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Dehydrated and freeze-dried fruits: a source of flavor and health

Published on May 20, 2021 (Updated on May 20, 2024)
Les fruits déshydratés et lyophilisés: une source de saveurs et de santé

Fruits picked ripe make all the difference

Umano dried fruits were picked when ripe and processed near where they were picked.

Indeed, unlike fresh fruit, there is no race against time to reach the consumer's plate. In most cases, fresh fruit will be picked “green”. However, a fruit picked before maturity already has, on average, 70% less vitamins compared to a fruit picked well ripe!

Fruits that have lost their acids

Most fresh fruits contain a significant amount of acids, which must be oxidized by the body to maintain stable blood pH.

Particularly for thin and cold people, the consumption of fresh fruit is not recommended in winter. The latter, even with a low consumption of fruit, will have great difficulty oxidizing these acids. The result is that, to neutralize them, the body will be forced to draw on its mineral bases.

However, with dried fruit, there is no such problem! In fact, they have lost their acids.

Fruits rich in fiber, vitamins, nutrients and living elements

On the other hand, in addition to their ease of consumption, and the formidable reservoir that dried fruits constitute in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, etc., the concentration of fibers greater than in fresh fruit promotes the elimination of bile acids and cholesterol, and better intestinal transit.

Lower ecological impacts

With the exception of Quebec apples and small fruits in summer, the vast majority of fruits we consume have traveled thousands of kilometers before arriving on our plates.

Dehydrated fruits, for their part, have lost a significant part of their volume and up to 90% of their weight. Their transport, even over long distances, is therefore significantly less damaging to the environment.

In addition, dried fruits are an appropriate response in the fight against food waste.

At all stages, from the orchard to your table, the quantity of fresh fruit thrown away will be greater than the quantity consumed. On the contrary, dehydration allows the producer to add value to part of the harvest that could be lost.

Subsequently, the fruits will be kept for at least a year, thus greatly limiting the losses linked to the shocks suffered by the fresh fruit during transport, storage, and until it rots on the shelves of the grocery store or in your pantry.

Dried, dehydrated, freeze-dried fruits: what are the differences?

Ordinarily, a dried fruit is a fruit from which the water has been removed. However, there are several methods to obtain this result and each has its own characteristics.


Drying in direct sunlight or via an oven that captures the rays is a more environmentally friendly method in terms of energy. This also allows excellent preservation of the fruit's nutrients, but their conservation proves more problematic. Sun-dried tomatoes, for example, will need to be marinated in oil to keep.

The first mango drying techniques in Burkina Faso used solar energy. However, the fruits then had to be treated with sulfur dioxide before being marketed. This method was therefore abandoned in favor of dehydration.

The dehydration

Dehydration involves drying the fruit in ventilated ovens, generally powered by gas or electricity. Ideally, the drying temperature should always be below 60°C in order to preserve nutrients, enzymes and vitamins.

THE mangoes from Burkina Faso marketed by Umano are the result of an artisanal process focused on quality.

In contrast, industrial dehydration methods use drying tunnels which speed up the process. This results in fruits with a higher humidity level and which require the use of food additives.

Freeze drying

Lyophilization, or cold drying, is a process which, by freezing, allows the water contained in a food or product to be removed in order to make it stable at room temperature and thus facilitate its conservation. The technique uses a very simple physical principle called sublimation. Sublimation is the transition of an element from the solid state to the gaseous state directly without going through the liquid state.

The indigenous peoples of the Andes are said to have been the first to use a process similar to that known today. The latter produced several varieties of potatoes and they preserved them by immersing them in ice water then letting them dehydrate thanks to the altitude and the sun.

More recently, NASA has developed freeze-dried foods to design very light and nutritious foods capable of supporting the appetite of space travelers.

This process is therefore the most effective for the conservation of nutrients. But where freeze-dried fruits are unique is for their taste qualities!

First of all, perfumes retain, most of the time, their naturalness and their strength. A little less sometimes, or a slightly different taste, but no less tasty.

The textures are very pleasant, sometimes crunchy (unlike dried fruits, which are rather soft). Without having the feeling of eating something dry, it really feels like fresh food.

Which is also reflected in the taste: we have quite the flavor of fresh! Especially since tastes have often retained all their strength. Some immediately activate the taste buds, others reveal their flavor after melting in the mouth for a few seconds.

Another little advantage: they keep for around two years, twice as long as dried fruits.