Storing Freeze-Dried Food: Your Total Guide
How you store your freeze-dried food can impact its overall shelf life. Therefore, it is important to follow the proper steps to ensure that your freeze-dried goodies will pass the test of time. This article will guide you through the proper steps for storing freeze-dried food.
Here is a detailed step-by-step guide to storing freeze-dried food:
- Choose your storage container: Select a suitable container for your freeze-dried food. It should be airtight, moisture-proof, and durable. Popular options include Mylar bags, food-grade buckets, and vacuum-sealed containers.
- Prepare your container: Clean and dry your container thoroughly before storing the food. This ensures that no residual moisture or contaminants spoil the food.
- Choose your freeze-dried food: Select the freeze-dried food that you want to store. Make sure that it is properly packaged and labeled.
- Measure out the food: Measure out the amount of freeze-dried food you want to store. Be sure to follow the recommended serving size and ensure that you have enough space in your container.
- Add oxygen absorbers: Oxygen absorbers are key to proper freeze-dried food storage. They remove oxygen from the container, which helps to prevent oxidation and spoilage. Add the appropriate number of oxygen absorbers to your container according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Seal the container: Once you have added the food and oxygen absorbers, seal the container. If you use Mylar bags or vacuum-sealed containers, use a heat sealer to ensure an airtight seal. If you use food-grade buckets, use a lid with a rubber gasket and a locking mechanism to ensure a tight seal.
- Label the container: Label the container with the name of the food, the date of storage, and the expiration date. This will help you keep track of your food storage inventory and ensure that you consume the food before it expires.
- Store the container: Store your container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures. A basement, pantry, or storage room is a good choice. Be sure to store your food at a consistent temperature between 50-70°F (10-21°C).
- Check the container periodically: Periodically check your stored freeze-dried foods to ensure that the container is still airtight and the food is still in good condition. If you notice any spoilage or damage, discard the food immediately.
The Shelf Life of Freeze-Dried Food
How you store your freeze-dried foods can significantly affect their shelf life because the primary enemies of food storage are moisture, oxygen, heat, and light. These elements can degrade your freeze-dried food's quality and nutritional value and make it more susceptible to spoilage. Here are some ways that different storage conditions can impact the shelf life of freeze-dried food:
- Moisture: Freeze-dried foods are highly susceptible to moisture. If the food is exposed to humidity or moisture, it can quickly spoil and become unusable. Proper storage containers, such as airtight Mylar bags or food-grade buckets with sealed lids, can help prevent moisture from entering the container and compromising the food.
- Oxygen: Oxygen can cause freeze-dried food to oxidize, which can degrade the nutritional quality and flavor of the food. To prevent this, storing freeze-dried food in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber is essential. Oxygen absorbers remove oxygen from the container and help prevent spoilage.
- Heat: High temperatures can cause freeze-dried food to spoil faster. Heat can also affect the nutritional value and flavor of the food. It is important to store freeze-dried food in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. The optimal temperature range for freeze-dried food storage is between 50-70°F (10-21°C).
- Light: Exposure to light can also degrade the quality of freeze-dried food. Light can cause oxidation and affect the nutritional value and flavor of the food. It is important to store freeze-dried food in a dark place or in a container that blocks out light.
By taking appropriate measures to store freeze-dried food properly, you can significantly extend its shelf life and ensure that it remains safe to eat for an extended period of time.
Now for a very important question – Should you store freeze-dried candy differently from regular freeze-dried food?
Yes, it is recommended to store freeze-dried candy differently from regular freeze-dried food, and here’s why:
Freeze-dried candy, such as freeze-dried fruit, marshmallows, and ice cream, typically has a higher sugar content than regular freeze-dried food. This means they are more susceptible to moisture and can easily absorb it from the air, causing the candy to become sticky and lose its texture and flavor.
To prevent moisture from affecting the quality of freeze-dried candy, storing it in an airtight container with a desiccant packet is recommended. A desiccant packet is a small pouch that contains a moisture-absorbing substance, such as silica gel, that helps to keep the candy dry.
Additionally, it is important to store freeze-dried candy separately from regular freeze-dried food to prevent the candy from absorbing any flavors or odors from other foods. This can be done by using a separate container or wrapping the candy in a layer of plastic wrap before storing it in the same container as other freeze-dried food.
Can Freeze-Dried Food Lose Its Flavor Over Time?
Freeze-dried food can lose its flavor over time, but the degree to which it does depends on a variety of factors, including the type of food, how it was prepared, and how it was stored.
Freeze-drying is a process that removes moisture from food, which helps to preserve its flavor, texture, and nutritional value. However, over time, even properly stored freeze-dried food can begin to lose some of its flavor.
Oxidation is one of the main factors that can affect freeze-dried food's flavor over time. Oxygen can cause the food to break down and lose flavor, so storing freeze-dried food in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber is important to prevent oxidation.
Another factor that can affect freeze-dried food's flavor is exposure to light. Light can cause oxidation and degradation of the food's flavor and nutritional value. Therefore, storing freeze-dried food in a dark place or in a container that blocks light is recommended.
The type of food can also impact its flavor retention. For example, some foods, such as fruits and vegetables, may lose their flavor more quickly than others, while other foods, such as meat and dairy products, may retain their flavor for longer.
The best part of freeze-dried food storage is that it is now ready for you to enjoy!
If you are among those who love a sweet treat, Candy Jan has a fantastic variety of freeze-dried sugary delights. Contact us, and fill your storage containers with the best freeze-dried candy in town!