What’s The Difference Between Freeze Dried & Dehydrated Foods?

Freeze dry fresh foods for longer storageFreeze dried foods are flash frozen and then dried.
Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavor. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.  Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport. For example, 3kg of chicken weighs only 1kg after freeze drying, and rapidly rehydrates back to its original weight. Freeze drying is generally more expensive then dehydrating. To create freeze dried food, the food item is first flash frozen and then low level heat is applied inside a vacuum chamber. Doing this dehydrates the food item and results in a dried product. After that the food item is packed for long-term storage. Freeze drying retains the color, texture, shape, flavor, and nutrition of the food item.
Dehydrated Foods are top-quality foods, that have been picked at their ripeness, cleansed and trimmed to leave only the best parts.These choice foods are then dehydrated, where 98% of their moisture is removed. This is done by a highly sophisticated drying process. They are then packed in heavy-duty enameled cans, and sealed with a special inert atmosphere to ensure the longest possible storage life.

Because their bulk and weight have been greatly reduced, dehydrated foods are more compact and convenient for storing and require very little space. They offer quick mobility in the event of an evacuation alert. For example, one case of regular canned food weighs approximately 24 pounds. The same item of dehydrated foods would weigh from 36 to 45 ounces, and would be packed in just one #10 can. Dehydrated foods have approximately double the yield of regular canned foods even though their cost is much lower.

Most of us already eat dehydrated foods daily. Foods like pasta, cereal, beans, cake and baking mixes, as well as many fast foods. In dehydrating foods, water is slowly removed by cooking it out of the food item, without cooking the food itself.


You can see how the Freeze drying process works:

Freeze drying is a process which is suitable for a wide variety of industrial products. These include agrochemicals, pharmaceutical intermediates, biological products, foods and flavorings.

The purpose of freeze drying is to remove a solvent (usually water) from dissolved or dispersed solids. It is an excellent method for preserving materials that are unstable in the presence of water. In addition, freeze drying can be used to separate and recover volatile substances and to purify materials.

The freeze drying process is particularly suitable for products which are sensitive to heat, subject to oxidation, or shear sensitive.

Once freeze dried,food products have the following benefits:

  • Appearance – Freeze dried foods maintain their original shape and texture, unlike air dried foods which shrink and shrivel due to high temperature processing. Just add water and in minutes the food rehydrates to its original form.
  • Taste – Tastes as good as fresh. Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavour. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.
  • Weight – Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport. For example, 3kg of chicken weighs only 1kg after freeze drying, and rapidly rehydrates back to its original weight.
  • Long Shelf Life – Freeze dried foods can be stored for months or years at room temperature without deterioration or spoilage.
  • Low Storage Costs – Because it can be stored at room temperature, freeze dried food does not require costly cold or chilled storage facilities, making it much cheaper to store.

More long term food storage…

U.S. Explodes Atomic Bombs Near Beers To See If They Are Safe To Drink

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So you’re minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there’s a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It’s been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.

So you wonder: Can I grab one of those beers and gulp it down? Or is it too radioactive? And what about taste? If I drink it, will it taste OK?

This could happen, no? Not to everybody, but let’s say it happens to you. Have you been wondering what to do?

Well, wonder no longer.

Thanks to my friend, science historian Alex Wellerstein, we are now in possession of a 1957 U.S. government study called “The Effect of Nuclear Explosions on Commercially Packaged Beverages,” which addresses this very question: After the bomb, can I drink the beer?

Written by three executives from Can Manufacturers Institute and the Glass Container Manufacturers Institute for the Federal Civil Defense Administration, the study says that after placing cans and bottles of soda and beer next to an actual atomic explosion, after measuring subsequent radioactivity and after actual taste tests, go ahead: Grab that can, pop it open and drink away.

“These beverages could be used as potable water sources for immediate emergency purposes as soon as the storage area is safe to enter after a nuclear explosion.”

If you can make it to the store, you can drink. How do they know this?

Well, in 1956, the Atomic Energy Commission exploded two bombs, one “with an energy release equivalent to 20 kilotons of TNT,” the other 30 kilotons, at a test site in Nevada. Bottles and cans were carefully placed various distances from ground zero. Notice, on this list, some of them are “returnable.”

The closest containers were placed “less than a quarter-mile away,” says Alex, “a mere 1,056 feet,” the outliers a couple of miles off. Some were buried, some left in batches, others were placed side by side. These images, copied from bad photocopies, are in the report. The cans, as you can see, survived.

Lots of bottles survived, too. Some were shattered by flying debris, fell off shelves, or got crushed by collapsing materials, but a surprising number stayed intact.

Will the beer be radioactive?

As for radiation, they checked, and found that bottles closest to ground zero were indeed radioactive, but only mildly so. Exposure, the authors say, “did not carry over to the contents.” The sodas and beer were “well within the permissible limits for emergency use,” which means, says Alex, “It won’t hurt you in the short term.”

Will it taste good?

But what about taste? Post-bomb beer might not poison you, but will it keep its flavor?

The report says, “Immediate taste tests [gotta wonder who got that job] indicated that the beverages, both beer and soft drinks, were still of commercial quality, although there was evidence of a slight flavor change in some of the products exposed at 1,270 feet from Ground Zero.” The most blasted beers were “definitely off.”

The first tasters then passed samples to selected laboratories for further testing, and this time the contents were rated “acceptable.” So here’s your government’s considered advice: Should you find yourself near an atomic blast and run short of potable water, you can chug a Coke or a beer, but don’t expect it to taste great.

What’s the lesson here?

There’s a second lesson here, Alex thinks. Because beverages in bottles and cans keep you safely hydrated in dire emergencies, it makes sense to keep a six-pack or two or three (or four), in the basement, just in case. What if there’s no lootable convenience store conveniently close by?

“For me, the takeaway here is that the next time you find yourself stocking up on beer, remember, it’s not just for the long weekend,” he says. “It might be for the end of days.”


If you want to see the government report, you can find it here. Alex Wellerstein’s analysis Beer and the Apocalypse (which I used to write my story) appeared on his blog, Restricted Data.

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