A Note on dehydration
Dehydration is the process of food preservation by use of different methods where the micro-organisms can help dry the food as these micro-organisms need
water to propagate and dry the food. In some cases of food and vegetables, this process of dehydration changes the entire structure or texture of the food.
Some common forms of dehydration
Some of the common forms of dehydration techniques include freeze drying, sugar infusion, and drum. Here the main thing to keep in mind are the ingredients
that must be used in the final product.
Freeze drying – This process involves the removal of moisture from the product without any other work. In this process, the particular product is made to pass
through the intermediate phase. In this process of freeze-drying, the ice gets converted to vapor state from the solid state. But, this does require some pressure
and energy. This process of freeze drying can work best in case of fruits such as snack foods, confectionary, and other vegetables. In this process of freezedrying,
the ice gets converted to vapor state
from the solid state. But, this does require some pressure and energy.
This process of freeze drying can work best in case of fruits such as
snack foods, confectionary, and other vegetables.
Drum Drying –
These products are suitable for snacks, other chips, and soups another kind of grain cereals. This method replaces the water in the product with
fructose or sucrose. The final result after the dehydration process is something like the end products as in raisin.
There are some disadvantages of sugar infusion. This removes a lot of nutrients from the vegetable or fruits and then replaces it with sugar. The
result is a kind of semi-dried product that helps to get the cheapest product of these getting processed. The different kind of infused products are quite tasty and
can be eaten with snacks and products.
Tips to follow during the dehydration process
The processing of fruits and vegetables should be done as soon as possible after the harvesting is done.
One should avoid adding fresh material to an already semi-dried load of food.
The time required to dry the fruit or vegetable keeps varying depending on the thickness of the slice and the amount of water needed in the food, or the
temperature and humidity of the surrounding.
Keep a track of the drying times for each variety of fruits and vegetables.
Dehydrate Food without a dehydrator
Dehydrating a food might be costly and may also involve knowledge of some operating these devices. However, there are a few alternative methods that one
can follow to dehydrate fruits and vegetables. Some of these common kinds of methods include these.
One can use the oven to dehydrate food. Either the fruits or vegetables can be cut in very thin slices and then kept in the oven at a very low temperature or it
might be possible to keep the fruits in quite a high temperature in the oven so that the results can be achieved in a very short span of time. However, in that
case, it would not be possible to obtain the perfect natural dehydration texture.
Another option would be in using a toaster oven. One can cut down the fruits and vegetables in real slices and then keep it in the oven at a low temperature
with the doors open. This will help to prevent any condensation. The food will get converted into crispy fried snacks that you could then enjoy.
The Sun drying method is a very common process and has been popular for ages. In this case, you would simply have to put up some of these fruits or
vegetables under the sun and then wait for them to dry. These must be covered up with a mesh kind of material to prevent it from being taken away or being
Steps to follow for the dehydrating process
Firstly, start with fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Avoid use of any low quality of over-riped fruits as it may not be able to produce the best results after the
process of dehydration is complete.
Clean the fruits first and then slice them up into thin pieces or slices. Make sure that you take care of the thickness of all the slices. The thickness should be
the same so that all of it gets dried up at the same rate.
Make sure you use ascorbic acid to dehydrate apples, pears or another kind of fruits which might be prone to oxidation. The use of this acid helps to retain the
color of the fruit even after the drying is done.
For vegetables like cauliflower, carrots or peas to improve the drying process and to maintain the color try boiling it in water for a while.
Next, add up some sugar, salt, and spices or any other desired flavor.
Next put up the slices separately in the drying plate so that none of them overlaps as it can affect the dehydration process.
Tun on the dehydrator next to start the process. This would take around 8 to 12 hours normally.
Keep checking the fruits and vegetables while being quite close to the drying time.
Remove a slice from it and check it with your fingers. If it is dry you can be sure that the process is over else you can put it back on the tray.
Let those slices cool down for around half an hour till it is completely cool.
Keep this dried fruits in jars and shake them before having after every seven or ten days.
Store these fruits and vegetables in dark and dried place till you use them for the next time.
This dehydration process of fruits and vegetables are really very beneficial. People can try all these alternatives as well as remember the tips which might help
them deal with the dehydration process in a much easier way. tips which might help them deal with the dehydration process in a much easier way.