Freeze Dried VS. Kibble

Fresh food is of course one of the healthiest options for your pet, but its not always affordable or time-efficient. Many pet food brands are moving toward freeze-dried dog food and dehydrated products to provide solutions that are both healthy and convenient. Freeze-drying retains nearly 100% of the natural nutrients in foods, almost as good as eating it raw!

freeze dried pieces

Freeze-Dried Nuggets

A blend of meat-based proteins, fruits, veggies, and a few seeds, legumes, and spices is freeze dried pasteurized at a low temperature and crumbled into little nuggets. The freeze-drying process allows for a flavor-packed morsel of deliciousness in every bite, while still maintaining the natural vitamins and minerals in each ingredient.

And based on the opinions of our own pups, we worked on a way to utilize freeze drying and still avoid producing a powdered mess of food. There’s still something to actually munch with freeze-dried dog food, rather than just a bowl of wet goop.

dry roasted pieces

Dry-Roasted Nuggets

The same blend of meat-based proteins, fruits, veggies, and a few seeds, legumes, and spices is also dry roasted and crumbled into little nuggets.

The dry-roasted pieces (a direct request from our doggos) put to use those pearly whites. The dry-roasting process makes for a nice, crunchy morsel of taste with that extra chomp dogs love. The best part is, even with added water, these little pieces keep their shape and crunch.

chopped fruits and veggies

Freeze-Dried Fruits & Veggies

We put a different combination of whole fruits and veggies in each of our recipes. Some green beans and apples, or perhaps some cranberries and peas can be seen sprinkled in with our freeze-dried and dry-roasted nuggets.

All the natural vitamins and minerals in the fruits and veggies are retained through the freeze-drying process, and the taste too! Plus, they’re cut down into small enough bits that even the pickiest pups can’t eat around them.

chopped organ meat

Freeze-Dried Organ Meat

To top it all off, we add in some good ol’ fashioned freeze-dried organ meat. Organ meat is a natural and important part of a carnivore’s diet, as it supplies dogs with all sorts of nutrients and digestive enzymes that they may not otherwise get from their other food sources.

Liver is a highly concentrated source of Vitamin A, and also contains folic acid, B vitamins, and iron. Hearts are high in protein, and contain phosphorus and zinc, plus some other essential amino acids.

Our process

1. Our ingredients (See: How Can Real Food Not Be Better?)

Beef & Salmon Recipe Ingredients

3. Everything gets thrown into a big mixer and combined well.  

Mixing Beef & Salmon Recipe GIF

5. Once frozen, the nuggets either go into the freeze-dryers or into the dry-roaster.

Frozen Nuggets GIF

7. All three elements are packaged, and sent off for shipping.

Simple Food Project real food recipes for dogs

2. Our fresh meats get ground up, making them easier to mix with the other ingredients

Grinding Beef GIF

4. Once combined, the recipe is chopped into nuggets and prepared for the freeze-dryer.

Nuggets GIF

6. The freeze-dried nuggets are joined by fresh, chopped produce and organs

Chopped Carrots & Cranberries

the perks of freeze drying:

1. nutrient retention

The freeze-drying process is one of the best ways (other than just eating food fresh & raw of course) to get every little nutrient out of the food. The method does not require any high temperatures, which keeps the food in its most nutritious state.

To put an exact number on it, the American Institute of Cancer Research found that freeze-drying maintains around 97% of its vitamins and minerals (which is essentially like eating fresh meats, fruits and veggies). Compare that to dehydrated food, which only maintain around 50 to 60 percent of the nutrients found in their original state. 

2. Ease of prep

Just because freeze-dried dog food is a healthier option for your dog doesn’t make it any less convenient! It can be as easy as kibble – just scoop and serve. Rehydrate if you’d like, or don’t. It’s good either way. 

Should you choose to rehydrate, it only takes an extra minute or two. Just the addition of some warm water or a broth can be a special surprise for your pup’s breakfast. 

