Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated? Which is better? If you want to preserve your food long-term, you may probably wonder which way to go, whether to freeze dry food or dehydrate food. The reason why today we’ll be sharing with you everything you need to know about freeze-dried vs. dehydrated, which are both used to preserve food for a long time.
While dehydrating is said to have been in practice for years, freeze-drying is a relatively modern process, which, believe it or not, was first used during war times to preserve blood and medicine. Nowadays, a lot of people use both terms to describe a similar but different final product. Therefore, the preparation process for both dehydrated and freeze-dried food varies.
Now that you know you can choose to preserve food through freeze-drying or the dehydrating process, which are both different methods of long-term food preservation, peel your eyes and take note so you can make an informed decision.
Freeze Dried vs Dehydrated
Aspects to keep in mind:
Dehydrated food is capable of losing up to 95% of moisture content.
However, if you’re executing the process at home using specially designed dehydrators for home use, you may end up removing only 70% moisture.
In the prior mentioned case, the food will only last for one year. However, utilizing advanced dehydrating equipment prolongs the shelf life by up to 15 years and sometimes even more.
When it comes to freezing dry, the process is designed for long-term food storage. With freeze-drying, you can eliminate up to 99% of moisture which prolongs the shelf life of food. Some freeze-drying companies in the market today claim their products can last up to 25 years and more.
Whether you purchase dehydrated or freeze-dried food, you’ll need to store it in cool temperatures.
According to experts in the food industry, the taste of freeze-dried food is preserved because the process requires minimal heat.
This not only absorbs the original texture but also retains the flavor and safeguards natural scents. As a result, many people conclude that freeze-dried food comes with a better flavor compared to dehydrated food.
According to food experts, freeze-dried food retains a big percentage of nutrients during the freeze-drying process.
When rehydrated, users enjoy the same nutritional value they would if the food was fresh. However, the food only retains approximately 60% of the original nutrients with the dehydration process, while freeze-drying up to 97% of nutrients is retained.
Six-tray system for dehydrating foods at a fraction of the cost of commercially dried foods with no additives or preservatives.
Makes jerky from meat, poultry, and seafood, includes sample packets of jerky spice and cure.
Digital thermostat and timer for precise drying time and temperature choose to dry temperatures from 90 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Includes six drying trays
- Item Shape: Circle
- Dries fruits and vegetables with no additives or preservatives.
- Big drying capacity.
This is a professional-quality appliance that is perfect for all of your food-drying needs. This nine-tray electric food dehydrator offers ample space for bulk drying. It features an adjustable thermostat ranging from 105°F to 165°F, ensuring a low enough temperature to preserve the active enzymes in fruits and vegetables and a high enough temperature to safely dry meats for jerky.
It also features a built-in on/off switch with a 26-hour timer, a seven-inch fan for increased air circulation, and 600 Watts of power, amongst a bevy of other ultra-convenient features.
- Nine-tray, 15 square foot capacity
- Plastic Trays measure 15″ x 15″
- 26-hour timer
- Adjustable Thermostat 105°F to 165°F
- 7’’ fan, 600watts for increased air circulation
- Includes Guide to Dehydration
Common Questions Freeze Dried vs Dehydrated
What is the difference between freeze drying and dehydrated?
When talking about food preservation, you strive to remove moisture to decompose or grow bacteria and mold. Doing that while also making sure you keep the food’s basic composition intact adds to both shelf life and the nutritional value of the food.
Dehydration in poorly built dehydrators removes about 70% of the water. In this situation, the food is only good for a few months. Most home dehydrated products like dried fruit, meat, and vegetables have a shelf life of 1 year or less. Those same foods preserved with a freeze dryer have a 15 to 25-year shelf life.
The biggest difference between freeze-drying food and dehydrating food is the tools used to achieve the end product. Dehydrated food can easily be made at home, while freeze-dried is more suited to commercial kitchens.
Which is better freeze-dried or dehydrated?
Freeze-dried foods offer a longer shelf life, lower moisture content, and taste better than dehydrated foods. Freeze-dried foods rehydrate faster and also retain their original shape, texture, and color. A far greater variety of foods can be freeze-dried than can be dehydrated.
Is freeze-dried food the same as dehydrated?
Dried food includes dehydrated food and freeze-dried food; simply put, the term dried food implies that the water content of the food item has been reduced either by old-fashioned methods such as air and sun drying or by modern appliances such as dehydrators or freezers and vacuums.
It’s important to note that while all dehydrated or freeze-dried food is dry, not all dry food is dehydrated or freeze-dried. To be dehydrated, food has had between 90 and 95% of the moisture removed; this percentage is higher for freeze-dried, usually around 98 or 99%.
Does freeze drying destroy nutrients?
Freeze-drying is a process that preserves food by removing 98 percent of its water content. This prevents food spoiling while maintaining most of its flavor, color, texture, and nutritional value. Most researchers agree that the amount of nutrients lost from freeze-drying is minuscule.
What are the disadvantages of freeze-drying?
Freeze drying is a much more complex process and requires specialized equipment that the average household wouldn’t need or can afford.
Food is subjected to shallow temperatures (-40F or colder) until frozen. Once frozen, a vacuum is formed around the food, and then the temperature is slowly raised.
The heat energy causes the frozen water to be sublime. If you are wondering, sublimation is when frozen liquids are converted to vapor without going through a liquid phase.
Therefore, freeze-dried food can be costly due to the special equipment required to execute the process.
How is the process of dehydrating food achieved?
Air Drying or Sun Drying. All you need here is to place your food out in the sun when the temperatures are high, and the humidity is low.
Using an Electrical Device. The electrical gadget used in this process comes with a fan, often located at the bottom side, propelling air vertically. The fan can also be at the back, pushing the air horizontally.
These gadgets come with a temperature dial which enables the operator to control the air temperatures. Air temperatures in the dehydrator often range between 95 degrees F and 165 degrees F, while the temperatures you choose depend on the food you’re drying. For the process of dehydrated food bulk to be executed, you need heat and airflow.