What is the difference between freeze drying and dehydration, and the nutritional impact on the final product? Why are some THRIVE products dehydrated rather than freeze dried?
Freeze drying is a process where frozen products are placed in a refrigerated vacuum system and, without thawing, are dehydrated. Minimal heat (just over 100 degrees F) is used during this process. This ensures that the cell structure of the food remains intact, allowing it to retain the color, shape, flavor, and nutritional value of the original product better than other drying methods. Dehydration is a simpler, more common process and is usually achieved through air drying. We dehydrate some THRIVE foods, like carrots and sweet potatoes, because they are preserved better through dehydration than freeze drying. Because of the complexity of the freeze drying process, freeze dried products are typically more expensive than dehydrated products.