In our previous article, we talked about Freeze Dried Food – How it’s made. Do you still recall how freeze dried food is made? Here I’ll help you remember. In a nutshell, freeze drying is mainly a two-step process of rapid freezing and subsequent dehydration. Freezing helps lock in the nutrients and flavor while the dehydration process helps in the preservation of the food.
Freezing helps lock in the nutrients and flavor – Well isn’t that interesting? Freeze drying not only is one of the best methods in preserving food but also yields the most nutritious and delicious preserved food.
How nutritious and delicious you ask? Read on to find out.
Freeze Dried Food – Is It Good for You?
Freeze drying is a process that preserves food by removing 98 percent of its water content. This prevents food from spoiling, while still maintaining most of its flavor, color, texture, and nutritional value. Research has shown that while freeze dried fruits and vegetables contain slightly lower amounts of certain vitamins, they are rich in antioxidants and fiber. Most researchers agree that the amount of nutrients lost from freeze drying is minuscule.
According to a food science professor at UC Davis, freeze dried food maintains most of its nutrients throughout the freeze drying process, and once re-hydrated, is very similar in nutritional value to its fresh counterpart. This is in contrast to dehydrated food which, although much of the nutrients remain, only around 50% – 60% of the original nutrients are left over. In freeze dried food, there is about 97% of retained nutrients.
Although it may not be so obvious, freeze dried fruit can be a much healthier option than regular dried fruit. Without using the freeze dried process to keep fruit fresh for an extended period of time, most dried fruit snacks have added sugars and preservatives to keep them from going bad.
Additional Health Benefits
Gary Stoner, Ph.D., and the American Institute for Cancer Research have found that the antioxidant phytochemicals found in fresh fruits is about the same as in their freeze dried versions. In Dr. Stoner’s studies, he freeze dried berries and ground them into a powder. Freeze dried berries retained 90 percent of their anthocyanins—compounds that give berries their color and are thought to prevent cancer. After several experiments showed that the fruit powder prevented colon tumors, small-scale human trials were begun. Now, several larger human trials have been launched to study the effects of the berry powder on precursors to colon and esophageal cancers.
Well what do you know? Freeze dried food is not only nutritious but has other health benefits. Who would’ve thought that freeze dried berries may help prevent cancer to some degree.
Freeze Dried Food – Is it Delicious?
If you’ve scoured the Emergency Food Storage site, you would’ve seen the delicious Fuel Your Preparation freeze dried food that we have to offer. We have Beef and Potato Stew, Chili Con Carne with Rice, Salmon and Broccoli Pasta, Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice, Pasta Bolognaise, Rice Pudding with Strawberries, and Chocolate Mousse. Sounds good, right? The real question is, does it taste as good as it sounds?
Don’t worry because the taste of freeze dried food is essentially held in the food. It is made using low heat, which causes only minimal damage to a food’s original aroma, texture and taste. This keeps in the flavor, retains original texture, and secures the natural scents. This is why many believe freeze dried food tastes better than dehydrated food, which uses heat to lose moisture, thus forfeiting flavor, original texture, and smell.
The process of removing the water not only helps in the preservation of the food but the taste as well. Removing water keeps food from spoiling for a long period of time. Food spoils when microorganisms, such as bacteria, feed on the matter and decompose it. Bacteria may release chemicals that cause disease, or they may just release chemicals that make food taste bad.
Freeze Dried Food – Nutritious and Delicious
What did I tell you? Freeze dried food just doesn’t taste great, but it also provides nutrients that your body needs. Freeze drying not only helps preserve the food but it also helps preserve the flavor. It’s amazing how this tin of food can last for 25 years while retaining all its flavor and nutrients. We all have this impression that preserved foods are unhealthy and doesn’t taste great. Well, think again.