Freeze-dried and dehydrated pet food offer another way of feeding raw but without moisture. The two aren’t created equal, however. And, the differences lie in their processing.
Freeze-dried is produced from freezing meat in an extremely cold vacuum, and then adding in low levels of heat to allow the ice within the meat to sublime directly into water vapor. It will rehydrate within 2-3 minutes.
The look and feel of a freeze-dried product to a dehydrated is noticeable to the naked eye. Dehydrated foods tend to be a little darker, denser, and can sometimes appear leathery. In order to create a faster rehydration time for dehydrated food, they are often powdered or made granular, whereas freeze-dried foods can be kept in chunkier states.
Another key difference is that dehydration can break down vital vitamins and minerals due to the processes being a little more invasive. The freeze-drying process will keep all the valuable nutrients intact ready to be rehydrated when needed. The texture of dehydrated food tend to be darker, denser, and leathery-like. This is why many dehydrated foods are made granular or made into chunks.
The end products are lightweight and store away conveniently. Both types preserve high amounts of nutrients and essential vitamins. You can rehydrate freeze-dried and dehydrated foods with warm water, or serve as-is as either a supplement to other foods or as the main entree.
The following are a few freeze-dried and dehydrated brands:
- The Honest Kitchen (Dehydrated)