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Reasons Why Freeze-Drying is Better Than Dehydrating

Reasons Why Freeze Drying is Better Than Dehydrating

Jan 11, 2023

Janette dArgy

Although freeze drying and dehydrating are both unique, freeze drying is a powerhouse that we recommend. In this article, we are going to share some interesting details about how both processes work, and in the end, the decision is ultimately up to you. However, we suspect you'll agree that Freeze drying is better when you weigh the benefits of both processes. 

Let's start by taking a look at how dehydrating food works: 

Dehydrating food involves removing moisture from the food to extend its shelf life and make it easier to store and transport. This can be done through various methods, including air-drying, sun-drying, and using a food dehydrator.

To dehydrate food via air-drying or sun-drying, simply hang the food in a well-ventilated space to air-dry, or place the food in direct sunlight to sun-dry. Either process can take several days to a week. 

A food dehydrator uses heat and air circulation to remove moisture from the food. The food is placed on trays in the dehydrator and left to dry at a low temperature (usually around 140°F / 60°C) for several hours or overnight. The length of time it takes to dehydrate food depends on the type and thickness of the food, as well as the humidity and temperature of the environment.

Dehydrated food can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for several months. Then, to rehydrate the food, you can soak it in water or broth for a few hours or simmer it in a pot.

The process of dehydrating food involves the following steps:

  • Preparation – Wash and slice the food into thin, evenly-sized pieces. This will help the food to dry more evenly.
  • Pre-treating the food - Some foods, such as fruit, may benefit from a pre-treatment to preserve their color and flavor. This can be done by dipping the fruit in a solution of lemon juice and water or by blanching it in boiling water.
  • Arranging Trays – Place the prepared food on the dehydrator trays, ensuring that the pieces are not touching or overlapping.
  • Temperature and Time – Set the dehydrator's temperature according to the type of food you are drying. Most foods can be dried at a temperature of 140°F (60°C), although some foods may need a lower or higher temperature. The time it takes to dehydrate food will vary depending on the food's type and thickness and the environment's humidity and temperature.
  • Drying – Turn on the dehydrator and allow the food to dry until it is fully dehydrated. Depending on the food and the dehydrator, this can take several hours or overnight.
  • Storage – Once the food is fully dehydrated, allow it to cool before storing it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Dehydrated food can be stored for several months.

Now, let's take a look at how Freeze drying food works: 

Freeze drying is a method of preserving food by removing the water content through sublimation. Sublimation is when a solid (in this case, ice) turns directly into a gas, bypassing the liquid phase.

The Freeze drying process begins by preserving the food, typically at a temperature of -40°F (-40°C) or lower. The frozen food is then placed in a vacuum chamber, where the air pressure is reduced to a level that allows the ice to sublimate directly into a gas.

As the ice sublimates, it removes the water from the food, leaving behind the dry, porous structure of the food. The food is then placed in a drying chamber, where any remaining moisture is removed through primary drying.

Once the freeze drying process is complete, the food is left with a moisture content of less than 5%, making it very shelf-stable and easy to store. To rehydrate freeze dried food, add water and allow it to sit for a few minutes to reabsorb the moisture. Freeze dried food can be stored for several years, making it a valuable option for emergency food supplies and long-term storage.

The process of Freeze drying food involves the following steps:

  • Freezing the food – The food to be freeze dried is first frozen to a temperature of -40°F (-40°C) or lower. This preserves the structure of the food, making it easier to remove moisture.
  • Removing the air – The frozen food is placed in a vacuum chamber, where the air pressure is reduced to a level that allows the ice to sublimate directly into a gas (aka sublimation).
  • Drying the food – The food is then placed in a drying chamber, where any remaining moisture is removed through primary drying. This can be done through the use of heated air or the application of a vacuum.
  • Packaging the food – Once the Freeze drying process is complete, the food is left with less than 5% moisture content. It is then packaged in airtight containers to preserve its shelf life and protect it from moisture and contaminants.
  • Storing the food – Freeze dried food can be stored in a cool, dry place for several years. To rehydrate the food, add water and allow it to sit for a few minutes to reabsorb the moisture. However, not all freeze dried foods need to be rehydrated. They can be enjoyed as is. 

Now, let's look at why Freeze drying food offers more benefits than dehydrating food. 

Freeze drying and dehydrating are both methods of preserving food by removing moisture, but they differ in some key ways. The most significant difference is that Freeze drying allows the food to be stored for extended amounts of time, with a shelf life of several years, compared to several months for dehydrated food. This is especially enticing for those who are serious about emergency food storage. 

One advantage of Freeze drying over dehydration is that it preserves the structure of the food more effectively. In addition, because the food is frozen during the Freeze drying process, the cells within the food do not break down as they do in the heated process of dehydration. As a result, the texture and appearance of freeze dried food are often closer to the fresh version than dehydrated food.

Another advantage of Freeze drying is that it can preserve a wider variety of foods, including meats, dairy products, and some fruits and vegetables that are unsuitable for dehydration. 

The very best and most scrumtrulescent food items that can be freeze dried are freeze dried candies. That's right; you can get some of your favorite sweet treats, such as Skittles, Milk Duds, Salt Water Taffy, Marshmallows, etc. Freeze dried candy makes a great snack any time, any place. Your taste buds deserve a reward. So give them a sweet, freeze dried candy treat. 

Contact Candy Jan today and start exploring a world filled with delicious freeze dried candies.