Is Freeze Dried Food Good for You?
With advancements in science and technology, more people are wondering, is freeze dried food good for you? Instead of simply preserving your food with a dehydrator, some households are transitioning to freeze drying.
As something that was seen as a fun way to enjoy your favorite snacks, much like astronauts do, freeze-drying food is a great survival technique. It’s also important to think about nutrients, as you’ll want the healthiest items in your collection of emergency meals.
What Is Freeze Drying?
Freeze-drying food is a method that is much more difficult than dehydrating for it requires special equipment. Unless you have space, funds, and experience to work with heavy-duty machines, most households simply order freeze-dried food from manufacturers.
The process is commonly referred to as lyophilization, and it revolves around quickly freezing foods and then placing the ingredients in a vacuum. It essentially dehydrates the foods in the blink of an eye.
You’ll typically find freeze-dried food in the hands of astronauts. However, they are also essential for the military, backpackers, and campers. This is because once freeze-dried, foods can last an incredible length of time when compared to fresh foods.
In fact, you’ve likely had freeze-dried fruits before, especially if you enjoy cereals with little bits of fruit in them. Plenty of gift shops also sell freeze-dried treats, such as ice cream.
The Benefits of Freeze-Drying Foods
The first step to being able to answer whether is freeze dried food healthy or not is to consider their benefits. From being convenient to containing a lot of nutrients, it could be a better alternative to dehydrating fruits and vegetables.
Similar to dehydrating fruits, when you freeze-dry food, you’re going to be sealing in as many nutrients as possible. This is because the food will go from fresh to frozen in a matter of seconds, sealing all of the vitamins and minerals inside.
In fact, you’ll find that freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are substantially healthier than canned. Another factor that affects the nutrients in food is heat. When freeze-drying, little to no heat is used, whereas, with canning and regular dehydrating, more heat is required.
One of the reasons as to why homeowners opt for freeze-dried instead of dehydrated is taste. Not only will you feel more satiated after eating something that tastes fantastic, but you’ll also be more tempted to eat regularly.
Dehydrated food can be delicious, but it does not taste like its fresh counterparts. Freeze-dried ingredients, on the other hand, taste incredibly similar to the real thing, which can make you feel like you’re eating fresh fruit.
During the freezing process, manufacturers will use nitrogen and vacuum to remove water from the ingredients. This method is far faster and more efficient at removing water than dehydrating.
As moisture is one of the main reasons for spoilage, you’ll be glad to know that freeze-dried food rations will last substantially longer than dehydrated food. Most dehydrated items can last up to 25 years, compared to 10 years with dehydration.
It’s known that freeze-dried food has a higher amount of sugar, which begs the question, is freeze dried food healthy? However, this can help your body to get more energy when it’s needed.
Though it’s not recommended to base your diet around sugar, it can be a fantastic pick-me-up in an emergency. You’ll also have more energy because of the higher vitamin and mineral content of the food.
The Disadvantages of Freeze-Drying Foods
It is important to remember that although there are benefits to freeze-drying food, there are disadvantages as well. In fact, most of the negative elements are very important to consider.
Higher Sugar Content
The main downfall to freeze-dried food is that it is packed with sugar. During the freezing process, the water of the ingredients is removed quickly. This leaves the overall structure of the food intact, including its sugars.
The process happens so quickly that the sugar doesn’t have time to be removed. This is also why most freeze-dried ingredients taste incredibly similar to their fresh versions.
When it comes to freeze-drying, you’re either going to need to invest thousands of dollars on the right equipment or buy the products from a manufacturer. As this is not a process that you can do at home, it’s going to be more expensive than dehydrating and canning.
You’re going to need to set a large chunk of your budget aside for this type of preserved food. With that said, it’s also easier, as you don’t have to do any of the work yourself.
The third and final concern to consider with freeze-dried food is that it’s not reliable over the long-term. What does this mean?
In the event of a disaster, you won’t be able to place an online order for your food. You certainly won’t be able to get your hands on the equipment needed to vacuum moisture out of your food. After you have gone through your current rations, you’ll have to consider canning and pickling.
Freeze-dried food contains more vitamins and minerals than dehydrated and canned food. However, it also has much higher levels of sugar to take into consideration.
With the ability to give you a higher amount of energy, it’s a process that more homeowners are turning to for their emergency food stashes. It costs more than dehydrating, but it also takes a lot of the work out of preserving food.
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