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

Freeze 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.

Freeze Drying Process” title=
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…

 

Salt: A Valuable And Needed Item In Your Preps

How and Why to Store Salt

Also Known As: Sodium Chloride or Halite

Different kinds of salt and their uses:

 

Table Salt: Table salt is the refined white crystal typically found in a salt shaker. It usually comes in a cardboard can and is the cheapest salt on the shelf at the grocery store. You can buy it with or without iodine added (more on that later). It generally contains an anti-clumping agent.

Sea Salt and/or Mineral Salt: (such as Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt or Celtic Sea Salt): All salt originally came from the sea so to call something sea salt is a bit misleading. Typically when something is labeled sea salt it is not refined and still has other minerals in it, whether it was mined or was processed out of sea water. The minerals salt contains vary according to where the salt was mined. Himalayan salt contains different minerals than Celtic sea salt. Sea salt that has been collected after water has evaporated or distilled also has other minerals from the ocean. There are a lot of “gourmet” salts on the market so it’s important
to read the label.

Koshering and Pickling Salt: Koshering salt (commonly known as kosher salt) generally consists of salt without additives I say generally because there are some brands that do contain additives, so always read the label. Kosher salt has a large flat grain helpful for the koshering process, and if it does not have any additives it can be used for canning. Pickling salt is refined salt with no anti-clumping agent and is used for canning – it has a very fine grain so it will dissolve quickly in liquids. Using table salt for canning discolors the food because of the additives.

Rock Salt and other salts: Rock salt (the kind found at the grocery store) is salt typically used in ice cream makers and is not approved for human consumption; again, it’s important to read the label. There are other types of salts available such as salt used in water softeners or salt used to help melt ice on roads. These are not meant for human consumption and should not be placed in food storage.

Why Salt is Important:

Salt is an important part of a healthy diet. Salt helps to balance electrolytes and is needed for proper cell function.Without salt we will die.

Which Type of Salt to Store:

If you are eating from your food storage you may not be eating a lot of processed foods and the salt that you have stored could be your main salt intake. So it’s important to decide what kind of salt is best to store for your family. Iodine was added to salt to prevent Goitre. You can get iodine from other sources of food such as seafood, soil (if it is contained in the soil you grow your food in) or seaweed such as kelp or dulse. Also, most multi-vitamins contain iodine. The only down-side to storing salt with iodine is that it can turn yellow after time. If you’re storing salt as a trading item (see below), yellow salt might not look so appetizing. However, it’s still safe to eat and will store indefinitely. If you store table salt without iodine it will usually just contain an anti-clumping agent and will store indefinitely. Sea salt and mineral salt will also store well but not indefinitely. They would deteriorate according to the other minerals they contain. So reading the labels and doing an internet search on the minerals contained in the salt would give you an idea of the shelf life.

Table salt is cheapest of all the varieties of salt therefore it is easy to obtain a year’s supply for your family, which should be between 3-5 pounds a person, in a relatively short time. If you’re on a budget, like me, table salt might be your best option. You may also want to stock-up on pickling salt if you plan to preserve things from your garden. You would have to calculate how much according to the estimated yield from your garden for a given year. Pickling salt and table salt will store indefinitely, even if moisture seeps into the container, it can be laid out and dried.

Salt Storage:

Here’s what I did:

I bought two 25 pound bags of salt from a big box store. The bags do not contain iodine and this was my only choice from this store. I have a food saver but decided that I did not want to waste my storage bags because salt will not go rancid even if it’s exposed to air.

I used heavy duty plastic bags, I thought Mylar would be overkill here.

I scooped the salt into one gallon bags. I did not fill the bags all the way because I did not want the plastic to break.  They will probably be retrieved by one of my children in our food rotation process so I wanted to make sure they were light enough to carry. I poured the salt into a pitcher because it’s very hard to pour a bag into a bag.

Food grade 5 gallon bucket.
Bags ready to go in.
I put two to three bags in 5 gallon food grade containers.
Then I labeled them and put them up.

Other Important Notes:

  • Salt should not be confused with Epsom salt (also known as magnesium sulfate) – they are completely different compounds.
  • Never store salt in metal containers. Salt leaches metals and/or elements out of the metal. You could wind up with a poisonous substance in your salt.
  • Also something to consider is using/storing salt to be used as a bartering item. A lot of preppers store canned goods and processed food, which already contain salt, so they don’t give much thought to plain salt. In our culture today salt has been associated with heart attacks and other health afflictions resulting from the over consumption, therefore, many people might not store enough salt or store it at all. At some point, processed food might become scarce and salt would once again be a valuable item as it was in ancient times.

“Soup”er Prepper Storage Idea

When I came accross this article, I immadiately thought this stoarge solution would be perfect for my canned goods prep. So easy, stackable and organized. I had to share.

“Soup”er storage idea

Ok, I’ve been known to re-purpose things before like when I made a tote bag out of business cards for a friend.  Or when I made candy dishes from gladware packaging. (I’ll show that one soon – stay tuned!) You get the idea.  Anyway, it’s just the way my mind works, I see something for what it is but then my mind switches gears and starts designing what it could be.

That’s what happened with my project for today.  It actually came out of need.  I don’t like stacking my cans.  They never stay orderly.  They always fall over.  Or they get pushed to the back of the cupboard and I forget what I have and it BUGS me.  So, I made this.

Yes, I know you can by self-rotating Can Stackers for food storage but the small ones are $32 and frankly, I’d rather make my own and so that’s what I did.  I had everything on hand except for the soda so the out-of-pocket expense was $3.50.  Here’s how I did it….

1- First, I needed an empty fridge pack of soda.  My kids were thrilled to find rootbeer in the fridge.  I  bought it specifically for the packaging – is that wrong?  Not really, just backwards, I guess.

2- On the back end of the container I cut out a space that is large enough to put a can of soup in.
3- I grabbed some decorative paper (I used about 3 sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper)  and folded it into place to cover the box.  I put everything in place, creased my edges and cut out my opening to fit the one I had cut in step 2.  Then I just took some Mod Podge and glued all the paper into place.  I did the back end of the box first and let it completely dry.
4- Once the back end was done drying, I grabbed another piece of paper and repeated the steps until the front part is covered.  And, just to make it more decorative, I used a coordinating paper for the front.
5- Then I added a label to the front and added a coat of Mod Podge over the whole thing – this gives it a little more strength and will keep the papers from tearing.
So, that’s it.  To use it, I just always add my soups to the back and take from the front, that way they are properly rotated.  And, the best thing, I don’t have to stack my soups anymore.  Plus, each soup flavor is kept together which means no more hunting through my pantry for the flavor needed.  I can have a box for chicken noodle, cream of chicken, corn, peas, whatever… And, I can make as many as I need and my cupboard is organized.

Source: Then She Made...

 

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