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Is That Viral Freeze-Dried Candy Actually Better for You?

Is That Viral Freeze-Dried Candy Actually Better for You?

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Freeze-dried candy popularity has skyrocketed over the last couple of years, thanks to its unique airy texture, crunchiness, and extended shelf life.

Like any trendsetter, freeze-dried candy is surrounded by speculations. One of these rumors is that it’s quite healthy, especially when compared to regular candy. So is freeze-dried candy really good for your health?

In this article, I’ll provide you with a brief overview of the nutritional value of freeze-dried candy and whether it’s good for your health.

Is Freeze-Dried Candy Healthier Than Regular Candy?

Among the most popular claims associated with freeze-dried candy is that it’s much healthier than regular candy. While this can be true in some sense, the real answer heavily depends on how you define healthiness.

For starters, you should know that both freeze-dried candy and regular candy share the same main ingredients.

In other words, they have similar amounts of sugar as well as flavoring agents. So, if you define healthier by having less sugar or calories, the answer would simply be “no.”

However, freeze-dried candy can still have some advantages that make it a better choice for some people, such as improved shelf life and lighter texture. More about that in the following sections.

Understanding How Freeze-Dried Candy Is Made

One thing that some people don’t know is that freeze-dried candy is actually made from regular candy, so they typically have the same composition and main ingredients.

Freeze-dried candy is prepared through a process called “lyophilization” where regular moisture is removed by freezing the candy to extremely low temperatures, followed by reducing internal pressure in the chamber.

Once the temperature reaches around -20 to -50 °F, air is pumped out of the chamber to create a vacuum.

This pushes the moisture inside the candy to skip the liquid phase and transform directly to water vapor in a phenomenon known as “sublimation”.

As you can see, the main difference between the composition of regular and freeze-dried candy is that the latter has a much lower moisture content.

On its own, water doesn’t have real nutritional value, which is why both regular and freeze-dried candies are technically the same thing from a nutritional standpoint (unless you prepare them with lower amounts of sugar.)

What Are the Advantages of Freeze-Dried Candy?

As previously established, freeze-dried candy is the same as regular candy when it comes to sugar content.

That being said, freeze-dried candy can still be a healthier treat if you look at it from a different perspective.

Here are some of the main advantages of freeze-dried candy that make them a slightly better choice to consider:

Extended Shelf Life

One of the best things about freeze-dried candy is that it lasts a lot longer than regular candy and doesn’t go stale with time.

The reason behind this extended shelf life is having lower moisture content. This is because microorganisms typically thrive in moist environments, which leads to mold growth and increased bacterial activity.

With little to no moisture to support microbial growth, freeze-dried candy can last significantly longer than its regular counterpart. In fact, if you store freeze-dried candy properly (in a cool, dry spot), it can last you up to 25 years or longer.

On the other hand, regular candy kept in the best possible storage conditions would only last for around 2 to 5 years.

Fewer Preservatives and Additives

Since freeze-dried candy has a much longer shelf life, they don’t need chemical additives and preservatives to protect them from spoiling or microbial activity.

For that reason, many commercial freeze-dried options have a noticeably lower preservative content, which is generally better for your health.

That being said, if you freeze-dry regular candy, it will still have a relatively high concentration of preservatives, even when these additives are not necessary anymore.

More Concentrated Flavor Means Less Candy

Regular candy’s flavor is diluted by the water it contains. As a result, you may end up popping several pieces of the candy to satisfy your cravings.

On the other hand, freeze-dried candy has a significantly reduced moisture content. This essentially means that all the deliciousness gets packed into a smaller bite, resulting in an intense and concentrated flavor experience.

Since the flavor is so intense, less candy would still give you the same kick you’re after. As a result, you may end up consuming fewer calories and sugar, especially when you compare it to your regular intake of candy.

Of course, this heavily depends on your consumption, so always remember that moderation is the key to staying healthy while enjoying any type of candy.

Crunchy and Airy Texture

One of the most notable characteristics of freeze-dried candies is that they’re typically much lighter than their regular counterparts. This is because moisture accounts for a major part of their overall weight and texture.

In fact, unlike gummy candies or caramels, freeze-dried candy typically doesn’t stick to your teeth as much.

This reduces the risk of sugar and bacteria lingering on tooth surfaces, which can contribute to cavities and tooth decay. The reduced stickiness also lowers the risk of the candy getting lodged in braces or around fillings.

Additionally, freeze-dried candy often melts in your mouth, minimizing the need for excessive chewing that can put extra pressure on fragile teeth and dental works.

Once again, these advantages are all provided that you’re consuming freeze-dried candy in moderation and choosing varieties with relatively low concentrations of sugar and sour acids.

How Much Freeze-Dried Candy Can You Eat Per Day?

Although freeze-dried candy offers a huge variety of advantages, it still contains a fairly high concentration of sugar and calories. That’s why you always need to be careful not to eat too much freeze-dried candy.

That being said, the exact amount of freeze-dried candy may depend on various factors. For example, if you already have a balanced diet with limited sugar intake, occasional freeze-dried candy might not be a big concern.

However, eating too much freeze-dried candy can increase the risk of weight gain and type II diabetes.

Another factor to keep in mind here is your dental health. If you have pre-existing issues like sensitive teeth or cavities, you’ll need to be even more cautious with freeze-dried candy, so you have to consult your dentist about the best approach with such candy.

Additionally, you should factor in the type of candy you eat. For instance, low-sugar freeze-dried candy is a much healthier alternative, which would allow you to enjoy those treats much more frequently.

What Does Freeze-Dried Candy Taste Like?

By removing moisture content, freeze-drying increases the concentration of sugars and flavoring agents in the candy. This makes the treat taste even sweeter and punchier than its regular candy version.

Although the flavor is generally amplified, the core flavor profile remains surprisingly faithful to the original candy. In other words, you may still be able to recognize the candy you’re enjoying as soon as it starts melting in your mouth.

Despite the slight difference in flavor between regular and freeze-dried candy, the texture of the new candy is the true reason behind the hype.

Freeze-dried candy takes on a surprisingly light and airy texture, which feels quite crispy and almost porous. This lightness offers a delightful crunch with each bite that completely changes how you enjoy the candy.

Keep in mind that other factors can also affect the taste and texture of freeze-dried candies, such as:

  • The texture of the original candy
  • How the candy was freeze-dried (the process’s duration, the amount of moisture removed, etc)

Can Freeze-Dried Candy Make You Sick?

Freeze-dried candy is fairly safe to eat. The candy in itself isn’t inherently bad for you and won’t necessarily make you sick. Also, the process doesn’t add any new ingredients to the candy and only removes moisture.

In other words, if you don’t react negatively to the original candy, you should be able to enjoy the freeze-dried version just fine.

However, like regular candy, freeze-dried candy is still high in sugar, so consuming too much of it can lead to various health problems. That’s why you always need to enjoy it in moderation.

Final Thoughts

This marks the end of today’s guide that walks you through the potential health advantages freeze-dried candy has over its regular counterpart.

As you can see, freeze-dried candy has the same sugar content as regular candy, so you have to be equally careful while enjoying those sweet treats.

However, the light texture makes it a better option for sensitive teeth, but remember to consult your dentist about the candy if you have braces or extra-sensitive teeth.

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