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Freeze Dried Food - Not Just for Astronauts!
Sep 27, 2021

Freeze Dried Food - Not Just for Astronauts!

Looking for a way to preserve food and make easy on the go snacks without adding sugars and preservatives?  Home freeze-drying is a great way to prepare for hiking trips, emergencies, and more. Read on to learn how it’s done!

Freeze-Drying Technology
Freeze-drying is a dehydration process involving freezing a product, lowering the pressure, and evaporating the ice through a chemical process known as sublimation. This means that the ice transfers directly from a solid into vapor without first melting into water. While freeze drying technology has come a long way in recent history, it has been around about 700 years since the ancient Incas began freezing potatoes and tubers at high elevations. In the summer they would be set out in the sun for the ice to evaporate. More advanced freeze drying methods kept blood plasma bags from spoiling during World War II and have famously been used to create meals for astronauts since the 1960s. Thanks to today’s technology, you don’t have to be an astronaut to enjoy freeze-dried foods. With the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, you can freeze food at home.

Why Freeze-Dry?
The freeze-drying process draws out around 90% of the food’s moisture content. Once this is done, the food is sealed in a moisture and oxygen-proof package, which ensures freshness until it is reopened. Properly stored and sealed food can last for up to 25 years! Freeze-dried food is light and compact, making it a great on-the-go or emergency snack option. In addition, it doesn’t require any added sugars or preservatives, keeping the original nutritional profile intact. Once ready to eat, freeze dried food can be reconstituted by adding water to give it its original flavor, texture, and smell.

Tips for your Harvest Right Home Freeze-Dryer:
  • Cut fruits and vegetables into bite size pieces, then spread them on the trays in an even layer. Use parchment paper or a silicon/dehydration mat to prevent the food from sticking to your trays.
  • Some foods will take longer than others to freeze-dry, such as foods with a high sugar content or thicker membrane, like grapes and blueberries. Making a small cut into these types of foods will help the moisture release faster and expedite the freezing process.
  • Don’t fill the trays up completely when freeze-drying liquids. Leave some space along the top lip.
  • High-fat and high-sugar foods such as peanut butter and honey do not freeze-dry well
  • Avoid freeze-drying foods with different flavor profile in the same batch 

For more information about food preservation, check out our books on preserving everything from fruit to fish and game!