How Long Does Dehydrated Food Last? Storage Tips and More
When preparing dried foods, one must learn how long does dehydrated food last. After all, this method of food preservation is something that not a lot of people practice and know about.
For people who enjoy spending the weekend camping and hiking, dehydrated snacks are a great way to get the vitamins and minerals you need. Additionally, dehydrated foods are a fantastic addition to your emergency food stash.
With that said, you need to know how long certain ingredients will stay fresh and edible. We will also go over some of the best tips for long-term food storage to make the process easier for your household.
Storage Recommendations for Food Groups
The best way to answer how long do dehydrated foods last is to look at foods in groups. This will give you a general guideline for the expected expiry dates for the items that you might have in your cupboard.
One of the most interesting things about hard grains is that they come with a natural preservative, which is their outer shell. The hard outer shell helps to prevent the inner ingredient from deteriorating. This is the case when it comes to wheat.
With hard grains, you can expect a storage life of up to 12 years. However, if hard grains are kept at a temperature below 70°F, they can last longer.
Unlike hard grains, soft grains don’t have a natural protective hard outer shell. With that said, they’ll start to spoil much faster. Then again, similar to hard grains, when stored at temperatures below 70°F, they will last longer. The average expectancy for soft grains is eight years.
The main concern with aging beans is they will lose all of their oils and their ability to absorb water. This means that they won’t be good enough to be cooked, which can be fatal to humans.
In order to ensure your beans stay fresh enough for years to come, they should be stored at 70°F and no warmer. They’ll be able to last between eight and ten years when stored properly.
Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables
In comparison to other dehydrated items, fruits won’t be able to be kept as long. However, dehydrating them is a great way to help them stay edible for much longer than if they were fresh.
At most, dehydrated fruits can last up to five years when kept at 70°F. Vegetables, on the other hand, last much longer because when dried, they have up to 10 years of shelf life.
When it comes to dehydrated dairy products, one ingredient to look out for is whey. Whey products have the tendency to spoil after five years, which is why these items will have to be frequently rotated in your stash.
Other dairy products aside from whey can last up to 15 years when kept at the correct temperature (70°F).
White and Brown Rice
Rice is arguably one of the essential survival foods that people look for. Unfortunately, their shelf life isn’t as long as you might think, especially brown rice. The brown varieties are packed with a lot of fatty acids, which have the tendency to go rancid.
With white rice, these oils are removed, which helps them to last longer, though white rice isn’t as healthy for you. Brown rice lasts up to six months, but with special storage, it can last up to two years. White rice, on the other hand, lasts up to ten years under regular conditions.
Tips for Long-Term Food Storage
Now that you’re able to answer how long do dehydrated foods last, it’s important to consider these tips for storing food over the long haul. There are plenty of things to consider ranging from the containers you use to the temperature of your storage room.
1. Maintain the Correct Temperature
This is the most influential factor that will determine how long your foods last for. The best way to understand temperature and foods is to imagine placing a slab of meat outside during the summer and in the fridge.
In the heat, the meat is likely to spoil much faster than when it is cooled. This same theory applies to your dehydrated and non-perishable foods.
According to survival resources, every 10.08°F drop in temperature will double the lifespan of seeds that you have stored. With that said, the cooler you are able to keep your emergency foods, the longer they are going to last.
On average, foods stored at 70°F are likely to last at least 10 years. If you were to the lower the temperature of your storage room to 39.76°F, they could last up to 40 years.
2. Dehydrate Foods
Moisture is another huge factor to consider when preserving foods. The more moisture an ingredient has unless there is an alternative preservative included, the faster it will spoil.
You’ll want to make sure that you dehydrate as many ingredients as possible so that they have moisture levels of 10% or less. Checking the water content of the foods you have stored can be tough, which is why you may have to invest in special equipment.
3. Displace Oxygen
The third and final thing to consider with long-term storage is oxygen. Although it is essential for our survival, it can be hazardous to the health of your preserved foods. Displacing oxygen is a sure-fire way to make things last much longer.
It’s quite useful to use nitrogen to displace oxygen. Additionally, you can use an oxygen absorber, which is typically sold in packets. This helps to create a 99% nitrogen environment for your foods to thrive in.
Having a rough estimate of how long your prepared foods will last will help you with cycling items in and out of your emergency stash. Also, having great tips and tricks for storage will help you with preparing. By taking these factors into account, you’ll easily be able to put the ideal food source together in the event of a disaster.
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