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Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated: What is the Best Way to Store Food?

Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated

If you are storing foods for an emergency food supply at home, you could be faced with a dilemma in keeping foods for extra-long periods of time. There are two most effective and most practical ways to keep foods longer: freeze drying and dehydration. Which is better and which one will be the most convenient to use are just some of the things that will be discussed in this article.

Freeze drying and dehydration explained

Freeze drying is a method of drying foods. It starts by freezing food then removing water through the process of sublimation. When water is removed from food, bacteria growth is inhibited and foods are protected from decay

Dehydration is similar to freeze drying in the way that water is removed from food but in dehydration, not all water is removed. Foods that have been dehydrated looks smaller but in fact are denser compared to freeze dried foods.

Similarities of freeze drying and dehydration

  • Both ways of preserving foods reduces or removes water or moisture from foods which significantly avoids the growth of bacteria and mold.
  • Foods may be preserved for long periods of time with both processes.
  • Foods will retain their flavour when used; these two processes are ideal for many types of foods.
  • You will be able to save time and money since you can preserve different kinds of foods for emergency use.

Freeze dried vs. dehydrated foods differences

  • Freeze drying requires sophisticated equipment to do while dehydration may be done without high end equipment. You can dehydrate foods at home while freeze drying equipment could be very costly and may not be available in most homes.
  • Freeze drying retains the shape and size of foods; there is also less shrinkage. Foods that are freeze dried are lighter in weight. Dehydrated foods on the other hand will noticeably shrink, will be denser but will return to its usual or original appearance when rehydrated.
  • Water is removed by the process of evaporation in dehydration; this is done through air drying foods, smoking using an open pit fire or a portable smoker and wind drying. Water on the other hand is removed through sublimation which is done in a vacuum state; a sophisticated machine is used to sublimate water in food in a freeze drying method.


Freeze dried vs. dehydrated: which is more practical to use


When it comes to being practical, the most recommended way is to use a drying method or dehydration. This process is very easy to do, is economical and will never need high end equipment to do. Most homeowners will be able to dry foods for an emergency food supply like fruits, fish, meat, poultry and grains at home. You don’t need training to dry foods; anyone can easily place foods out in the sun, smoke foods using a smoker or wind drying. Although freeze drying is very effective in preserving foods for a longer period of time especially for an emergency food supply, it can be too impractical and too expensive for an average family.

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