How Long Does It Take To Freeze Dry Candy ?

Freeze-dried candy has become prominent thanks to TikTok, which offers a crunchy twist on treats, including Skittles, gummy worms, and Nerd Clusters. We are often asked about how to make freeze dried candies and how long does it take to freeze dry candies. 

Majority of the freeze dried candies are made in freeze dryers, either commercial or home types. But you don't necessarily need a freeze dryer to make 'freeze dried' candies. There are lots of successful stories of making 'freeze dried' candies using vacuum ovens or simply vacuum chambers at home. 

Factors Affecting Freeze-Drying Time

Type of Candy and Water Content

Freeze-drying time varies with the type of candy due to water content. Skittles, a low-water candy, dry in 1-2 hours. Gummy candies took 3-6 hours because of their increased water content. Candies containing fillings or coatings don't freeze-dry well and may take longer or not dry at all.

Equipment Used (Professional vs. Home Methods)

Freeze-dryers and vacuum ovens minimize drying time owing to precise temperature and pressure control. These equipments can dry Skittles in 2 hours. Making 'freeze dried' candies in a simple vacuum chamber at home always requires preheating the candies and the results may show inconsistency. It is particular important to know that vacuum ovens and vacuum chambers lack the mechanism to remove the moisture from the candies, it takes longer time to dry candies and the  pumps are prone to damage because of the moisture. 

Typical Drying Time in A Freeze Dryer

  • Skittles (1-2 Hours): Skittles freeze dry fast owing to their low water content. They usually become crispy, fluffy snacks in 1-2 hours. Moreover, their sugar coating keeps structure and taste intact. Halfing them speeds up drying even more.
  • Gummy Candies (3-6 Hours): Freeze-drying gummy candy takes 3-6 hours, depending on brand and size. Due to gelatin and sugar content, drying periods vary by brand. Even spacing promotes uniform drying. Some kinds puff better when preheated.
  • Nerd Clusters (4-6 Hours): Nerd Clusters' chewy cores and crispy covering need 4-6 hours to freeze-dry. Because of their different textures, the core and coating must be dried at specific times. Adjusting shelf temperatures improves drying.
  • Salt Water Taffy (3-5 Hours): Saltwater taffy swells during freeze-drying, so handle it carefully. Getting the right texture takes 3-5 hours. Taffy dries quicker and more evenly when cut into smaller pieces. Preheating boosts puffing for better outcomes.

Need more information about experimenting with freeze-dried candy, reach out to StayFresh.

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