During the freeze-drying process, fresh or cooked foods are first flash frozen. Moisture is then removed in a vacuum chamber by applying a low-level heat to evaporate the ice without returning it to a liquid form. Since the product remains frozen during the process, the product’s cell structures do not change, retaining much of the vitamins, nutrients, colors, and aromas of the fresh product. This process makes possible the shelf-stable convenience of long-term storage. Freeze-drying allows for quick re-hydration of the product, making freeze-dried foods an ideal option for food storage. Freeze-dried products are light; they typically weigh up to 90 percent less than the product’s original weight. Just add water and they are ready to use! Used with permission from Oregon Freeze Dry Storage Life & How to Store There are many contributing factors that influence the longevity of stored food. The main ones are; oxygen, moisture, light, and temperature. As a general rule, the lower each of these factors are, the longer nutrition is preserved in food. If product is properly stored, energy (calories) and minerals can store indefinitely. Vitamins, proteins and fats will gradually diminish over time. Recent testing of freeze-dried food has shown some products having significant retention of vitamins, proteins and fats at the 25-year mark. This is encouraging. Approximately 98 percent of the residual oxygen has been removed in both Emergency Essentials® and Mountain House® #10 can food. The cans eliminate light, and the moisture level is extremely low. This leaves only the heat factor. We encourage people, to keep food in as cool and dry an environment as possible—ideally, 70° or lower. Something else to consider is the fact that the human body, depending on its health, stores nutrients for various amounts of time. Stored food, even when lacking in some nutrients, can help people survive in short-term emergencies by supplying needed energy while relying on the body’s supply of other nutrients. This is why experts have for years said, “All food is best if used in 5 to 7 years, but never throw food away until you have replaced it.” Products retain quality at different rates depending on various factors. Again, the earlier you use your food the better. Emergency Essentials and Mountain House® food is quality food, store it the best you can and enjoy it in the years to come. Advantages of Freeze-Dried In addition to complementing your other stored foods, freeze-dried food offers the advantage of looking fresh, tasting fresh, weighing less than fresh foods, and adding variety to your meals while being quick and easy to prepare. After freeze-dried foods are re-hydrated, many are comparable to foods you might Replace in the freezer section of your grocery store. Since freeze-dried foods re-hydrate well and taste much like frozen foods, they enable the meals you create to taste much like those you create using frozen foods. The following attributes of freeze-dried foods highlight some of the main reasons they are a storage favorite: Fresh appearance: Freeze-dried foods are first flash frozen and then have the moisture removed so they maintain much of their original shape, texture, and appearance. Fresh taste: Freeze-dried food retains much of the aroma and flavor of the original food. The freeze-drying process also maintains most of the original food’s nutritional content. Freeze-drying simply removes most of the water, leaving much of the flavor. Lasting freshness: The freeze-drying process removes water, the primary cause of food deterioration. To further ensure the lasting freshness of these foods, both Provident Pantry® and Mountain House® #10 cans and pouches are packed with under approximately 2 percent oxygen content. The low oxygen and moisture content help preserve the taste and nutritional quality of the food. Low storage weight: Freeze-dried foods have up to 95% of their water removed, resulting in foods that weigh up to 90% less than the original food. The freeze-drying process results in foods that are exceptionally light. This makes the food easy to package, transport, and store. For this reason, freeze-dried foods are good in emergency kits when you may be required to carry several days of food in a small backpack. Ease of preparation: The freeze-drying process allows for quick re-hydration of the product, making freeze-dried foods ideal for your food storage. Most freeze-dried items are reconstituted by adding warm water, waiting about five to ten minutes, and draining the excess water. You may then use the food in your recipes. Many freeze-dried foods, especially fruits, taste great even without re-hydration. Variety: Traditional food storage items such as wheat, rice, beans, sugar, and dehydrated food staples allow you to create many recipes. Freeze-dried foods add another dimension to what you can create with these stored dehydrated basics. For example, with the help of freeze-dried meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables, you can use your dehydrated basics to create family favorites such as pizza, tacos, soups, breakfasts, casseroles, desserts and much more.
Tags: Food storage, Freeze-dried foods
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Interesting and useful. will be interesting to anyone who enjoys cooking!
You're missing out on a large market segment – long-distance hikers. F-d foods are a hiker's dream, light, tasty, variety, protein, nutrients, everything but fat, which hikers need lots of. Most of them reconstitute okay in cold water, but for longer times. Meats and veggies don't taste as good cold as hot, but the weight of a stove and fuel offsets that.
F-d fruits are great dry or cold. Mango.
I always wondered how they freeze dried food. Great post!
I can attest to this food still being edible after 25 years we have eatin a few cans 25yrs old and it was just fine!