Freeze Dried Vs Dehydrated Food: What Are the Difference?

You can boost the shelf life of food with different processes. The freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are popular for future food consumption. 

Both two processes come with different benefits and strategies. Besides, all foods are not suitable for a particular process. It is better to use the most effective process for particular foods. 

If you have the proper knowledge and understanding about these two most used preservation processes, you can store food based on seasonal consumption.

The technique will help you prevent the wastage of food. 

In this writing, we explain the differences between freeze-dried vs dehydrated food. Similarly, we include the advantages and drawbacks of each process. Let’s explore. 

Freeze Dried Vs Dehydrated Food

Freeze-dried and dehydrated processes remove water from foods. The vital difference is between the nutritional facts.

You will get almost the same taste, smell, and texture from freeze-dried foods. On the contrary dehydrated foods might lose up to 50 percent of nutritional value during the heating period. 

Furthermore, freeze-dried foods are easy to rehydrate, and it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes. But you have to spend 10 to 20 minutes on dehydrated food.

There are more differences between these two food preservation processes. If you don’t have a specific idea, it might be complicated for you. 

But we want to make everything clear and remove the confusion. Our goal is to enlighten you with the right information so that you can grab the correct method for every item. 

What is Freeze Dried Food

What is Freeze Dried Food

Freeze-drying is a process by which moisture is removed from foods with the help of freezing. In this process, low temperature eliminates the vacuum and makes the food dry.

The foods that go through this process are called freeze-dried foods. You can use the process for meat, vegetables, eggs, and more. 

How Freeze Dried Food Works

Freeze-dried foods are prepared by following steps. This process is more effective for a large amount of food processing.

Large plants and modern devices make it more convenient and profitable. 

First, place cooked or raw foods in the freezer dryer. Then the freezer will freeze the food in extremely cold temperatures between -30F to -50F. 

When the food is completely frozen, the machine pulls a vacuum by slowly increasing the temperature. 

This is a combined process of low temperature and vacuum that will remove the moisture from food. 

Here, the temperature will work to remove moisture with the drying and vacuum process. The process continues for a certain period until the food gets expected dryness. 

After the primary drying, a final drying will be provided to ensure that the food is dried. 

Pros And Cons Of Freeze Dried Food

There are several advantages of freeze-dried food. The most important thing is that you will get the same nutrition, taste, and value as raw food. You will get a longer shelf life from freeze-dried food.

Besides, it will take less time to rehydrate. You can easily prepare dishes like raw foods.  

Like anything, freeze-dried foods have some drawbacks. The process is suitable for large amounts of food and requires advanced machinery. 

What is Dehydrated Food

What is Dehydrated Food

Dehydration is another process of food preservation that extracts water from food with the sun or a drying machine.

With this process, you can reduce the size of food and store it for future consumption.

You will get a longer shelf life and an ideal storage option for your favorite items. It is popular among people who live off-grid and do activities like hiking, camping, etc.

You dehydrate fruits, vegetables, cooked fish, meat, or poultry.

How Dehydrated Food Works

The process is very simple, and you can do it at home. You don’t need advanced machinery and or a large amount of food. 

The initial step is started with cooking food in boiling water in a pot. 

Then you have to dry them under the sun or with the help of a food dryer. The goal is to extract the water up to 80 percent and store the food for a long time. 

You can check our article about 5 Excellent Methods Of Dehydrating Food Without Electricity.

Pros And Cons Of Dehydrated Food

Dehydrated foods are the best solution for camping and off-grid areas. Besides, you can use them for a long time. The process is cost-effective, and it will help you to prevent food wastage.

Similarly, you can get all your favorite foods when it is not the season. You can have rich food storage with delicious items.

There are no major issues with dehydrated food, but you can get the same taste for a few items.

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6 Basic Difference Between Freeze Dried And Dehydrated Food

When you are searching for noticeable differences between freeze-dried and dehydrated food, you will get two separate outputs. 

These are the differences between methods and finished products. We can compare these processes with different criteria. 

The differences are observed while comparing the origin, shape, weight, nutrients, taste, and shelf life of the foods. We include the most important parts of these two processes. Let’s explore. 

Origin: Dehydration is older than freeze drying

Origin: Dehydration is older than freeze drying

The process comes from distinct contexts. Dehydration is older than the freeze-drying process. You can call the dehydration process a great invention when the refrigerator was not available. 

The process was invented by some unknown person before 12,000 B.C.E. Another reference shows Egyptians were the first user of this method.

They used desert heat to dehydrate poultry and fish. 

In the Middle Age, it spread in European countries. The construction buildings were designed for food dehydrating.

The buildings were known as still houses. Later, this process became familiar for fruit, vegetables, herbs, meat, and more. 

