How to Package Freeze-Dried Food for Long-Term Storage

Freeze-drying food is a fantastic way to preserve flavors and nutrients, with properly dried food potentially lasting 25 years or more. However, achieving such longevity requires precise handling and packaging. Here’s how to ensure your freeze-dried food stays fresh for decades.

Essential Steps Before Packaging:

  1. Check moisture: Before anything, ensure your food is completely dry. You can check if food is dry using a moisture meter, or measuring the weight change.
  2. Keep Food Warm: After the freeze-drying process, ensure the food remains warm before opening the acrylic door. This helps avoid moisture absorption from the surrounding air.
  3. Prompt Removal: Remove all food from the chamber quickly. If left inside, the food can cool down, making it vulnerable to moisture.
  4. Timely Packaging: Once removed and still warm, package your food immediately to protect its freshness.

Choosing the Right Packaging Materials:

Several packaging options are available, but not all are suitable for long-term storage:

  • Mylar Bags: For long-term preservation, we recommend using mylar bags paired with an impulse sealer. Mylar bags are excellent for creating an airtight environment.
  • Mason Jars: Mason jars and similar glass containers can be airtight but require a high-quality rubber gasket to ensure an airtight seal. Always perform a seal test on new containers before using them for long-term storage to ensure they are truly airtight. Even if a container is labeled as airtight, diligent testing and proper handling are crucial for effective long-term food preservation.
  • Ziploc Bags: Ziplog bags are not completely airtight, and can only be used for short-term storage. Freeze-dried food stored in Ziploc bags should ideally be consumed within a week to prevent moisture reabsorption.

Step-by-Step Guide to Sealing with Mylar Bags:

  1. Prepare the Mylar Bag: Place your freeze-dried food into the mylar bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing. Ensure no food particles are in the sealing area, which can compromise the seal.

  2. Set Up Your Impulse Sealer: Plug in the impulse sealer and set the heat setting to 8, the highest setting, to ensure a strong seal.

  3. Seal the Bag: Carefully lay the top of the mylar bag flat on the sealing platform of the impulse sealer. Ensure there are no wrinkles; a smooth, flat surface is crucial for a successful seal.

  4. Activate the Sealer: Press down on the arm of the impulse sealer. The red light will indicate that the bag is being heated. Hold the arm down until the heating process automatically stops and the light turns off. Repeat at the same spot multiple times if necessary to ensure a good seal. 

  5. Inspect the Seal: After the seal cools down, check its integrity by trying to pull the bag open. If it opens easily, the seal may not be secure. Repeat the sealing process, making sure to apply heat twice at the same location or create multiple seals slightly apart to ensure airtightness.

By following these steps, you can confidently store your freeze-dried food, knowing it's well-protected and ready whenever you need it. Proper packaging is the key to unlocking the true shelf life potential of your preserved foods!

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