Frequently Asked Questions
Why Freeze Dried?
What's The Difference Between Freeze Dried and Dehydrated?
Freeze-drying removes 98% of the water in foods while dehydration removes about 80%, giving freeze-dried products a much longer shelf-life. Freeze-dried food is flash frozen and then exposed to a vacuum, which causes all the water in it to vaporize. This requires expensive equipment and isn’t something you can do at home, but it makes it possible to store freeze-dried foods for 20 to 30 years, compared to dehydrated ones, which typically last one to five years.
One of the biggest differences between freeze-dried and dehydrated foods is nutrition. Freeze-dried foods retain all of taste, smell, texture, and nutritional value as in their original form before the freeze-drying process. Dehydrated foods lose about 50% of their nutritional value because they are subject to heating during the drying process and can become somewhat chewier, since the heating process “cooks” them over a long period of time as they dry.
Freeze-dried foods also rehydrate more quickly, usually in 5 minutes or less, in either hot or cold water. Dehydrated foods usually take 10-20 minutes to rehydrate, provided you use boiling water, requiring a longer wait and more stove fuel.
What's Better - Freeze Drying or Dehydration?
Dehydration removes about 90-95 percent of the moisture content while freeze drying removes about 98 percent. Freeze-dried foods will have a longer average shelf life. Freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, just-add-water meals and real meats will have a 25-30-year shelf life.
The Freeze Drying Process
Can I Freeze Dry Foods At Home?
Freeze drying food at home is possible, but to do it right requires the use of expensive machinery which typically start a several thousand dollars.
Do Freeze Dried Foods Need To Be Refrigerated?
If freeze-dried food is sealed (in osmosis proof containers or mylar pouches) to prevent the reabsorption of moisture, the food may be stored at room temperature without refrigeration, and be protected against spoilage for many years. Preservation is possible because the greatly reduced water content inhibits the action of microorganisms and enzymes that would normally spoil or degrade the food.
Do You Provide Instructions?
All our products come with rehydrating instructions on the package.
Do I Need To Cook The Entire Package?
Our mylar bags are all resealable, so you can cook or use just the amount that you want and then seal the bag for use at a later date.
Should The Bags Be Vacuum Sealed?
No. Rather than vacuum packing, we employ a method of nitrogen flushing instead. Nitrogen is heavier than oxygen, so when a bag is filled with nitrogen, it will force the oxygen out. But sometimes, some nitrogen can “spill” from the bag prior to us sealing it. So to be safe, in addition to a desiccant pack to absorb any remaining moisture, we always include a 300 cc oxygen absorber, as that will scrub any remaining oxygen that might remain in the pack after it is sealed. And when any oxygen is removed, it will create a vacuum. So when you see some bags with a vacuum seal, it just means that there was a little oxygen still in the bag when we sealed it, and the oxygen absorber removed it all as intended. And a bag that doesn’t have a vacuum seal just means that it was filled with nitrogen and not oxygen as we intended and therefore the atmosphere is inert.
Where Is The Expiration Date?
We don’t print an expiration date on the packages, as they don’t expire. Current shelf life estimates are as high as 35 years or more. Technically though, until you open the pouch and introduce oxygen and moisture, freeze dried foods should remain stable since they are microbiologically inert, which will inhibit any microbial or bacterial growth as well as any spoilage. There are still some early packages of freeze dried foods from the 1960’s and 1970’s that to this day still remain perfectly fine.
But, we do actually print a date of manufacture on each bag though in order to let you know when it was packaged. On the back towards the bottom of the bag label you will see a series of numbers and letters. The first four (4) digits are an internal code just for our own use (product code, production line, inspector, etc.) - and the last five (5) digits are the date it was produced. The date is in a Julian Date Code format, so the first two digits are the year and the last three digits are the day of the year. So if you see something like this: 22008, that means it was the 8th day of 2022 - or January 8, 2022 when it was manufactured.