Freeze Drying vs Dehydrating:
What's The Difference?
There’s a common misconception that “dehydrated food” and “freeze-dried food” are the same, but they are not. Knowing the difference helps when deciding how to store and preserve food for your family.
History of dried foods
Dehydrating is said to have been in practice since 12,000 B.C. Romans and other Middle Eastern populations would dry fruits and vegetables in “still houses,” using fire to dry out and smoke the foods.
By comparison, freeze drying is a relatively modern process, the freeze drying process was first effectively used during World War II as a way to preserve blood plasma, medicine, and eventually food for the troops.
The Difference Between Dehydrating and Freeze Drying
Dehydration in poorly built dehydrators removes about 70% of the water. In this situation, the food is only good for a few months. Home freeze drying with a Harvest Right removes 99% of the water. Most home dehydrated products like dried fruit, meat, and vegetables have a shelf life of 1 year or less. Those same foods preserved with a freeze dryer have a 15 to 25 year shelf life.
Benefits of Freeze Drying:
- REMOVES 99% OF MOISTURE
- RETAINS 97% OF NUTRITION
- 15+ YEARS OF SHELF LIFE
An interesting aspect of freeze drying is that it doesn’t change the look or the taste of the food. If you freeze dry a turkey dinner that includes big slices of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and corn, when it is rehydrated and ready to eat, it will taste the same as if you had just made the dinner. It is wonderful. And, that could be 10 years after you freeze dried the meal.
Another difference is weight. Freeze-dried foods weigh a lot less than dehydrated foods, which makes them easier to carry and store. This is especially important when camping or hiking.
Why You Should Choose Freeze Drying
You can freeze dry cottage cheese and store it without refrigeration—sour cream too. Scrambled eggs with cheese? No problem! Freeze drying is the best way to preserve and store dairy and eggs. Whereas, it is very difficult to dehydrate these foods.
When you consider that almost 40% of food that families purchase is wasted, preservation of leftovers and ripening fruits and vegetables starts to feel essential. Food gets thrown out for a lot of reasons. Families make or buy too much food to start with, fail to reheat leftovers, or simply forget about food in the back of the fridge or on the counter until it goes bad. A home freeze dryer, can be used to easily eliminate these problems, thus saving families time and money. Now you can preserve all your leftovers and ripening food.
which freeze dryer is right for you?
starting at $$1,995
Food Per Batch
Fresh: 4-7 LBS
Freeze Dried: 1-1.5 GAL
Fresh: 840 LBS
Freeze Dried: 195 GAL
starting at $
Food Per Batch
Fresh: 7-10 LBS
Freeze Dried: 1.5-2.5 GAL
Fresh: 1,450 LBS
Freeze Dried: 312 GAL
We have a dehydrator. Don't really use it anymore because we like to keep our freeze dryer running all the time.
- Tom C.
Nutrition value is much higher in freeze-dried foods than in dehydrated food. Texture is better, too!
- Delene B.
In my opinion it is easier than dehydrating and the food is so much better. You really won't regret your purchase.
- Colleen J.
I come from the world of canning and dehydrating for food preservation. Freeze drying is so much easier than canning and much more versatile.
- Ginny G.
I am very excited about using this as another way to preserve food, as I feel an urgency to prepare for times when food might not be as plentiful.
- Kristen N.
fits every lifestyle