Freeze-drying is the process of preserving food using extreme freezing temperatures to preserve its nutrition benefits. While it’s not a new process, it is considered the best and most effective way to preserve, store and stock on food, compared to its "cousin" (dried or dehydrated foods).
Freeze dried isn’t dehydrated. 'Dehydrating' is the process of removing moisture from within food, so that micro-organisms cannot thrive and cause mould or spoilage. It involves drying food slowly by circulating hot and dry air around it. The temperature is high enough to remove the moisture from the food, without cooking it. You’ve probably seen dehydrated fruit, veggies, deli meats. Dehydrated products like these can last for about 15 years or longer.
'Freeze-drying', on the other hand, does not remove moisture but rather transforms it into gas through a process called sublimation. The food is stacked in a vacuum chamber with temperatures set to below freezing. The temperature is slowly raised, retaining the food’s water content but transforming it into gas. The result is a nutrient-rich food product that retains its structure and has a longer shelf life than dehydrated food — approximately 25-30-years. Unlike dehydrated foods, you can store freeze-dried foods in various temperatures without worrying about the freshness of the food being affected.
Since freeze-dried food isn’t heated, it retains more of its nutritional value, taste and texture. Compare a dehydrated berry with a freeze dried variant. You will notice that a dehydrated berry is wrinkly because of the lack of moisture content, and it has a gummy texture. A freeze-dried berry, however, will become soft the moment it comes in contact with your tongue. It is also lighter in weight, therefore more convenient to carry around in larger quantities than dehydrated food.
Raw Bites Recommends: Arctic Berries
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