There are so many options when choosing your pet’s diet and one of those is the new addition of Freeze-Dried Raw Food Diets that have come into the market over the past few years.
But is a freeze-dried diet the same as a fresh or raw frozen diet?
The short answer is yes - basically!
The Gold Standard
freeze-drying-machineFreeze-drying is the gold standard when it comes to food preparation. Essentially the moisture is removed and the nutrients remain in a convenient form.
Basically what’s happening is we’re putting the food “on hold” for a very extended period of time. Because there is no moisture in the food the bacteria and enzymes cannot be activated and the food is brought back “to life” with just a little warm water – retaining the texture, taste and most importantly the nutrition of the original food – pretty nifty!
Now we say Freeze-drying is the gold standard because it uses very little heat in the process and does not require any evaporation of liquid (in fact it uses a process called sublimation – converting solid water directly into water vapor – no liquid involved). Using heat will change the taste and texture of food plus it will also denature many of the vitamins and minerals. It also retains a bit of moisture so the issue of bacteria and the work of enzymes in the food can still be an issue. So consequently the product is compromised somewhat from a nutritional basis.
Stella and Chewys Rabbit Protein Levels: It’s all in the Guaranteed Analysis
So back to the question on Raw Frozen and Freeze-Dried Diets, when you take a look at the ingredient panel you’ll notice that the protein levels are quite different. Why is that?
Look at the example below with the Stella & Chewy’s Raw Foods Rabbit Diet frozen and their same formula in the a freeze-dried form:
Rabbit Formula – Frozen
Crude Protein 15.5%
Crude Fat 10.5%
Crude Fiber 2%
Kcals – 65 per small patty
Rabbit Formula – Freeze-dried
Crude Protein 46%
Crude Fat 32%
Crude Fiber 4%
Kcals – 70 per small patty
So, if we rehydrate the freeze dried diet it will be back to approximately the same 70% moisture of the original frozen variety. The freeze dried is more concentrated due to lack of moisture but it’s still essentially the same exact product with approximately the same Kcals.
It is best to rehydrate your freeze-dried formulas particularly if this is the primary diet for your pet. Once rehydrated the protein and fat levels will be almost identical to the original product.
Freeze Dried Raw: The Perfect Kibble Topper and Treat!
Picky and finicky eaters love freeze dried raw crumbled over your their kibble diet and when rehydrated the added moisture has great benefits for your pet and we always recommend adding water to a freeze-dried formula for cats.