What is Freeze-Dried Food? Freeze-Dried Foods Explained
If you are looking for a food that you can take with you when you go hiking, backpacking, camping, or that can be stored for emergency situations, you may want to consider exploring freeze-dried foods. However, not all freeze-dried foods have been created equal, so it is important to understand what freeze-dried food is, how the process works, and the advantages you will enjoy it if you decide to go with this type of food. This way, you will know what to look for in high-quality foods.
What Is Freeze-Dried Food?
Freeze dried food is exactly what it sounds like, it is food that has been frozen at extremely low temperatures and then dried. Essentially, during this process, virtually all water and moisture has been removed from the food in an effort to preserve it. The goal is to remove the moisture from the food in an effort to prevent it from spoiling. Water can promote the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria, which can cause food to prematurely spoil. By removing the water content from the food, its shelf life is improved significantly.
How the Freeze-Drying Process Works
In order for food to be successfully freeze-dried, it has to go through three separate phases. These include:
- During the initial phase, the food is frozen. There are many methods by which freeze-dried food can be frozen. It can be done in a freezer, a cold bath, or even placed on the shelf within a largescale freeze-dryer. Usually, this process is accomplished using large ice crystals, which allow the substance to cool beneath its triple point, allowing it to freeze completely.
- The next step is the sublimation phase. During this phase, the pressure within the chamber is reduced as low as possible. Then, heat is applied to the material, causing water present to sublimate. A vacuum can be used to speed up this process.
- Finally, there is an absorption phase. During this phase, the water molecules are removed. The temperature is raised higher than during the primary drying phase, breaking the bonds and allowing the drying process to finish.
Once this process is completed, the freeze-dried food should be ready to package.
Advantages of Freeze-Dried Foods
If you decide to go with emergency food supplies, there are several advantages you will enjoy. First, this food is incredibly light, making it the perfect food for hikers, backpackers, and campers to transport and enjoy at their leisure.
Next, when foods are freeze-dried, the majority of its nutritional value is preserved. This means that you will still get the nutrients you need when you eat freeze-dried food, including important proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Finally, freeze-dried meals also have a considerably longer shelf life. Whether this food is being purchased to prepare for disaster situations, or being taken on hiking, backpacking, or camping trips, this food will last the test of time. It is not unusual for freeze-dried foods to have a shelf life that can last for several decades in some cases.