What is Dry Food?



Have you ever wondered, “What is dry food?” and why it’s a staple in our pantries and ship chandlers and suppliers worldwide? Dry food, in its essence, is a method of food preservation that reduces moisture to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, ensuring a longer shelf life.

This blog post will guide you through why we lean towards dry foods, the types available, and the processes used to create them. We’ll also touch on the nutritional aspect, comparing protein content in animal vs. plant-based dry foods. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of dry diets together!

Why Do We Eat Dry Food?

The answer is multifaceted. Dry foods are convenient, have a longer shelf life, and are often more compact, making them ideal for storage and transportation. This is particularly important for ship chandlers and suppliers, who must provide crews with long-lasting sustenance over lengthy voyages. Moreover, dry foods require no refrigeration, making them a staple in emergency preparedness kits.

Types of Dry Foods

Freeze-dried Foods

Freeze-dried foods are frozen and then placed in a vacuum, where the ice vaporizes without passing through a liquid stage. This process preserves the food’s nutrition and structure, making it a preferred choice for maintaining quality.

Dehydrated Foods

Dehydration, however, involves removing moisture by applying heat and airflow. This method has been used for centuries and is a fundamental technique in creating shelf-stable foods.

Freeze-drying Process

Stages of Freeze-drying
Freezing: The first critical step is where foods are frozen to lock in freshness.
Primary Drying (Sublimation): Under vacuum, ice transitions directly to vapor, removing most water content.

Secondary Drying: Removes any remaining moisture by gently heating the product.
Dehydration Process

Air Drying
One of the simplest forms of dehydration, air drying relies on natural airflow and heat to evaporate moisture from food.

Microwave Vacuum Drying

A more modern technique that combines microwave heating with vacuum pressure to accelerate drying time while preserving food quality.

Protein Content

Animal Protein vs. Plant-based Protein

The source of protein in dry foods can vary widely. Animal-based proteins in meats and dairy are rich in essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins, such as those from beans and grains, also offer vital nutrients but might need to be combined to form a complete protein profile.

Carbohydrates, Vitamins, and Minerals

Besides protein, dry foods are an important source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals essential for a balanced diet. The method of food preservation, be it freeze-drying or dehydration, can affect the nutrient density of the food. Understanding the process helps you choose the dry food that meets your dietary needs.


So, what is dry food? It’s a versatile, convenient, and nutritious option that plays a crucial role in our diets and the global food supply chain, including those supplying ships at sea. Whether it’s through freeze-drying or dehydration, the technology behind dry food has evolved to preserve the food and its nutritional value.

As we navigate the aisles of dry diets, let’s appreciate the science that allows us to enjoy these foods, whether on land, at sea, or preparing for the unknown. What’s your go-to dry food, and how does it fit your lifestyle? Please share your thoughts, and let’s continue this delicious conversation.


Question ; How is dry food made?

Answer : The process of making dry food involves several key steps, starting with the mixing of ingredients.

Question : How should dry food be stored to maintain its quality?

Answer : To preserve its quality and nutritional value, dry food should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Once the original packaging is opened, transferring the food to an airtight container can help keep it fresh longer and protect it from pests and moisture, which can lead to spoilage. Always check the expiration date and follow the storage instructions on the packaging.

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