You've probably heard about different delicious methods for drying foods, such as sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, or dehydrated fruits. While both sun-drying and dehydration can result in good-tasting fruits and vegetables, they don't work well for a wide variety of food. Sun-drying fruits will naturally shrink the food, and dehydration will suck the flavour and nutrients out of the products. Alternatively, freeze drying is a delicious option that preserves the food beautifully while creating a tasting experience like no other.
At That Sweet Lyfe, we use a special freeze drying machine to freeze candy, desserts, and fruit pieces. This machine automatically removes nearly all the water particles in the food through a process known as sublimation and desorption. The best part about freeze drying is that the food does not shrink or toughen in quality.
On the contrary, freeze dried foods retain their colour, nutrients, and flavour. In many cases, foods that are freeze dried gain a more concentrated flavour than before and become lighter in weight and texture due to the removal of water in the process.
If this process sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, that's because it kind of is! Freeze dried products are used to sustain astronauts in space due to the extremely light weight of the end product and the high retention of nutrients. Freeze dried products have also been used in the military, by serious campers and backpackers, and for long-term food storage.
*Did you know that freeze-dried products can last up to 25 years when properly stored? We know our candies and treats don't have a chance of lasting that long in your cupboards, but it is an interesting fact!*
But we're not here to talk about feeding astronauts (although that is awesome!). We're here to deliver a snack adventure for you to enjoy at home, on the go, or with your family.
If you or your kids are curious about how freeze drying works, here's how we do it at That Sweet Lyfe:
Step One: Completely Freeze the Candy
Step one is the most crucial step in the freeze drying process. Candy, desserts, and other food items must be completely frozen before the drying stage can begin. Our Harvest Right Freeze Dryer rapidly cools the treats with extremely cold temperatures to ensure this happens evenly and quickly. These fast results deliver high-quality and intensely flavoured snacks.
Step Two: Primary Drying Stage (Sublimation)
The next stage in creating freeze-dried candy is the primary drying stage, also known by the scientific term: sublimation. Once the candies or dessert pieces are entirely frozen, our Harvest right machine initiates the vacuum chamber, which pressurizes the air around the food. The machine then carefully applies controlled heat to the frozen food.
When the warm temperature hits the frozen candies, the water molecules begin moving or gaining energy, making it possible for the vacuum to vapourize the water molecules. All this happens before the frozen water particles defrost. During sublimation, around 95% of the water in the food pieces is removed. Isn't it amazing?
Step Three: Secondary Drying Stage (Desorption)
The second drying step removes any remaining water in the product. In this stage, the freeze drying machine applies a bit more heat to access the remaining 2% or so of the amount of water inside the food to vapourize it and remove it.
The result is amazingly preserved food with all the flavour and taste plus a new, light and crunchy texture. With freeze dried candies and desserts, you can eat the freeze dried pieces as is without the need for rehydration. You can also try our B*tch Water selection of amazingly refreshing freeze dried fruit and veggie combos. Simply add them to your water bottle for a fun treat that takes water from basic to extraordinary.
How Freeze Dried Candy Is Made
While the process described above may sound complicated, the way we make freeze dried candy is actually relatively straightforward. Our Harvest Right Freeze Dryer makes the process simple. With automatic systems and highly intelligent sensors built right into the machine, our freeze dried candies, desserts, and naturals come out perfect every time!
What Happens Next?
Once the machine has run its cycle, we package up the freeze-dried products in That Sweet Lyfe packaging and send the treats off to the lucky customers.
If you are craving something sweet and are longing for something new, then we've got you covered. We're freeze drying everything from your favourite candies (including Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, and Milk Duds) to mouth-watering desserts (such as cheesecake bites and ice cream!).
Want something on the lighter, healthier side? Try our freeze dried naturals. Light and crispy pieces of fruit are a wonderfully healthy snack alternative, or grab a pouch of B*tch Water infusions and finally fulfill your promise to yourself to hydrate more often.
Try That Sweet Lyfe treats for yourself! Browse our product pages to find your next snacking adventure.