Mercer Foods has been a pioneer in freeze-drying for over 40 years. Freeze-drying is our favorite dehydration method for fruits and vegetables, for a lot of reasons. In addition to the peak nutrient retention that freeze-drying offers over other dehydration methods, there are endless benefits ranging from application versatility to cost savings.

So, let’s get to it…how can using freeze-dried ingredients save you money?

Increased Piece Count

Freeze-drying is simple, and that’s part of what makes it so special. It just takes the moisture out of food. Depending on the plant, fresh produce could be comprised of more than 90% water! When ingredients are priced by weight, why pay for water when you don’t have to? Freeze-dried ingredients are the lightest weight option of all dehydration methods. Whether you are an ingredients business buying blueberries for your nutrition bars, a restaurant buying corn for your chowder, or a snack brand looking to introduce a tropical mixed fruit snack pack, when you purchase 1 pound of Mercer’s freeze-dried ingredients, you’re getting exponentially more pieces per pound than fresh, frozen or other dehydrated options.

Increased piece count graphic

The chart below shows cost per piece estimates, comparing freeze-dried strawberries with fresh and frozen. Not only does freeze-drying yield more pieces per pound, but including labor, shelf life and shrink/waste, we conclude that freeze-dried costs two times less than fresh and frozen options. Don’t be fooled by the price per pound – it is deceiving!

Strawberry Type Freeze-Dried Fresh Frozen
Cost per lb. $20.00 $3.00 $2.00
# of slices per lb. 1000 100 70
Cost to slice $0 $1.25 $1.25
Cost per slice $0.02 $0.043 $0.046
Shrink 1% 7% Unknown
Shelf Life > 1 Year 5 days 8 months

*Data provided is Mercer Foods’ industry estimates.

Reduced Labor

Every Mercer freeze-dried product is ready to eat or use exactly as-is! No extra labor is needed to cut, slice, peel, clean or deseed your products, saving you and your business both time and money. Mercer offers a variety of product formats – from all sizes of slices, dices, granules and powders. Or simply eat them perfectly whole!

Shelf-Life Extension

Most fruits and vegetables spoil easily because of damage caused by microorganisms. Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and molds need water to survive. The freeze-drying process removes water – the microorganism’s life source – from the fruits and vegetables, thus enabling your product to remain shelf stable (provided packaging is airtight).

Extending the shelf life of products is cost beneficial for everyone – restaurants throw out less, produce lasts longer in grocery stores allowing for consumers to purchase them, and everyone at home has more time to enjoy what they buy. Freeze-drying ingredients directly correlates to less shrink in the entire food chain.

No Waste

We all hate to cut up produce and have to remove the stems, bruises and peels only to be left with edible produce half the size of what we originally purchased. Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables from Mercer Foods are ready to use! No waste involved.

Mercer Foods is passionate about what we do and why we do it. We take pride in responsibly sourcing our fruit and vegetable options, freeze-drying them to perfection, and enabling our customers to use them in endless applications, all while keeping their wallets happy. Take a look at the products we offer or reach out to see if we can freeze-dry something new for you!