While we may not sell the 50-pounders, with auto-ship capabilities, there’s no need to stock the big bags. Healthy food delivered right to your door, right when you need it.

3. Great taste

Forget palatants that just coax dogs into eating cardboard — freeze-drying locks in all the yummy tastes and smells of each high-quality ingredient. You may have a lab that will eat literally anything you put in front of him, but he knows the difference between artificial beef flavoring and real beef. 

Or maybe you have a picky pooch who turns his nose up to everything but a few select treats. We challenge you to try us out. Real food, real flavors, real smells. Dogs can’t resist.

main point:

Freeze drying retains 97% of original vitamins & minerals

main point:

Our freeze dried food is as quick & convenient as kibble

main point:

Freeze drying locks in all the delicious smells & flavors

The process of extruded kibble

Kibble Quick Facts:

Many commercial pet foods use rendered meat meals in their top five ingredients. They are almost always just a blend of extra crap that no one wants. Dead livestock, poultry, expired grocery counter meats, euthanized pets, road kill, and deceased zoo animals are all collected and pulled into a grinder. Often times, these meats have been dead for days & are rotting with maggots – meats that would never pass for human-grade food production

Once ground, the meats are all boiled in a large vat at very high temperatures. All the greasy fat rises to the top and is skimmed off the top. The rest is sent to a hammer-mill press, where the remaining moisture is squeezed out, leaving it a gritty powder. All nutrients and flavor are destroyed by the high amounts of heat, though it does not eliminate the toxins from plastic casings or euthanization drugs.

After all that grinding, processing, boiling, and skimming, manufacturers must add back synthetic vitamin & mineral packs after the high temperatures destroy whatever nutrients the raw materials contained. Additionally, palatants are added to the meal to make it smell and taste like real food to pets.

1. The ingredients (see: why dogs can’t thrive on grains)

3. Powder is pushed through circular dies in an extruder at high pressure. The blades cut them into kibble size bites 

5. The kibble is sprayed with synthetic nutrients & artificial flavors for palatability

7. Once packaged, the bags are sent off for shipping

Videos property of How It’s Made

2. Ingredients are ground together, forming a powder that will be molded into kibble

4. They’re then laid on a conveyer belt to go through the cooker. Temperatures are extremely high, evaporating moisture

6. The kibble is then sifted through machines to be measured and packaged

Freeze Dried vs. Kibble

Fresh food is of course one of the healthiest options for your pet, but its not always affordable or time-efficient. Many pet food brands are moving toward freeze-dried and dehydrated products to provide solutions that are both healthy and convenient.

freeze dried pieces

Freeze-dried nuggets

A blend of meat-based proteins, fruits, veggies, and a few grains and spices is freeze dried pasteurized at a low temperature and crumbled into little nuggets. The freeze-drying process allows for a flavor-packed morsel of deliciousness in every bite, while still maintaining the natural vitamins and minerals in each ingredient.

dry roasted pieces

dry-roasted nuggets

The same blend of meat-based proteins, fruits, veggies, and a few grains and spices is also dry roasted and crumbled into little nuggets. The dry-roasted pieces (a direct request from our doggos) put to use those pearly whites. The dry-roasting process makes for a nice, crunchy morsel of taste with that extra chomp dogs love.

chopped fruits and veggies

freeze-dried fruits + veggies

We put a different combination of whole fruits and veggies in each of our recipes. All the natural vitamins and minerals in the fruits and veggies are retained through the freeze-drying process, and the taste too! Plus, they're cut down into small enough bits that even picky pups can't eat around them.

chopped organ meat

freeze-dried organ meat

To top it all off, we add in some good ol' fashioned freeze-dried organ meat. Organ meat is a natural and important part of a carnivore's diet, as it supplies dogs with all sorts of nutrients and digestive enzymes that they may not otherwise get from their other food sources.

