Nutritional info on dehydrated foods
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Jan 11, 2013 at 7:54 am #1297891
I’ve searched the forums with no luck so far. Has anyone compiled a spreadsheet with the nutritional value of commonly used dehydrated foods, or know a link to a web site that might be comprehensive?
I moved away from store bought meals a few years ago, and I’ve been making my own meals from dehydrated ingredients for quite a bit. The Geek in me is interested building an accurate picture of my nutrition during backpacking trips.
I’ve read the many posts on recommendations for calorie dense food, pounds of food per day, and the like. I’ve found the 2.2 ppd works well for me, but I’m just curious to look a little more deeply at the nutrition.Jan 12, 2013 at 10:43 am #1943165Heather HohnholzBPL Member
If you're putting together your own dehydrated meals, to me it stands to reason that the nutritional info is exactly the same as the hydrated version of the same food. I.e. if you have 1 Cup of green beans that are 100 calories with 4g carbs (totally made up numbers), if you dehydrate that 1 Cup of green beans, the dehydrated version will still have 100 calories & 4g carbs. Now you do have to take into account shrinkage during dehydration. So 1C fresh green beans may only be 1/2C of dehydrated green beans. So 1C of dehydrated green beans would have 200 calories and 8g carbs. Dehydration doesn't change anything (to my understanding) in the nutritional value or content of a food-it only changes the amount of water in a food. Hope this makes sense!Jan 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm #1943334Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Does dehydrating remove any vitamins or minerals?Jan 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm #1943335Bob GrossBPL Member
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Some vitamins are adversely affected by the temperatures of food dehydration. I don't believe that minerals are.
Of course food dehydration has such a positive outcome with our pack loads, and any vitamin deficiencies are easily corrected with a daily multivitamin pill which weighs almost nothing.
–B.G.–Jan 13, 2013 at 2:35 am #1943349
Heather – I believe you are correct. My only problem is that I have not kept records on how much dehydrated food is produced from its fresh source. I was hoping someone might know a reference or had already compiled this data. I will record this for future batches of dried goods – I was looking for a shortcut!Jan 13, 2013 at 2:35 am #1943351
Duplicate deletedJan 13, 2013 at 7:09 am #1943366Harrison CarpenterSpectator
@carpenhLocale: St. Vrain River Valley
A somewhat sketchy page on Livestrong.com:Jan 13, 2013 at 7:10 am #1943369Gary DunckelBPL Member
I think Bob is correct, Nick. The water soluble vitamins can be be degraded by higher heat, vitamin C moreso than A. For fruit and vegetables, it's better to use a lower heat setting, like 135* F. Minerals aren't much affected by dehydration.Jan 13, 2013 at 8:21 am #1943382
"Has anyone compiled a spreadsheet with the nutritional value of commonly used dehydrated foods…"
Are you asking about only Fat, Protein, and Carbs, or about vitamins and minerals as well?
Are you asking specifically about Dehydrated, or both dehydrated and Freeze Dried?
Home dried or commercial dried?
What are your concerns? To few calories, or vitamin deficiency? If the former, then take more weight. If the latter, and you are only out for a month or so at a time, and multi-vite is an easy solution for a short-term challenge.
If, as you say, this is truly a Geek-quest, then as Nick suggests, your pursuit is going to go well beyond Livestrong and the generalized calorie-counter sites.
So which is it?Jan 13, 2013 at 11:38 am #1943428
I'm interested in foods that are dehydrated at home. I have not purchased any commercially dehydrated or freeze dried foods, but I would assume that the nutritional information would be included on the packaging.
As to the specific values, calories, fats, proteins and carbs are my primary interest. I have not seen Laurie Ann post in the last 4 or 5 months, but I was hoping that someone with her background might have a spreadsheet made up, but as Heather suggested, it would really not be that hard to build one.Jan 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm #1943431
That greatly simplifies things and it is pretty easy…easier than a spreadsheet look-up, simply because what most spreadsheets will contain is not nearly as complete as you will find on the net.
Hopefully you know how you concocted the food you dried and the measures you started with, or expect to see, when re-hydrated.
There are a number "calorie counters" on the net. My favorite is Calorie King.
Type in a food, narrowed it down to what you use and how you measure, and will you get the basic information.
Don't know exactly what went in? Wing it!
Base ingredients are rice and beans, and the result is 2 cups: 1C rice, 1C beans , Plus …..
Don't make it to hard.Jan 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm #1943434Bob GrossBPL Member
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
One of the problems is that it is difficult to get any measurement accuracy when going from fresh food to dehydrated food. Let's say that you start with one cup of green peppers and dehydrate that down to a quarter of that. The next guy will come along and dehydrate the same stuff down to a tenth of that. In each case, the dehydrated peppers will have about the same calories and so forth. When dehydration has been carried out to different degrees, different amounts of water has departed, so the finished products will weigh different amounts. Some dehydrated foods will re-absorb moisture from the air if they are not sealed perfectly, and that throws in another error factor.
So, if you know that you started fresh with a specific number of calories, you know that you have about the same in the dehydrated result. However, few of us track the whole process that closely from start to finish.
Therefore, measuring by volume has problems, and also measuring by weight has problems.
–B.G.–Jan 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm #1943435
"Therefore, measuring by volume has problems, and also measuring by weight has problems."
"When dehydration has been carried out to different degrees, different amounts of water has departed, so the finished products will weigh different amounts."
Yes, you have to know how to measure. And you have to follow the instructions to re-hydrate.
If you aren't able to do, then yes, that all is lost.
Fortunately for most of us it is straightforward enough that we can get the job done.Jan 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm #1943456Gary DunckelBPL Member
"However, few of us track the whole process that closely from start to finish."
But some of us do, sometimes.
For example, each of my dehydrator's trays hold one pint of my favorite green chili. 4 trays, 4 pints. After dehydrating all night, I put everything in a big freezer bag, crunch it all up into small pieces, and weigh it. Divide by 8, and vacuum seal the 8 individual portions. Now I have 1/2 pint of green chili ready to go, where I can add as much water as I want.
Same with our luscious Colorado peaches. 8 peaches diced up, 2 peaches to a tray, 4 trays. When dehydrated, I divide the total weight by 8, and vacuum seal one peach to a bag. Easy math, perfect portion control.
But some things are harder to portion than these examples.
(Edit–to add BG's quote)Jan 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm #1943484Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW
I have seen charts before in dehydrating books – not trail cooking books. The key is knowing your portions.
I'll say this – when I dehydrate something for the first time I make notes. If I am blanching 2 pounds of green beans, then dehydrating, I also measure cups as well. Then when dry, I weigh and measure both ways. That way I know what 1/4 cup fresh became once dry and so on.
It is easy enough to find out nutritional stats for fresh online. http://caloriecount.about.com/Jan 24, 2013 at 8:08 pm #1947002Bob ShaverBPL Member
When I worked in the dehydrated food industry, we would figure out the dry down ratio, such as apples dry down about 8:1. 8 lbs of fresh apples yield 1 lbs of dried apples (depending on the end moisture level of the apple. It could be 23%, 15%, or 4% moisture).
Same with carrots, beans, or anything. I'd look up the nutritional content of the fresh product, then use the dry down ratio to figure out what the dry product contained. Very little nutrients are lost in drying, and what is lost or kept depends on the preservative used, if any.
As for temperature, we started apples at 170 degrees air temp. The fruit wasn't 170, because as the hot air blew over the fruit, moisture left the fruit and by evaporative cooling, cooled the fruit. As the rate of evaporation decreased, the air temp was reduced, and ended at about 140 F.
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