Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the food last?
Most products have a 3-5 year shelf life under proper conditions. Products containing shrimp, tuna, brown rice, nuts, and dairy products have a shelf life of one to two years.
What are proper storage conditions?
The best is a cool, dry environment for our products. The cooler the better. High heat that occurs in a garage or the trunk of a car is not good for these products.
How does AlpineAire Foods extend the shelf life of food?
By using freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients, most of the water is removed from the item. Each product contains an oxygen absorber, which is iron oxide pellets. Iron oxide attacks the head-space oxygen remaining in the pouch once the pouch has been sealed. Oxygen has moisture so the absorber collects the oxygen and thus slows down the oxidation process that can occur. Oxidation leads to rancidity.
Is the oxygen absorber harmful?
No, it is not harmful, but do not use it as a spice packet. It tastes awful.
What is freeze drying?
Freeze drying is a process used for instant or quick rehydration of certain dried foods. The first step in freeze drying is to rapidly freeze the food. The water content, now frozen, is turned directly into a gas and withdrawn from the food during the next steps, vacuum and low-heat, thus avoiding the shrinkage. Many of AlpineAire's products are custom freeze dried to suit strict quality requirements. Freeze-dried products include grains, beans, fruits, meats, seafood, pastas, vegetables, and eggs. Using this process, 98% of the moisture is removed.
Key advantages of freeze-dried products include:
- The original taste and nutritional value of the food is retained due to very low heat temperature that is used.
- Foods are quick and easy to prepare.
- There's no waste.
- It's an ideal method for maintaining flavors of meat, poultry, and fish.
- Extends the shelf life of the product.
- No preservatives are necessary.
- Results in a super-lightweight, compact product.
- A wide variety of foods are available.
- Use hot or cold water to rehydrate.
What is dehydration?
The standard method of dehydrating vegetables and spices is to place the items on a conveyor belt and run them through an oven at a high temperature for a relatively short time. About 90 to 95% of the moisture is removed.
Some vegetables are more suited to this form of drying than others. This means that with the addition of water, the product rehydrates back to its original state more easily. Preferable items include: onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Dehydrated items such as peas, corn, and green beans do not rehydrate as well as freeze-dried.
What are proper storage techniques?
It is crucial that you store food properly:
- Avoid exposure to heat and moisture; make sure foods are not accessible to insects or animals.
- Never store food directly on the ground or on concrete floors--moisture can build up inside containers.
- Avoid such storage places that experience temperature build-up such as attics, garages, or car trunks. Ideally, storage should not exceed room temperature for extended periods.
- Store in a location that's accessible so that periodic inspections are easy and you can rotate supplies.
- Avoid excessive and rough handling of pouch and canned foods.