On the contrary, the freeze-drying process was invented in Paris in 1906 by Jacques-Arsene d’Arsonval. The freeze-dried process got popular among people during World War II. 

Initially, the process is used to preserve blood serum. 

With the successful implementation, freeze-drying became the most effective process to preserve heat-sensitive biological items. 

Weight: Freeze-dried Foods Weigh A Lot Less Than Dehydrated Foods

The second difference we found was in weight. Freeze-dried foods are lightweight. In this process, water is removed from the food.

You will find that there is around 80% water in vegetables, fruits and 70% in meat and fish. After extracting water, the foods become lightweight, and you can save space for storage.

The lightweight foods are suitable for hiking, camping, and outdoor exploration. You can easily carry them to enjoy the taste of homemade food.

However, dehydrated foods are not much heavier but more than freeze-dried foods. It takes a long time to reduce water from food.

When you dehydrate foods naturally, you can reduce up to 80 percent of water from foods. Due to the process, dehydrated foods contain more water than freeze-dried foods.

It is a natural process that reduces moisture slowly for long time consumption. 

Shape And Taste : Freeze Drying Is That It Doesn’t Change The Look The Food

Shape And Taste: Freeze Drying Is That It Doesn’t Change the Look the Food

When preserving foods for future consumption, the first thing you have to consider is the taste. You cannot take food regularly if it loses its taste.

You have to select a preservation process that will give you almost the same taste as raw foods. 

In this issue, freeze-dried foods contain the same taste, and you will notice the taste even after a long period. In this process, only water is extracted from foods.

There is no involvement of heating, nutrients, chemicals, flavor, or color. If you store them correctly, you will enjoy them anytime.

On the contrary, dehydration is a long-term process, and there is an involvement of heating.

Due to the distinct nature and heat, foods might lose their taste. You won’t notice any significant changes. But there is something that you will miss.

Furthermore, freeze-dried foods are compact and easy to carry. Dehydrated foods get a unique shape but are not much lighter than freeze-dried foods. 

So, freeze-dried foods taste greater than dehydrated foods. You can select different items for these two methods.

Nutritious: Freeze-dried Foods Retain More Nutrients Than Dehydrated Foods

Of course, the most important factor about food is its nutrition. You should preserve foods for a long time that come with heavy nutrients.

Compared to the dehydration process, freeze-dried foods contain higher nutrients. Researchers claim that foods reduce 98 percent of water in this process. 

Removing water doesn’t reduce the nutrient value of items. You will get nearly the original value from freeze-dried foods. 

Besides, dehydrated foods remove water and moisture with heat. In general, the heat evaporates the moisture from foods. As a result, a great portion of nutrient value will be reduced. 

Several issues are responsible for this loss. For example, some vitamins and minerals will be evaporated if you provide heat over 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

We recommend using a preservation method that is most suitable for a particular food item. 

Shelf-life: Freeze-dried Have A Longer Dehydrated

Shelf-life indicates how long the food will last. Some foods last for one week and some will give you the same taste after 30 years.

You can check our latest article regarding the foods that you can store forever.

However, we mention the difference in shelf life between freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.

Whether you have freeze-dried vegetables or meats, you will get a very long shelf life. If you follow the process and store them perfectly, some foods will last for 15 to 25 years.

Beyond this period, you don’t have to worry about the taste, safety, and nutrition value.

On the contrary, if you are dealing with the dehydrating process, you will get a comparatively shorter shelf life than freeze-dried.

In general, dehydrated foods contain one-third of moisture that can easily grow mold and bacteria.

There is no doubt that both processes will prolong the shelf life of foods. You have to select the right one.

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Variety: Freeze-drying Is Applicable To More Foods Than Dehydration

Finally, we have a common difference. You should ask before selecting a process. The versatility of a process will allow you to preserve more items and store them for future use.

By considering the issue, freeze-drying applies to more foods than dehydration. You can use the freezer and dryer conveniently at any time. 

The dehydrating process requires heat from the sun or machine. You can’t always get enough sunlight for dehydrating foods in all locations. 

You can use the freeze-drying process for dairy items, soups, ice cream, vegetables, desserts, fish, seafood, and other meals. 

On the contrary, the dehydrating process is limited to meat, vegetables, and fruits. So, you can preserve multiple items with the freeze-drying process. 

The Final Sentences

Finally, you got the differences between freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. You can select any of the processes to preserve foods for a long time.

If you want to preserve foods for a long time, it will be better to use the freeze-dried process. You can expand the shelf life of foods and enjoy the same taste. 

On the contrary, the dehydrating process is the ancient one. It has a valuable acceptance in different localities. You can use it for small amounts of foods that you like. 

Depending on the variety, availability, and taste, the processes are suitable for different foods. 

Though there are several differences, the goal is the same. Both processes work to expand the shelf life of foods.