our process

1. Our ingredients (See: How Can Real Food Not Be Better?)

Beef & Salmon Recipe Ingredients

2. Our fresh meats get ground up, making them easier to mix with the other ingredients

Grinding Beef GIF

3. Everything gets thrown into a big mixer and combined well.  

Mixing Beef & Salmon Recipe GIF

4. Once combined, the recipe is chopped into nuggets and prepared for the freeze-dryer.

Nuggets GIF

5. Once frozen, the nuggets either go into the freeze-dryers or into the dry-roaster.

Frozen Nuggets GIF

6. The freeze-dried nuggets are joined by fresh, chopped produce and organs

Chopped Carrots & Cranberries

7. All three elements are packaged, and sent off for shipping.

Simple Food Project real food recipes for dogs

the perks of freeze-drying

1. nutrient retention

The freeze-drying process is one of the best ways (other than just eating food fresh & raw of course) to get every little nutrient out of the food. The method does not require any high temperatures, which keeps the food in its most nutritious state.

To put an exact number on it, the American Institute of Cancer Research found that freeze-drying maintains around 97% of its vitamins and minerals (which is essentially like eating fresh meats, fruits and veggies). Compare that to dehydrated food, which only maintain around 50 to 60 percent of the nutrients found in their original state. 

main point:

Freeze drying retains 97% of original vitamins & minerals

2. Ease of Prep

Just because freeze-dried food is a healthier option for your dog doesn’t make it any less convenient! It can be as easy as kibble – just scoop and serve. Rehydrate if you’d like, or don’t. It’s good either way. 

Should you choose to rehydrate, it only takes an extra minute or two. Just the addition of some warm water or a broth can be a special surprise for your pup’s breakfast. 

While we may not sell the 50-pounders, with auto-ship capabilities, there’s no need to stock the big bags. Healthy food delivered right to your door, right when you need it.

main point:

Our freeze dried food is as quick & convenient as kibble

3. Great taste

Forget palatants that just coax dogs into eating cardboard — freeze-drying locks in all the yummy tastes and smells of each high-quality ingredient. You may have a lab that will eat literally anything you put in front of him, but he knows the difference between artificial beef flavoring and real beef. 

Or maybe you have a picky pooch who turns his nose up to everything but a few select treats. We challenge you to try us out. Real food, real flavors, real smells. Dogs can’t resist.

main point:

Freeze drying locks in all the delicious smells & flavors

The process of extruded kibble

Many commercial pet foods use rendered meat meals in their top five ingredients. They are almost always just a blend of extra crap that no one wants. Dead livestock, poultry, expired grocery counter meats, euthanized pets, road kill, and deceased zoo animals are all collected and pulled into a grinder. Often times, these meats have been dead for days & are rotting with maggots – meats that would never pass for human-grade food production

Once ground, the meats are all boiled in a large vat at very high temperatures. All the greasy fat rises to the top and is skimmed off the top. The rest is sent to a hammer-mill press, where the remaining moisture is squeezed out, leaving it a gritty powder. All nutrients and flavor are destroyed by the high amounts of heat, though it does not eliminate the toxins from plastic casings or euthanization drugs.

After all that grinding, processing, boiling, and skimming, manufacturers must add back synthetic vitamin & mineral packs after the high temperatures destroy whatever nutrients the raw materials contained. Additionally, palatants are added to the meal to make it smell and taste like real food to pets.

1. The ingredients (see: why dogs can’t thrive on grains)

2. Ingredients are ground together, forming a powder that will be molded into kibble

3. Powder is pushed through circular dies in an extruder at high pressure. The blades cut them into kibble size bites 

4. They’re then laid on a conveyer belt to go through the cooker. Temperatures are extremely high, evaporating moisture

5. The kibble is sprayed with synthetic nutrients & artificial flavors for palatability

6. The kibble is then sifted through machines to be measured and packaged

7. Once packaged, the bags are sent off for shipping

The Simple Food Project
1823 Executive Drive
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

800-451-5267