Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated: Quality Matters
Freeze-dried foods are often compared to and confused with dehydrated foods. Both are useful for emergency food storage, hunting, biking, hiking and camping trips. But, the way they’re processed in order to preserve the foods are completely different. These processes help to maintain the quality of these types of foods.
Preserving Quality During Processing
There are differences between the preservation processes of freeze-drying foods and dehydrating foods. Some types of foods retain better quality with one process than with the other. The main differences in both processing types are the variety of foods, the texture of the foods and the taste quality of the foods, and their prices.
When it comes to dehydrated foods, they are generally sold as single and unseasoned. This means that your pre-packaged pouches of dehydrated macaroni pasta, rice, vegetables or fruits must be seasoned-to-taste to create a satisfying meal. On the other hand, freeze-dried foods are fully-prepared meals, usually seasoned by gourmet cooks. One complete entree is contained in one little pouch.
Quality Affects the Cost
As far as cost is concerned, dehydrated foods are generally less expensive than freeze-dried foods and canned foods. Because canned foods contain mostly water, along with numerous additives and preservatives, dehydrated foods have higher-quality flavors. Dehydrated food is the cheapest option for emergency food storage. However, the variety of foods you’ll have to choose from is very limited.
Although freeze-dried food can be a tad-bit more costly than dehydrated food, their shelf life is much longer. This helps to make freeze-dried foods more cost-efficient. Extending the shelf life of your emergency foods means greater quality when you need the foods most.
High-quality shelf life of freeze-dried foods can be 25 years or more in many cases. This is made possible during the freeze-drying process with effectively removes 95% of the oxygen and moisture from the foods. The process leaves the food much less susceptible to spoilage caused by microorganisms, making the quality last much longer.
The Bottom Line
Dehydrating foods involves picking fresh foods at the peak of ripeness. Then, the foods are cleansed and trimmed so that only the high quality parts remain. The foods are then dehydrated using a special drying process.
Freeze-drying foods involves removing the water content from the food after they’ve been seasoned and fully-prepared. This helps to retain (or freeze) the freshness and original tastes, as well vitamins and other nutritional value.
This content was prepared by Dirk Puckett. Daily Bread is an industry leader in long-term food storage
plans. Ready to begin putting your food storage plan together? Start here for more information.