How Long Does Freeze-Dried Candy Last?
One of the main benefits of freeze-dried candy is that it can last much longer than the original candy, but how long depends on how you store it.
In ideal conditions, freeze-dried food has been known to last for 25 years or longer. But that’s in ideal conditions. We’ve done a lot of research on preserving freeze-dried food – mainly freeze-dried candy – for as long as possible.
What happens to freeze-dried candy if it isn’t properly stored?
It’s not like it will go bad immediately if you don’t store it properly. We’re all familiar with what happens to Easter candy when it stays around for too long. We all knew when we were getting Easter leftovers on Halloween. It’s stale, rock-solid, and sad.
Because candy has high sugar content, it doesn’t spoil like other foods, at least not for a long time. But that doesn’t mean it’s edible. Freeze-dried candy will outlast its regular-moisture counterparts, but eventually, moisture will cause it to go chewy and then stale like other candy.
In the long term, even freeze-dried candy with concentrated sugar can develop bacteria or mold growth, so if you plan on preserving it for a long time, please store it properly.
How to maximize the life of your freeze-dried candy
The key to keeping food lasting long is eliminating factors that allow bacteria to grow. The first thing you need to do is make sure your container is completely sanitized. We can’t guarantee that every bacterium dies, but we can come close. Then you need to eliminate moisture, oxygen, and light as much as possible when you pack it.
Here are a few tips to ensure your freeze-dried candy stays scrumptious for the long haul.
With these tips, you can open bulk packaged freeze-dried candy and other foods and then reseal them for long-term storage.
Tip 1: Keep it airtight
This is the first and most important factor in making your freeze-dried candy last. There are different ways to pack your food to keep it airtight. While with other kinds of foods, it’s a good idea to vacuum pack, that’s not necessary with candy to ensure there’s no oxygen.
Mylar Bags – These are great because they don’t take up much room, can easily be resealed, and are cheap. However, bags aren’t stackable, so you’ll need a box, a can, or a bucket to keep them in. The other possible weakness of bags is that they are susceptible to pests. Mice and rats could chew through them if they aren’t in another secure container.
Tin cans – These are a great option in many ways. They are airtight, block light that can promote bacterial growth, and are easily stackable. The downside is that if you open a can, it won’t be resealable, so you have to use everything at once or find a new container to repack it in. One way around this is to use smaller airtight containers inside the can to allow for smaller portions.
Jars – Jars have an advantage over tin cans because they are resealable, and you can easily see what’s in the jars without relying on a label. The downside is that jars do allow light in, so you’ll need to keep them in a dark place. You’ll also want to make sure they’re sanitized before using them.
Plastic buckets- these are ideal for bulk material or storing multiple smaller containers like jars or mylar bags. They are pretty good at keeping out air and light, though not as good as other options.
Tip 2: Use oxygen absorbers
While freeze-dried candy doesn’t need to be vacuum-packed, adding oxygen absorbers is not a bad idea to eliminate residual oxygen and ensure the longest shelf life possible. Use one or two of these per container. They don’t take up much space or change the taste of food and can be added to any container.
If you open a container and want to reseal it, we recommend adding new oxygen absorbers simultaneously.
Tip 3: Keep it at a cool temperature
Below 70 degrees Fahrenheit is generally a good rule of thumb. It doesn’t matter if your freeze-dried candy gets below freezing, but you don’t want it to get too warm because this can compromise its shelf life.
An interesting note: freeze-dried food will never get freezer burnt. Freezer burn results from moisture on the surface of your food evaporating and creating dry spots that can affect the taste of the food. But freeze drying removes all moisture, so there will be nothing left to evaporate as long as it’s kept airtight.
Many people keep their food storage in their basement because it typically stays cool all year long without the need for climate control. An underground cellar is also a great option if you have one. Keeping it in a shed or a garage may not be the best idea since they are more likely to get hot in the summer.
Tip 4: Label your containers well
This tip is more about tracking than preservation. Especially if you have a lot of freeze-dried food storage, it's easy to forget after a few years when each container was freeze-dried and, therefore, how long you have before it’s no longer at its best.
Labeling each container with the contents and expiration date is a good idea. This is especially handy if you’re rotating your food storage, which we highly recommend. It ensures you always have the maximum lifespan for your freeze-dried candy and food and lets you enjoy it along the way.
Visit Candy Jan for freeze-dried goodies in your food storage
As you’re preparing your food storage for the long haul, make sure you plan to have some freeze-dried candy to lighten up the days if you ever do need to live off your storage for a while.
We have a wide variety of everyone’s favorite candy varieties that will last from Easter to Halloween and back for years. Contact us today to order yours.