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Dehydrated Food FAQ's*

1. What is the difference between freeze-drying food and dehydrating food?

Answer: The temperature used to removed water. Freeze-drying uses cold temperatures and dehydrating uses hot temperatures. The three primary ways of home dehydration are: sun-drying, oven-drying, and using a commercial food dehydrator.

2. What are the methods of dehydrating food?

Answer: There are three different methods: air-dried, sun-dried, or kiln-dried. Food can be easily sun-dried from your home, whereas the air or kiln method requires more equipment. All methods are very cost-efficient for storing food.

3. Why are some products sold in both freeze-dried and dehydrated varieties?
Answer: Disaster Necessities always recommends maintaining a more versatile food storage, plus there are specific benefits to each. Feeze-dried foods rehydrate quicker and dehydrated foods condense further, allowing more to be stored in less space.  A freeze-fried can of food is lighter, but takes up more space.  A dehydrated food is heavier, condensced, but you can pack more into a storage container.  

4. What is the nutritional quality of dehydrated food?
Answer: Storing dehydrated food is an excellent way to prepare for future emergencies. One of the main reasons is that in stored dehydrated foods, if stored properly, minerals and carbohydrates do not change. This is important to know because even if the vitamins, proteins and fat deteriorate, minerals and carbohydrates can still have life sustaining value to a person in an emergency. Obviously the sooner a person eats stored food the better it is nutritionally for them. The adage, "never throw food away unless you have something to replace it with" is wise counsel. The reason is that in much of the older stored dehydrated foods the minerals and calories are still there and can prevent starvation in a short term emergency.   All dehydrated foods vary in the length of time that protein, fats, and vitamins retain their viability. The number one factor that affects the shelf life of food is heat. The higher the temperature that a #10 can of food is kept, the shorter the shelf life. Other factors include: moisture, light and oxygen, which are protected, if properly packaged, by the can.

For more information on Shelf Life read this article: SHELF LIFE!

5. How do I properly rehydrate my dehydrated foods?
Answer: Most dehydrated foods are reconstituted by adding warm water, waiting about five minutes and then draining the excess water.

6. How long will my dehydrated food last?
Answer: It can last 20-30+ years, depending on the product and storage conditions.  

For more information on Shelf Life read this article: SHELF LIFE!

7. How does dehydrated food taste?
Answer: We eat dehydrated foods everyday, from cake mix to beef jerky to dried fruit.  Grocery stores are filled with dehydrated foods.

8. What is the difference between Instant Nonfat Dry Fortified Milk and Instant Fat Free Powdered Milk?
Answer: Extra vitamins are added to the fortified milk for additional nutrition.

9. Why is there no dehydrated 2% or whole milk?
Answer: Fat dramatically reduces the shelf life making this an impractical option for longer term food storage.

*This article courtesy of Emergency Essentials with alterations by Disaster Necessities.

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