6 WAYS TO KEEP DRIED FOOD FRESH


Moisture

This is the #1 factor impacting the quality and shelf-life of your freeze-dried food, making a humid environment detrimental. The sponge-like nature of the food makes it incredibly sensitive to absorbing any moisture in the air.

  • First and foremost, keep your food sealed until you are ready to use it.

  • If you’re working with Packit Gourmet’s pre-packaged FD foods, it’s best to get your desired amount out of the bag as quickly as possible, then fold your bag over, pushing the air out of the bag and resealing ASAP.

  • If you’ll be blending recipes and working with the ingredients for an extended period of time we recommend ensuring you’re in a room with 40% humidity or below (the lower the better).

  • How do I know if moisture has affected my freeze-dried food? Your happy crispy peas will become sad, soft and chewy — and not in a good way. This is a warning sign, telling you that your food has undergone a change and moisture may be present, increasing the potential for spoilage (including bacteria and mold); therefore, we do not recommend eating it. [1]

Air

Whatever type of container you choose, the lid should be airtight and easy to open or close. Make sure the containers are thick enough and won’t tear easily.

For glass containers, look for chip-resistant and shatter-proof ones. You may also choose square or rectangular stackable containers. This will help you maximize the space in your pantry.


Invest in containers that are enough for your need. If you won’t be able to fill up the container, the air in it might cause the food to spoil. Also, look for dishwasher-safe containers. [2]


Temperature

Do not use an attic or garage for your food storage. These locations have temperatures that fluctuate wildly throughout the year. Dramatic temperature swings can shorten the storage life of your food. Excessive heat above the best temperature range of 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit can severely reduce shelf life. For every 10.8 degrees in temperature above this ideal range, the shelf life can cut in half. Find a climate-controlled part of your home. [3]


Light

Extended direct exposure to light will cause the fats, proteins and vitamins in your freeze-dried foods to breakdown.

  • For best results, store your food in an opaque container or in a dark location with limited access to direct light. A pantry, kitchen cabinet or fridge all work great!

  • How do I know if light has affected my freeze-dried food? Your beautiful green peas will become fainter in color and the flavor will weaken. This doesn’t mean that your peas are inedible or spoiled, but its nutritional value may have suffered. [4]

Vacuum Packaging

Vacuum packing prevents oxygen from coming in contact with your dried vegetables. This would help keep the food fresh. You’ll need a vacuum sealer and rolls of vacuum bags in this process. [5]


Contamination

While mylar bags are ideal for keeping out light and oxygen, they can be nibbled through by rats. Buckets protect food in mylar packaging from pests, but you still want to store your food in an area that is as pest free as possible. Keep the buckets with food in them off the floor to further discourage pests from entering them. Using oxygen absorbers prevents the growth of insects inside the containers from any naturally occurring eggs that may have been in the food. Insect eggs are especially problematic with grains. Removing the oxygen kills the bugs before they can contaminate your food.


Air-tight and moisture-proof packaging is critical for keeping your foods fresh and lasting as long as possible. Moisture can degrade the quality of food and, in some cases, make it unsafe. Keeping food off the floor prevents moisture from humidity or floodwaters from reaching the storage containers. Because moisture in food reduces its shelf life, foods with less than 10 percent moisture have the longest storage times. [6]


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[1] Pack It Gourmet Editorial Staff. "How to Store Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Food." Pack It Gourmet, 22 June 2021, https://www.packitgourmet.com/blog/index.php/2019/02/18/storage-shelf-life-of-dried-foods/

[2] Piccolo, Martha. "How To Store Dried Vegetables." Drying All Foods, 22 June 2021, https://www.dryingallfoods.com/how-to-store-dried-vegetables/

[3] Higgs, Jim. "How To Store Food For Long Term Storage In Case Of Emergency." Caltex Plastics, 22 June 2021, https://www.caltexplastics.com/store-food-longterm.html

[4] Pack It Gourmet Editorial Staff. "How to Store Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Food." Pack It Gourmet, 22 June 2021, https://www.packitgourmet.com/blog/index.php/2019/02/18/storage-shelf-life-of-dried-foods/

[5] Piccolo, Martha. "How To Store Dried Vegetables." Drying All Foods, 22 June 2021, https://www.dryingallfoods.com/how-to-store-dried-vegetables/

[6] Higgs, Jim. "How To Store Food For Long Term Storage In Case Of Emergency." Caltex Plastics, 22 June 2021, https://www.caltexplastics.com/store-food-longterm.html