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"Shelf life" of home dehydrated food

Thu 09 Apr, 2020 9:23 am

How long should one trust home dehydrated food?
Put out food drops for an AAWT for November 2018. Mix of home dehydrated (lentils and meat dishes), commercial freeze-dried and standard dry groceries. Had to abandon due to bad blistering on walk partners feet.
Started again in late 2019 solo. Bushfires put an end to that. Intention was to be walking now. Covid and track park closures put an end to that.
So I have food drops out for all except Kiandra (burnt). Some contents have been in the drums since mid 2018. What can I trust assuming walking is possible in late 2020?
BTW, only two items survived the Kiandra fire... a bottle of ginger beer and a gas canister. I am impressed by the sturdiness of the gas cannister. Haven't drunk the ginger beer yet.

Re: "Shelf life" of home dehydrated food

Thu 09 Apr, 2020 4:09 pm

Based on my own experiences of partly completed/abandoned aawt attempts I would expect that much of the food would be oxidized although any tins or commercial freeze dried (assuming the packaging has not been punctured) should be fine. This is not to say the food is definitively dangerous or inedible but will likely lack flavour and taste. I recently tried a two year old home dried spag bol and it was tasteless, a couple of mouthfuls and I consigned the rest to the bin. I have been ok with one year old meals. Even cup a soups start to clump and lose flavour.

Most foods will last about a year if they have been carefully packaged, kept dry and stashed in a cool location. The quality and taste of the food needs to be good to keep up ones spirits after hard days on the trail. Given the devastation or other factors that may have affected your drops I would suggest replacing them all before your next attempt. If nothing else you need to sure they are still there.

Re: "Shelf life" of home dehydrated food

Thu 09 Apr, 2020 4:17 pm

That fits with my limited time on the trail before the fires intervened. The meat dishes were cardboard. The lentil dishes were still edible. Not sure about another year though.

Re: "Shelf life" of home dehydrated food

Thu 09 Apr, 2020 4:56 pm

I'd at least go and have a look see, make sure they are in good condition, still there and haven't reached their use by dates. The commercial offerings quite often have a heap of salt and God knows what other preservatives. They are what they are and serve their purpose well.

My dehy, isn't vacuum sealed, lives in a freezer and replaced after 1 year. I'm sure it would last longer but that's just my use by date rule of thumb

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Re: "Shelf life" of home dehydrated food

Thu 09 Apr, 2020 8:28 pm

If flavor is going, then at least some of the nutrition is gone as well I'd suspect. On the one hand, you could just brave it with extra rations and hope for the best, but that might make the trip not too fun. It would be worth finding out how good the food was either way, but that might be more effort than you want while on the trail.

Re: "Shelf life" of home dehydrated food

Fri 10 Apr, 2020 9:19 am

Not an answer in your case, but we freeze our dehydrated meals to ensure they are in good condition when getting them out for a walk.
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