Hot and Cold: Two Methods for Developing Healthy Snacks

In recent years, dehydrated fruits and vegetables have become an alternative to healthy snacks. They are a trend of increasingly frequent consumption by new generations seeking practical, natural, zero-sugar, and low-calorie products.

These dehydrated healthy snacks are already available in large chains, supermarkets, health stores, and many digital shopping channels.

For their manufacture, food engineering experts use two drying methods to turn them into a delicious and healthy vegan alternative that can replace “fried food from a packet” or sweetened candies or gummies.

Dehydrated healthy snacks are also a more enjoyable option for those who are dieting due to overweight conditions. They help improve their health condition since consuming more portions of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended. 

The Two Methods to Produce Dehydrated Healthy Snacks

The two main methods for processing and preserving these healthy snacks are freeze-drying and dehydration.

The freeze-drying method is based on the application of cold and originates in the Inca Empire, in the Andean highlands at 4,000 meters above sea level.

It consists of completely extracting the moisture from food by freezing it at temperatures below 50 degrees below zero, lowering the pressure, and then supplying heat, achieving the sublimation of water (change from ice to steam).

As a result, the food is almost entirely dried by extracting more than 95% of the water, but its appearance and flavor remain, with a light and crunchy texture. 

Related Article: Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables Consumption Trend Gains Momentum

This process preserves the nutritional and organoleptic characteristics of fruits and vegetables. It is an excellent method of preservation and lifespan extension, as it avoids the generation of microorganisms due to the absence of water.

Among the foods that can be subject to freeze-drying are fruits such as strawberries, bananas, blackberries, pineapple, raspberries, and apples. Vegetables include asparagus, corn, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, potatoes, mushrooms, olives, spinach, and onions.

On the other hand, the dehydration method involves applying heat for a determined duration through hot air – in ovens or electric dehydrators with fans – at temperatures of up to 60 degrees, thus extracting the water.

Dehydrated Snacks for All Occasions

Flavors gain intensity through this method, which is the preservation system that best preserves food’s nutritional properties.

Among the fruits and vegetables that can undergo the heat dehydration method are mango, pineapple, cape gooseberry (Golden Berry), apple, peach, banana, strawberry, coconut, and pears.

Also, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms, and pumpkin can be turned into crunchy and original dehydrated healthy snacks.

Although these two food drying methods are, in their essence, of ancestral origin, modern food science facilitates their industrialization to make nutritious and healthy snacks available to consumers, which were unthinkable in the past.

This fast-food alternative – sweet or salty – offers us easy, long-lasting dehydrated healthy snacks that are quick to consume and requires no preparation. An ideal product for the children’s lunch box, to take as a snack to the university or the office.

Fruits and vegetables as dehydrated healthy snacks, free of added sugar and preservatives, are ideal for a balanced diet, rich in fiber and vitamins.

It is worth considering them when shopping, whether in traditional stores or e-commerce.