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What is the difference between freeze dried and dehydrated food?

Dehydrated cantaloupe makes a great trail snack
Dehydrated cantaloupe makes a great trail snack

Freeze-drying removes 98% of the water in food while dehydration removes about 80% giving freeze-dried products a much longer shelf-life. Freeze-dried food is flash frozen and then exposed to a vacuum, which causes all the water in it to vaporize. This requires expensive equipment and isn’t something you can do at home, but it makes it possible to store freeze-dried foods for 20 to 30 years, compared to dehydrated ones, which typically last one to five years.

See also:

Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated Backpacking Meals and Ingredients

Dehydrating Backpacking Meals with the L’Equip 528

No Cook Backpacking

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