February 18, 2022 by Boutheina Nwaji
Updated February 18, 2022
Dried fruits: treasure for all seasons
Drying or dehydrating is the world's oldest and most prominent technique of food preservation. It has been practiced worldwide for centuries. It makes foods last longer and conserves them safely. There is a variety of dried food such as dried beans, peas, dried fruits, vegetables, rice, tomato...etc.
Two categories of natural dehydration can be found; open air-solar drying and adiabatic drying. Dehydrating food allows you to possess sufficient healthy food on hand that keeps you well for a long duration.
Dried food benefits:
Dehydrated foods can be a healthier choice instead of snacks, and you can add them to salads and baked goods. Dried foods conserve their nutritional significance. When foods are adequately dehydrated, yeast and bacteria can not grow. In addition, dried fruits, for instance, are higher in calories because they are more concentrated once the water is removed. Fresh fruits have fewer calories than their dehydrated version. It is significant to notice that some vitamins might vanish or decrease in volume during the drying operation.
Dried food such as fruits enhances your immune system and boosts and maintains heart health. Many health experts recommend eating dry fruits like apricots, walnuts and pistachios, berries, mango, and other different kinds to stay healthy.
Examples of dried foods:
Here are some examples of dried fruits and other products:
All kinds of fruits can now be dried. You can dry them on your own at home using your stove. Or you can buy a small dehydrator if you are planning on using it frequently.
It is a legume but also considered a nut. After harvesting, they have to be washed and then left in the sun to dry. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, iron, and magnesium. Moreover, it is a source of protein which is good for bones health.
This type of nuts grows in South Central North America in Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, California, and New Mexico. Pecans need at least two weeks in their shells to dry. They contain fats and antioxidants. Also, pecans are considered vital ingredients in chocolate, chicken salad, and candies.
Women precisely need to eat almonds since it plays a key function in removing acne scars and boosts skin. Almond is a source of dietary fibers that plays an important role in losing weight. It is full of vitamins such as vitamin A. We can consume almonds as fruits or as oil.
Grains are regular ingredients in many diets. After drying, they should be stored in cool places. Also, they can last from ten to thirteen years. Thanks to their hard shells, grains can be conserved longer.
This type of corn like maize is a source of vitamin B, minerals (that are crucial for the human body ), and a variety of fibers.
Red Wheat and White wheat:
While and red wheat is rich in proteins; white wheat is low in proteins and high in carbohydrates.
Beans and Peas:
They are great sources of iron, protein, and fiber. They should be bolted and saved in airtight containers.
Reasons for drying foods:
1-Spoilage reduction:The main purpose of dehydration is to reduce and prevent spoilage and waste.
2-Enhanced shelf -life:The removal of water can increase the preservation period.
3-Change storage circumstances:All foods require specific conditions to prevent spoilage. It is desirable to preserve their taste and nutritional qualities and other features such as aroma.
4-Weight reduction:During the dehydration process, the water would be removed as a result the weight of food will be decreased and also the cost of shipping if it is to be exported.
5-Changed features of foods:Heated foods may offer different properties compared to their undried forms. These disparities may develop unique products.
Methods of water removal and dehydration:
Traditional methods:Most traditional drying techniques rely on using heat either by direct or indirect means. Sun-drying is the oldest and still most widely used technique.
The side effects of dehydration:
-Reduction of the functionality of dried food components. For instance, after the dehydration of potato, it may be gelatinized.
-Nutritional degradation:Vitamins that are present in foods may be susceptible to the damage caused by high temperatures.
-Loss of structural integrity:When the food is dried, it will change from a soft to a hard structure.
-Aroma and flavor change.
Furthermore, there is a huge number of dried foods that have been dried worldwide such as pasta, white rice, white flour, dates, bananas, and other fruits that we can now enjoy year-round instead of waiting for the right season. Dried fruits are an excellent food to preserve and reap its benefits.