Freeze dried foods are resurfacing in our industry in a way that we have never seen before. And why not? They’re light, have a great shelf life and retail all the nutrients of their fresh counterparts packed in a tiny bite! And the reason we bring this up is that we’ve had a lot of our manufacturers come to us about calculating the weight loss % for their products. How is it done? How do you reflect the appropriate serving size without inaccurately reporting the nutrition information? Tricky right? Well don’t you worry. For the next few minutes you’ll be able to learn everything you need to know to calculate weight-loss for your food products for accurate freeze-dried food labeling. You ready? Let’s go!
Due to the pandemic, freeze dried foods are trending in a big way. Not only do they have a great shelf-life but they’re light and don’t take up much space, making them easy to stock up on. And now that we’ve spent the last 10+ years pushing organics and clean foods in our industry, these reconstitute-able goodies tend to be a nutrient gold-mine. And that is a great find for new manufacturers breaking into the industry as well as seasoned veterans who need to update their products to reflect current trends. But there’s one thing that they all have in common: freeze-dried food labeling can get a bit confusing.
Traditionally, the serving size and servings per container are determined by the weight of the product and then broken down to individual serving size. But in the case of foods that have had their moisture or water content removed, the process has an additional step. And it’s as simple as knowing how to use a kitchen scale.
Weighing Your Product
That’s right, in order to calculate the weight loss of your product for accurate freeze-dried food labeling, the important numbers you need to know are as follows:
- The weight of your recipe before freeze drying
- The weight of your product after freeze drying
- Your individual serving size weight after freeze drying
- How many servings are in the container that the consumer will purchase
Putting it all Together
To get the first number, you simply need to weigh your product recipe. If you are a soup manufacturer making single-serve soup bowls, weigh your soup and remove the weight of the container for an accurate calculation. So if your soup recipe weighs 250g and your container weighs 10g, your recipe weight will be 240g. (The weight of your container will throw off your nutrient calculation, so make sure you remember this step!)
Now that you have your pre-freeze dried weight, it’s time to weigh your product after it’s been prepared. Or in this case, freeze-dried. Once again, do not calculate your container into this number. Your container does not have nutrient value and is not consumed by the purchaser. We can not stress this point enough, it will affect your final values. For the sake of example, let’s say that once your soup has been freeze dried it weighs 40g.
Now that you have your raw value of 240g and your freeze-dried value of 40g, it’s time to determine the percentage. Simply take 40 and divide it by 240. When you do this, you will be left with a value of 0.1666666667%. Round this to the nearest whole number, which makes it 14%. This is telling you that 40g is 14% percent of 240. Therefore, your freeze dried product experienced a weight loss of approximately 86%.
When you are using the LabelCalc platform for your freeze-dried food labeling, there’s a weight-loss calculation tool that allows you to input that 86% weight-loss right into your nutrition analysis for your food product. This feature keeps the nutrition value of your ingredients while accounting for the moisture-loss or weight loss of the freeze-drying process.
From here, you will simply need to know your single soup serving size (which in this case is 40g). And your servings per container. If you are making a single-serve soup re-constitute, then it you would set your single serving size as 40 grams and 1 serving per container, and you’re done! You’ve now entered all of the information for accurate nutrition reporting for freeze-dried food labeling!