I will be happy to answer your questions for you! They are some good ones!
I first want to make it clear to everyone, there is a difference between freeze-dried foods and dehydrated foods.
The Main Differences
Moisture Content. The main objective with food preservation is to remove the moisture so that the food doesn’t decompose, grow mold, etc.
Dehydration removes about 90-95 percent of the moisture content, while freeze drying removes about 98-99 percent. Foods that you dehydrate at your home will typically have a 10 percent moisture content level while foods that are dehydrated professionally will have a lower moisture content - which increases the shelf life.
Shelf Life. The moisture removal has a direct impact on the shelf life. Most dehydrated products like dried fruits, vegetables, powders and TVP; have a shelf life of about 15-20 years.
However, dehydrated items like honey, salt, sugar, hard wheats and oats have a 30-year shelf life - sometimes longer.
Freeze-dried foods will have a longer average shelf life. Freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, just-add-water meals and real meats will have a 25-30-year shelf life. Ideally, all of your food storage would be stored at a temperature of 60 degrees or lower.
Nutritional Content. According to research by the American Institute for Cancer Research, freeze-dried foods retain the vast majority of the vitamins and minerals found in the original food. However, when compared to fresh fruits and vegetables, freeze-dried foods did lack in some vitamins - like Vitamin C - which break down very rapidly.
Dehydration doesn’t change the fiber or iron content of food. However, dehydration can break down vitamins and minerals during the preservation process and retain less of their nutritional value when compared to freeze-dried food. Dehydration tends to result in the loss of Vitamins A and C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
Appearance & Composition. One of the main differences between dehydrated and freeze-dried food is how they look. Most people are familiar with banana chips (dehydrated) but not necessarily freeze-dried bananas (which become soft when you place them in your mouth). Weight is another difference. Freeze-dried foods are going to weigh a lot less than dehydrated foods. This makes them easier to haul or store.
is this freeze dried salad mix is approved for use instead of the fresh salads?
Yes, these were put together by my Animal Nutritionist. You will see there is not the dark greens in the salad, so we have replaced that calcium source with egg shell calcium.
I'm guessing your gliders approve?
My gliders LOVE it, both dry and rehydrated. I will say they seem to consume more dry then when rehydrated. Make certain water is available at all times.
If I choose to feed dried instead of rehydrated, should it be considered a snack and still feed regular salads along side their CL?
No, either way they are fed is considered part of their meal plan.
I'm guessing that rehydration instructions come with salad. How long does it require for rehydration?
The instructions are listed on the label of the bag for serving suggestions.
The only thing I can think of is how long it will last once opened?
Once it is opened, keep it in a sealed bag in a cool dry place. Shelf life we only recommend for six months once opened. Although our packages will not last that long anyway.
If you have any other questions, just give me a holler.