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Can anyone please confirm for me whether food that has been dehydrated with honey, syrup or citric acid (which I understand has a shorter life span than those made with preservatives which cause allergic reactions) can be kept fresh longer by vacuum sealing and then freezing. Also if this is true can you please guide me to a website where I can get info on the "shelf-life" of the various items such as fruit, vegetables. I am very allergic so fresh fruits and vegetables are my main source of food. I have a vacuum sealer and a food dehydrator and would like to make the most of bulk buying. :) Thank you

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There are two separate questions here. Generally on this site you'll get better answers if you ask one thing at a time. But there's already a question like your second: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/21068/… –  Jefromi Jul 7 '12 at 12:46
    
I have recently eaten some fruits (bananas) and vegetables (red peppers) which I dehydrated some 7 years ago and kept in glass jars on the shelf, with no preservative at all. They were still edible. The peppers were even crispy and tasty. I believe that, if you dehydrate long enough so that no water remains, and take care to close the glass jar well, your vegetables can be kept for years. YMMV. –  Erel Segal Halevi Jun 25 at 13:43

1 Answer 1

Using a vacuum sealer before freezing should generally improve lifetime in the freezer. Note that this lifetime is all about quality; safety-wise, everything lasts forever in the freezer.

When food is frozen, the main thing that keeps it from lasting forever is interaction with the air, and it only reduces quality. As time goes on, water and flavors escape from the food, flavors from the freezer enter the food, and frost accumulates on the surface. (In the case of dehydrated food, water entering the food might actually be a problem.) If the food has been vacuum-sealed first, then there's no way for any of this to happen. This is why you can find things like individually vacuum-sealed frozen fish fillets - the quality is much better. So if your vacuum-sealing is good, your food should hopefully last as long as you want it to in the freezer.

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