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  • Karel Schmiedberger

Is freeze-dried fruit always healthy?

Jahody z farmy

Freeze-dried food has been around for several years. In fact, it can be said that the Czech internet is quite rich in e-shops offering various types of freeze-dried fruit. Thanks to this, we also have many articles describing how freeze-dried fruits (or vegetables) are healthy because they retain a lot of vitamins and original nutrients.

But let's be honest with ourselves. The most a freeze-dried food can be is as healthy and safe as it was when it was put in the freeze-drier. If you freeze-dry ice cream, you probably can't say it's healthy afterwards. Yes, it is very good and it is interesting to try, but it is about as good for your health as ice cream that you have just bought. If you put raspberries full of pesticides in a freeze dryer, they are certainly not healthier in freeze dried form.

"The origin of a food does not always have to be stated..."

- State Agricultural and Food Inspection of the Czech Republic

We are living in a time when more and more people are becoming interested in the origin of food again. We look at the ingredients and we like food to have a story behind it. In most cases, it is enough to tell us where the fruit was grown, preferably with the specific farm, how and with what it was treated, harvested and, if necessary, preserved. We can only shake our heads when we hear reports of how some foodstuffs can be imported from Poland, repackaged in the Czech Republic and legally labelled with the following

'Country of origin: Czech Republic'.

I sometimes buy freeze-dried fruit myself from various sellers. I am curious how it looks, how it tastes, and also how it is packaged. Unfortunately, I have not yet found packaging that contains information about the country where the fruit was grown or freeze-dried. The vast majority of sellers comply with the obligation to indicate the country of origin. But again, this is usually more about identifying the last act of production - packaging. Either the Czech Republic or Germany. A good example is freeze-dried tropical fruit, such as pineapple, which of course does not normally grow in this country.

Where is freeze-dried fruit available in the Czech Republic? I asked a few retailers about this. One lady did not know and the other thought it was in Germany, where she buys from. Personally, I have a different theory. Thanks to my good relationships with the world's leading manufacturers, such as the American VirTis or the New Zealand Cuddon, I know that the biggest buyer countries of production freeze-dryers are India and China.

Just to illustrate - what does freeze-dried food production look like on a really large scale

However, in this quest to find the origin of freeze-dried food, we have come so far that we can only speculate about who these "producers" are buying from. Regardless of whether my line of thinking is correct or not, a fundamental question remains:

"If we cannot even guess the country where the fruit was grown, how can we be sure that the fruit has not been chemically treated, that it does not contain inappropriate conservatives, etc.?"

A really small clue may be the packaging itself. Freeze-dried produce should always be packed either in vacuum or in some other way that prevents contamination from ambient moisture. This is because they tend to pick up moisture from the air. If foods are packaged only in a cup, a cardboard box or even a paper bag, they very quickly become "rubber" instead of a crunchy treat.

This article is certainly not meant to discourage you from buying freeze-dried goodies and ingredients. The point is to urge greater caution, as we are all probably used to with other foods. So the best way is simply to ask your retailer where the fruit came from, how it was treated, etc., etc.



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