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When it comes to healthy snacking, freeze-dried fruit and sun-dried fruit are at the top of the list. Providing both a quick and easy way to snacking, dried fruit has remained a popular pick for years. But when comparing freeze-dried to sun-dried options, are the snacks alike? You might think yes, but we’re here to shed some light on the main differences.
We’re talking tropical fruits like dried mango, dried pineapple, etc. Are you team Freeze-dried or Sun-dried? Connect with us on social at @jalifruitco after you give this post a read and let us know!
How the Freeze-Drying Process Works
For starters, if you think you can just pull out some fruit at home and attempt to freeze-dry it, think again. The process actually requires some advanced, heavy-duty machinery that you wouldn’t typically find in the common household.
The process itself is relatively easy once you have the right tools. You simply take the fruit and put it on a big rack inside of a vacuum chamber, lower the temperature to below freezing, and then slowly raise it. What does that do? This process changes the water in the fruit from a solid state to a gaseous state, all while maintaining the shape of the fruit and its nutritional value.
Sun-dried fruit also requires a level of moisture removal, and this is commonly done through a dehydration process. Dehydrating is fairly simple. It can either be done in the sun, or companies will take a machine (some, like ours, don’t even require electricity) and circulate hot, dry air around the fruit. These hot temperatures are hot enough to extract the moisture, but not hot enough to cook the fruit. After the dehydration process, you’re left with “sun-dried” fruit that’s deliciously chewy, while maintaining the flavors you love!
While there are obvious similarities (the removal of water, for example), there are some critical differences between freeze-dried mango, pineapple, jackfruit, etc. vs. the dehydrated variety.
On the topic of moisture levels, the more moisture you remove from the fruit, the longer shelf life it has. You can eliminate about 95% of the moisture from sun-dried fruit and up to 99% from freeze-dried fruit. Basically, the higher the percentage, the longer the shelf life. Either way, both types of fruit are suitable options if you’re wanting long-lasting snacks on hand.
Good news: both freeze-dried and sun-dried fruit maintain most of their fresh counterparts’ nutrients. However, freeze-dried fruit loses some fiber and Vitamin C – which breaks down quickly – in the drying process. In turn, the sun-drying process doesn’t affect the fiber or iron found within fruit. If you’re looking for a snack high in dietary fiber, look no further than our Mr. Jackfruit.
It’s worth understanding that no matter which forms of dried fruit you consume, you’ll get more vitamins and minerals in a single handful than you would from the same handful of fresh fruit. Why? Because when you dry out fruit, you condense it into smaller pieces while still retaining the same amount of nutrients.
You’ll get about 3.5 times the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you would in dried fruit than regular, fresh fruit. With that comes the downside, though. Fruit is chock-full of natural sugar. If you consume too much dried fruit in one sitting, you could up your sugar intake significantly. Be mindful when snacking!
Last but not least: taste. Let’s be honest, skepticism sets in when people hear ‘healthy snacking’. We’re pleased to say dried fruit tastes just as great as its fresh counterpart – albeit, dried!
The difference in taste between freeze-dried and sun-dried fruit? Freeze-dried fruit requires minimal (if any) heat, maintaining the original flavor. The texture, however, changes in that it’s airier and crunchier than fresh fruit.
Sun-dried fruit maintains its original flavor, as well. But texturally, it’s chewier than fresh fruit. In terms of texture, neither freeze-dried or sun-dried fruit is greater than the other; it’s simply up to your taste buds! (Although, we’re obviously big fans of sun-dried fruit because the chewy texture helps us to slow down when eating and savor the natural sweetness.)
Choose Sun-Dried Fruit with Jali Fruit Co.
Even though all types of dried fruit share similarities, we’re big fans of sun-dried fruit through and through. Since it retains fresh fruit’s natural sweetness, contains the minerals and vitamins you need, and has an addicting texture, we think it makes the perfect snack for any day and time.
What sets Jali Fruit Co. apart from other dried fruits? We empower rural women farmers across the world. We work with women farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean to preserve the fruit of their ancestors. Since we work directly with our farmers, we cut out the middleman, ensuring greater financial stability for our farmers with a 7x higher daily wage than the average local farmer. That’s the Jali Way.
If you are going to stick with sun-dried fruit, be sure to choose a brand that offers full transparency in its ingredients and processes. Here at Jali Fruit Co., we serve it as we see it with one simple ingredient…the FRUIT itself! No need for preservatives or added sugars when the fruit itself is packed with flavor and nutrient-dense. See what we mean by getting some for yourself today!