Freeze dried vs dehydrated

The difference is actually pretty big and it is very important to understand the difference when building a home store for your family. 

Chart below explains the differences in great detail (souce THRIVE LIFE).  


Freeze Dried



The product is frozen, and then placed under vacuum which allows the water in the product to vaporize without passing through the liquid state. About 98% of the water is removed.

The product is heated and water is removed through evaporation. It is impossible to remove all the water. About 20%-50% of the water remains.

Shelf Life

Very long (20-30 years) because of the lack of water left.

Shorter (1-8 years) because there is always some water left in the product.


Since there is no water left in the product, no additives at all are needed in single ingredient cans. For example, a can of peaches will have nothing but peaches in the can. When you start combining ingredients (as in freeze dried just add water meals), additives and preservatives are needed.

Sugar, salt, or other preservatives are usually needed to maintain the shelf life because there is always some water left in the product.


Retains all nutrients. Freeze dried produce is naturally ripened and then flash frozen within hours so it can actually contain even more nutrients than artificially ripened produce found at the grocery store.

Many nutrients (up to 50%) are lost because of the heat applied during the dehydration process.

Color, Taste, Texture

When hydrated, the color, taste and texture are all very similar to the original product. Without hydration, product is dry and can easily be crushed to a powder.

Most dehydrated foods look and taste different from the fresh product. (Beef Jerky vs Roast Beef or Raisins vs Grapes). They are pliable, stretchy or chewy.


Very easy to re-hydrate in cold or hot water. When hydrated they are just like the fresh product would be after being frozen and thawed.

Difficult to re-hydrate (try turning a raisin into a grape or Beef Jerky into Roast Beef). For products that can be re-hydrated it must be done with hot water and requires far more water than a freeze dried product. Since the water must be hot, re-hydration requires fuel (which would be precious in a true emergency situation).

Use in cooking / baking

Very easy to use in cooking and baking. Products are precooked and cut so all you do is add water. Little to no change in the end product vs using fresh ingredients.

Some products can be used in cooking or baking, but because of the change in texture caused by dehydration, not with as much ease or the same quality results as with freeze dried products.

What Products

Almost anything can be freeze dried including fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, yoghurt, even ice cream.

Mostly fruits and vegetables. Some meats.

Best Use

Hydrated in place of a fresh product in any recipe. Fruit and some veggies and even cheese are also fantastic as snacks.



So, there are a lot of advantages and benefits to freeze-dried fruit but the greatest and most important to us and you is that they taste great. Freeze dried strawberries or raspberries are perfect snack between the meals or naturally sweet, healthy option for your children. They never have anything added, which is not always a case in dehydrated food and they look so much brighter and fresher. 


What about the cost?

Yes it is true that freeze dried products are more expensive but because of the amount per weight you get, their longer shelf life and because they are so much easier to use and rotate, freeze dried foods rarely go to waste.  You can use them in your family’s everyday recipes.  That translates into a lot of savings! 


From NaturallyConnectedLtd


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