What’s the Difference Between Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Foods?
If you’re a newcomer to the freeze-dried snack craze, you may not know the difference between freeze dried vs. conventional dried snacks. While the two may sound similar, there are a few key differences in which the two differ in terms of texture and taste, among other ways, between these two types of products.
Here are the six main differences between freeze dried vs. conventional dried snacks:
The Freeze Dried Process
Freeze drying involves a sublimation process in which the ice crystals evaporate into air, and are captured in system under vacuum conditions. Whereas, the conventional ways of drying is typically applying heat to the material to facilitate the evaporation of liquid water from the products. Check out the whiteboard video below that further explains how Crispy Green Crispy Fruit is made using the freeze-drying process!
Lighter, Crispier Texture
Because freeze drying removes nearly all of the moisture or water content from the food, it yields a much lighter, crispier texture than food that is dried by other means. Conventional dried fruit, for example, tends to be chewy and hard on the outside because it still retains much of its water content compared to freeze dried fruit.
Freeze-dried foods can last for years in the proper packaging and storage conditions and maintain their original flavor due to their low moisture content. Conventional dried foods, on the other hand, have a higher moisture content. Because moisture is a breeding ground for molds and other organisms, the shelf-life conventional dried fruit is shorter than freeze dried foods.
No Additives or Preservatives
One of the major differences between freeze dried vs. dehydrated snacks is in the use of additives. Because freeze drying removes most of the moisture in each snack, there is no need to add in additives to preserve the food for long periods of time. Dried snacks, on the other hand, usually do require a fair amount of preservatives to keep them fresh.
Freeze-dried foods retain a high percentage of their original nutrients for the most part. This is because the freeze-drying process only removes the water content in food under a low temperature. Conventional drying can strip foods of more of their nutritional content due to the use of heat in the processes.
Retains Fruit Flavor
The heating process used in conventional drying can also destroy the flavors of the foods. In contrast, freeze drying retains most of original flavor of the foods due to the low temperature. So, freeze drying is most commonly used in drying herbs where retaining the flavors of the products is key goal.