very negative post. The truth is, there are so many candies that are delightful when freeze dried. 

Most candies undergo an amazing transformation when they’re freeze dried. The expanding moisture stretches the sugary structure causing it to balloon up like crazy. The end product has a crispy texture that quickly melts in your mouth. But the flavor of the original candy is 100% intact and even intensified without the water content.

So the answer to the question, “what candies do freeze-dry?” is pretty much everything else. But that would make too long of a blog post. You’re probably better off just checking out our online store.

Candy Jan Has the Best Selection of Freeze Dried Candy

While it’s fun just to imagine what different candies would be like freeze dried, it’s even better to actually try them. We have a wide variety of freeze dried candies that most agree are the most enjoyable twist on the original, familiar candy. Choose your favorite or order a sample pack to explore the possibilities.

Visit us and reach out today. If you can think of one you’d like to try, but we don’t have it, let us know. We’re always looking for suggestions.