Whether you're new to the concept of freeze-dried foods or you've been buying, using, and storing them for years, here's some great information for you about the shelf-life and best conditions for storage of freeze-dried foods.
Storage Life & How to Store
Many factors contribute to the quality of stored freeze-dried foods. The main factors include oxygen, moisture, light, and temperature. As a general rule, the lower each factor is (very little oxygen, low moisture, minimal light, and cool temperatures), the longer nutrition and flavor are preserved in freeze-dried foods. If product is properly stored, energy (calories) and minerals will store indefinitely. Vitamins, proteins and fats will gradually diminish over time. However, recent testing of freeze-dried food has shown some products having significant retention of vitamins, proteins, and fats beyond the 25-year mark. (For more information on shelf-life, click here and look for Tip #13.)
How These Factors Apply to Mountain House ProductsAn oxygen absorber is included in every package of Mountain House® #10 can food to keep oxygen levels low and food fresh. The cans eliminate light, and the moisture level in freeze-dried food is extremely low (99% of moisture is removed from the food in the freeze-drying process). This leaves only the heat factor, which you control once you have made your purchase. We encourage you to keep your food in an environment that is as consistent, cool, and dry as possible—ideally, 70 degrees or lower.
Remember there’s a difference between your food being “as good as” fresh food, and being good enough to offer life-sustaining value. Some foods can maintain high levels of freshness for long periods of time (25 years or more). Others will lose some color, flavor, and nutrients over time, but they will still have the ability to sustain life—so don’t be in a hurry to throw them out. Food that is safe to eat that has some nutritive value remaining is better than no food at all in an emergency.
Products retain quality at different rates depending on various factors. The freeze-dried food Emergency Essentials® offers has the best long-term storage life available today—store it in the best conditions you can, and enjoy it in the years to come!