What Are Freeze-Dried Fruits?

B. Koch

Freeze-dried fruits are fruits that have been preserved through the process of freeze-drying. In order to freeze-dry food, it is frozen and then placed in a vacuum chamber so that all the moisture is sucked away. This type of food is preferred for campers, hikers, and soldiers as it is light and easy to carry, lasts a long time, and is nutritious.

Dried fruit can contribute to gas.
Dried fruit can contribute to gas.

In order to make freeze-dried fruits, the items must first be flash frozen. The frozen food is then put into a vacuum chamber where all the moisture is sucked out of the fruit. At this point the food has been freeze-dried and it must be stored in an airtight pouch for long term storage. This can be done on both an industrial scale and at home in a freeze-drying machine. Boiling water must be added to freeze-dried fruit in order to to rehydrate it, although some freeze-dried fruits can be consumed while still dry.

Freeze-dried fruits are preferred by hikers, campers, and soldiers as they are easy to pack and store for a long time.
Freeze-dried fruits are preferred by hikers, campers, and soldiers as they are easy to pack and store for a long time.

Although owning a freeze drying machine makes creating freeze-dried fruits at home easier, no special equipment is needed to freeze dry fruits. A piece of fruit can be thinly sliced, placed onto a cookie sheet, and put into the freezer. Over time, the moisture in the fruit will sublimate or evaporate, and the food will be left dry. To test whether the process is complete, a piece of fruit should be thawed to see if it has the correct consistency. It depends on the size of the slices, but usually, this process takes about a week to complete.

Freeze-dried fruits are crispier than other dried fruit.
Freeze-dried fruits are crispier than other dried fruit.

This process of food preservation has a number of benefits. Freeze-dried fruits are very light as the weight of all of their moisture has been removed. It is also very compact, since food shrinks when it is dried. Yet freeze-dried fruit retains all of its natural nutrients, so it is just as healthy as fresh food. Freeze-dried food can last a very long time, and depending on how it is packaged, it may last from several years to several decades.

NASA has used freeze-dried foods for astronauts on space missions.
NASA has used freeze-dried foods for astronauts on space missions.

This type of food is often popular for use while traveling. Since freeze-dried fruit contains all the nutrients of fresh fruit while being very light to carry, it is often brought on camping trips and long hikes. Freeze-dried foods have also been used by astronauts and soldiers, who may go for long periods of time without having fresh food available.

Freeze-dried ice cream is another popular freeze-dried food.
Freeze-dried ice cream is another popular freeze-dried food.
Hikers may carry freeze-dried fruits because they are light, nutrient dense and long-lasting.
Hikers may carry freeze-dried fruits because they are light, nutrient dense and long-lasting.

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Discussion Comments

Ocelot60

@rundocuri- First of all, I think that covering your fruit in the freezer may be causing part of your problem. As the article mentions, it is recommended that you place the fruit single-layered and uncovered on a flat surface in your freezer. If you cover it, I think you are probably locking in some of the moisture that needs to evaporate for proper freeze drying.

Another problem that you may be having could be the temperature of your freezer. Freezers have a variety of temperature settings, so you may want to check to see if yours is set too high. Freeze drying fruit requires cold temperatures, and the colder the better. If possible, using a deep freezer as opposed to the type of freezer that is connected to a refrigerator is the best option for freeze drying fruit because these types of units usually have colder temperature settings.

Rundocuri

I have tried to freeze dry fruit in my freezer, but I have never had good results. Usually, the fruit just tastes like it has freezer burn.

When I have tried to freeze dry fruit in the past, I have put it in a container and covered it for about a week. What am I doing wrong?

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