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It was as old as mankind itself Nutrition is as old as mankind itself. As new facts about the human body and its needs become known, our knowledge about food preservation also alters, and we need preservation methods that can retain as much vitamins and minerals useful for the body as possible. In this article, we examine how nutrient preservation works and identify the benefits of keeping preserved food as rich in vital vitamins and minerals as possible.

The Evolution of Food Preservation

Humans have been preserving their food for a long time now – putting it in salt, sun drying it, canning it, even freezing it. With each passing decade, discoveries in food science introduce new methods and newly-crafted compounds that extend the life of perishable food for months, even years. But each of these approaches involves a tradeoff, since they all have unintended consequences when it comes to nutrient selection and retention.

Traditional Preservation vs. Modern Techniques

These are the same techniques that improve the shelf life of your food but often render it less nutritious. Heat will degrade vitamins, and salt will draw out the minerals.

In contrast, modern preservation techniques, such as freeze drying, are not only designed to keep food fresher for longer but also to retain their nutrient content.

Freeze Drying – A Game Changer in Nutrient Preservation

One of the most effective way for preserving the freshness of food nutrients is through freezing.

The Process

The food is first frozen and then exposed to a vacuum. The water is removed by sublimation, a process by which ice skips the liquid stage to go directly to vapour. This simply drying out of the water happens without the food taking much of a beating, preserving the food’s structure and nutrients.

Nutritional Benefits

Keeps Vitamins: Vitamins, especially some of the more volatile ones such as vitamin C, are highly susceptible to being destroyed by heat. Freeze drying by avoiding heat altogether helps in preserving plenty of these vitamins, unlike other forms of preservation.

Preserves Minerals: Important minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium are preserved well in freeze-dried foods.

Maintains Natural Colour and Flavour: Besides nutrients, natural colour and flavours of the food materials are also kept available, which is a seemingly attractive property of freeze dried foods for most of the consumers.

The Importance of Retaining Nutrients in Preserved Food

And as global population grows and demand for pre-prepared food soars, this will add to the pressure on dealers to extend shelf-life. These developments promise more food for more people – but only if we avoid grating away critical nutrients.

Health Implications

A diet packed with vitamins and minerals takes care of numerous functions ― from eyesight and bone strength to immunity ― and a nutrient poor diet compromises this, causing deficiencies and poor bodily health.

Environmental Benefits

Making nutrient-rich preserved foods also limits food waste. If food remains nutrient-rich and maintains its flavour profile, it is less likely to be discarded because it is no longer in a form or condition that consumers prefer.

Conclusion

Preserving food for the future is vital in today’s fast-paced world we live in, where supply lines can’t always be relied upon to offer fresh foods at a moment’s notice. Freeze-drying is one of the most nutrient-friendly ways of preserving food for the future, and it’s important that the techniques we adopt moving forward prioritise nutritional preservation of essential vitamins and minerals.

Freeze Dried Carrots

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Freeze Dried Corn

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Freeze Dried Beets

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Freeze Dried Zucchini

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Freeze Dried Spinach

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