Whether you are considering long-term food storage or simply want to have fresh fruits and vegetables all winter long, the key to successfully preserving freeze-dried foods is proper packaging or packaging.
After all, even the best freeze-drying processes in the world won't do much good if food is improperly stored in containers and packaging that don't preserve the integrity of the food.
Packaging is very important because it is the only barrier between food and the elements that can cause it to spoil.
To prevent them from going bad, you need to eliminate three main things: light, oxygen, and water.
When food is freeze-dried, a hostile environment for microorganisms is created. Without enough water and oxygen, microorganisms cannot grow. And, by removing light and heat, you also slow down the growth of microorganisms that will ruin all the hard work you've put into long-term food storage.
Location does matter
There's a reason our ancestors built walk-in freezers in basements: They're great at keeping out light and keeping the temperature naturally cool.
You can easily store your freeze-dried food in your kitchen pantry if you have it packaged in a jar. But keep in mind that regular use and exposure to light and heat will significantly shorten the shelf life of your Freeze Dried foods. So, when possible, set up a room with shelves and keep your Freeze Dried food in a safe place in the kind of environment it requires to prolong its life (like a cool basement or dark closet) and it will last for decades.
Types of containers for freeze-dried food
One advantage of the jars is that they can be reused and you can easily see what is inside the jars.
If you plan to use your food in the near future, using a reusable resource like jars is smart and saves money. Keep in mind that the jars will allow light in, so it is crucial that any food stored in the jars is kept in a dark place.
Freeze Dried Food in Cans
tins are a great option for food storage. Not only are they airtight, but they also prevent incidental exposure to light.
The methods are very similar to the process used to package food in jars. One downside to cans is that they cannot be reused or resealed. With that in mind, you need to think and decide which foods to put in cans.
Once the cans are opened, all the food inside them must be used. Therefore, you may portion food into smaller packages to achieve manageable meal sizes.
Mylar or Aluminum Bags
This may be the easiest way to package your freeze-dried foods. All you need to get started are the bags and an impulse sealer. Foil bags do a good job of blocking light and air, but you want to make sure you remove as much air as possible before sealing the bags. Oxygen absorbers are the best! bags can also take up less space than jars or cans.
Another advantage to foil bags is that they can be resealed once opened and can be washed and reused, similar to a mason jar. Foil bags are also easy to transport during an emergency.
Large plastic buckets are often used to store freeze-dried foods. They do a good job of keeping most of the air and light out and the plastic is not vulnerable to pests and rodents. Another advantage is that they are stackable. You need to have enough space for them, but they can be a great way to store food (like grains or multiple foil bags) that would take up a lot of smaller containers.
Specialty Food Storage Containers
There are containers specifically designed for long-term food storage. These systems definitely provide the necessary protection, but the downside is the cost. They are often expensive and sometimes require the purchase of other products or the company's own food. Space can be another concern, as these types of containers are usually quite large.
Vacuum Packaging Machine – Since oxygen is one of the enemies of freeze-dried food preservation and is absolutely everywhere, this can become your secret weapon. The vacuum packaging machine helps you remove excess air from cans, jars, bags, or buckets before sealing.
It's a good way to seal freeze-dried food. The main drawback is that they do not extract all the oxygen. Both water and oxygen can pass through this plastic. Therefore, for medium-term storage (two to three years) they are great.
These little bags are a must. An Oxygen Absorber Placed in an Aluminum Foil Bag No matter which packaging method is chosen, adding a couple of these devices to your Freeze Dried food will make a world of difference in the longevity of your food.
If you take the time and worry about preserving your freeze-dried foods, you'll want to make sure they last. Use these helpful tips to get the most out of your long-term food storage efforts.