Today we are going to talk about "dehydration" and why will you tell me? well because it's the technique we use to make our superb handmade treats for rabbits!
We wanted to answer the main questions you might have on this subject, transparency is a very important point for us. It is also a great opportunity to share with you behind the scenes of our small French artisanal production!
In this article, you will discover why we have chosen dehydration as a technique to preserve our treats, but also what makes it a reliable and healthy manufacturing process for making treats for rabbits.
We will also see how treats that are cooked in a traditional oven represent a potential danger for your rabbit, and why it is best to avoid them.
Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss this subject, or to help us complete our article.
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So let's go !
To start: What is "Dehydration"?
Dehydrating (here electric) is a method of using an electric dehydrator to remove water from food using heat, to preserve food longer and preserve its nutrients and flavors.
What is the major difference between dehydration (in the sun or electric) and cooking in a traditional oven?
There is a fundamental difference between these two techniques: cooking destroys enzymes and alters nutrients, whereas dehydration preserves enzymes and nutrients by eliminating water which is a nutrient destroying factor.
Traditional cooking generally uses heat to change the texture, color and taste of foods, but products undergoing traditional cooking are very often not storable in the long term and spoil quickly, while dehydration mainly uses heat to remove water and preserve food!
Why do we have to remove the water from food in order to preserve it?
Water is necessary for life, but it can also cause food to spoil by activating enzymes and promoting the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and molds. Nutrients in food are also susceptible to oxidation, which is accelerated by the presence of water.
It is for these reasons that dehydration is very often used for the preparation of shelf-stable food products.
Why Choose Dehydrated Foods Over Baked Foods For Your Rabbit?
As stated earlier, high temperature cooking (in a traditional oven) destroys enzymes and alters nutrients, while dehydration preserves enzymes and nutrients by removing water which is a nutrient destroying factor.
Baked foods are generally high in sugars and fats. They can cause health problems in rabbits which have a very fragile digestive system. The destruction of enzymes and nutrients important to rabbits can also lead to nutritional deficiencies. Cooking at high temperature in a traditional oven also deteriorates the fibers present in food.
Rabbits' digestion is based on a high fiber diet, so reducing fiber in their diet, coupled with sugar and fat, can cause issues such as constipation, intestinal stasis and increased fermentation in the colon. But also other potential health problems such as urinary stones and jaw problems.
In general, it's best to feed quality hay, fresh/raw, dried or low-temperature dehydrated food to ensure a good amount of fiber in your rabbit's diet.
In summary, after traditional cooking in the oven, there will remain mainly "sugar and fat".