Of something which can only be described as the best way to keep your food fresh, freeze-drying is a modern food preservation method that’s innovating the market every day. It’s an exciting way to create alternative high quality foods, and at Mr Lee’s Noodles Company we wanted to make sure our products would be as tasty for as long as possible. We do this by using entirely freeze-dried ingredients, which includes visible pieces of freeze-dried beef, red bell pepper, porcini mushroom- you name it! By dehydrating ingredients it’s ultimately the customer that suffers as they are left with a food drought of nutrients and physical integrity.
So why do so many food-to-go companies still have dehydrated contents? It is because freeze-dried is more expensive to manufacture, and they’d rather take cheap shortcuts? As seen through this blog freeze-dried is the ultimate alternative to dehydration that shouldn’t be ignored by manufacturers or at home, and In fact - maybe five reasons isn’t enough to show why!
1. Maintaining the Nutritional Core of the Product
Freeze drying is like putting food in a suspended animation - it locks in all the good stuff. In order for freeze-dried to work, the food has to be surrounded in a vacuum once frozen, adding enough heat the allow the moisture to sublime and become a gas. 98% of the original moisture is removed which is intensely higher than dehydration, and once returned the food miraculously comes back to life on your plate! Most, if not all of the original nutritional content will remain.
2. Keeping the Original Taste and Integrity of the Food
Not only will freeze-drying ensure that the food is nutritionally sound, but the quality will be nearly intact. A lot of us have memories of eating dehydrated foods, take instant soups that look and taste like flavoured hot water with no sign of real meat and vegetables. Freeze-dried methods are exciting as they allow foods to be super lightweight and distributable on a large scale without compromising the original taste and integrity. Freeze-dried sweet corn will look, smell and taste like the fresh product, avoiding high temperature dehydration environments that causes food to shrink and toughen in texture. It’s a win win situation.
3. Extends the Shelf Life of the Fresh Product
There’s a reason why supermarkets continually rotate and restore their foods. No retailer wants anything spoilt to end up in a shopper’s basket, yet there is still a very real fallacy that canned foods will “last forever”. In reality, only by dehydrating or freeze-drying the food will it be definitely be safe to eat for years to come, but the longevity of this varies between the two. Unsurprisingly, freeze-dried tends to last longer, and this is due to the nature of the process, decreasing the moisture count to a near zero and sealing within an osmosis proof bag to prevent the reabsorption. Freeze-dried preservation works better than dehydration as you greatly reduce the chance for microorganisms to spoil the food. Invisible bacterium is desperate to kill your food, and freeze-dried allows for product to be unrefrigerated and generally left unchanged for months and even years. It’s therefore undeniable that freeze-drying in the most effective way to make sure food will last for a long time.
4. Ability to Use a Wide Range of Foods
Let’s face the facts. If you are the sort of foodie who enjoys an array of exotic cuisines, fresh fruits and vegetables, cuts of high quality meats - dehydrated is not for you. It’s the convenience that draws us in, but until now it’s been difficult to meet these high consumer needs. To put it into perspective, here’s a list of foods that should be treated carefully, avoided or entirely not ‘at all costs!’ be dehydrated;
- Avocados and olives.
- Leafy greens.
- Apples, bananas and pears.
- Low acid fruits and vegetables.
- Milk, cheese and most dairy.
Now as previously mentioned freeze-dried is one of the best ways to remove moisture from the original food, so of course the above mentioned is more than viable for this method - and in fact happens already in food production! These dehydrated foods are quick to reconstitute and are often easier to prepare than their fresh counterparts, as well as being incredibly safe to eat and easy to store. So feel free to enjoy that long lasting, high quality taste with freeze dried; we promise you won’t regret it later!
5. An All Sense Experience
A bold claim, and perhaps we are lost in the intoxicating world of freeze-dried foods, but it’s seriously hard to deny the power of it when there’s a physical piece of shrimp in front of you that smells fresh, tastes great and feels like the real deal. Freeze-dried is an all sense experience you simply cannot capture through dehydrated foods. It manages to bridge elements of high quality food we miss when we’re too busy to sit by the hobs for hours on end. It fills a gap in the market for suppliers looking to spread healthier, higher quality products that are still considered food-to-go, so build those sensory memories today and try some of your own freeze-dried foods at home with Mr Lee’s Noodles Company.