If you are one of the lucky ones, you can take a bite from an apple pulled straight from the tree or pick blueberries from the bush. But most of us get our fruit and vegetables from markets or grocery stores. Fresh fruit and vegetables are often picked before they are fully ripe. By the time they reach us, they have been sitting on delivery trucks for miles and stored on shelves for days. Studies show that some fruits and vegetables can lose as much as 50% of their vitamin C and other nutrients within a week.1,2
With freeze-dried produce, they are picked at the peak of ripeness and freeze-dried within hours of harvest. They hold up to 90% of their original nutrients after removing 99% water. You can enjoy perfectly ripened fruits and vegetables at any time of the year.
What are freeze-dried foods?
Freeze-dried foods have been developed to make them easier to transport and for healthy food for people who live an on-the-go lifestyle. Scientific researches have confirmed that freeze-drying is more efficient and it locks in more nutrients and flavours than other traditional drying methods. Also, compared to regular dried fruits, no added sugars and preservatives such as sulphites are needed for freeze-dried produce.
Freeze-drying removes water by first freezing fruits then reducing the surrounding pressure, which forces the frozen water to rapidly sublime, turning them straight from solid ice into water vapour so that the fruit’s structure is maintained.
Benefits of freeze-dried food
- High nutrient content
Freeze-drying allows food preserved at the peak of ripeness which will have the greatest nutrient content. Fresh fruits and vegetables are picked before they ripen and they lose their nutrients during transportation and storage. Vitamin A and C start to break down fast in traditional drying methods, whereas freeze-drying halts the degradation and retains most of the nutrients.
- Fresh flavour and colour
Freeze-drying keeps food as fresh and nutritious as the moment when it was frozen. High temperatures of dehydration and canning can affect the taste/colour of food and change its texture by breaking down food fibres.
Freeze-dried food can be stored at room temperature, no cold storage is required. It has a long shelf life of approximately 25-30 years, while most hydrated foods have a shelf life of about 15-20 years. This is because moisture content affects the shelf life. Freeze drying removes 99% of water in the food, whereas dehydration removes 90%.
- Lightweight, easy for transport and on the go
As freeze-drying removes 99% of water content, so the weight of that food is reduced by as much as 90%. This will make transport easier and cheaper and preferred for travel.
- Rickman, Joy C., Christine M. Bruhn, and Diane M. Barrett. "Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables II. Vitamin A and carotenoids, vitamin E, minerals and fiber." Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 87.7 (2007): 1185-1196.
- Pandrangi, S., and L. F. LaBorde. "Retention of folate, carotenoids, and other quality characteristics in commercially packaged fresh spinach." Journal of food science 69.9 (2004): C702-C707.