Storing food by freezing, canning, or drying is a common form of consumption in home kitchens or professional kitchens. With food drying methods, it becomes possible to make vegetables and fruits accessible at any time and to use the products efficiently.
Different food drying methods are being tried to consume dried fruits and dried vegetables. You can take advantage of new technologies developed to dry by preserving color, taste and texture much better than traditional sun drying management.
Storing foods by drying so that they can be consumed out of season is a food preservation method that is thousands of years old. If the right food drying methods are applied, meat, vegetables and fruits can be dried and stored in a healthy way. Thus, products taken from nature with great effort are consumed more efficiently. This is a very valuable practice in terms of sustainable production and provides ease of access to foods out of season.
Today, however, technology offers much more effective solutions than sun drying. Because sun drying, which is the most traditional food drying method, can cause fruits and vegetables that have been waiting for a long time to lose their nutritional value to a large extent.
What is Drying, and Where is It Used?
The water contained in fruits and vegetables prevents them from having a long shelf life. Usually this rate is between 80% and 95%. In drying with the right technologies, it is aimed to reduce the water between 10% and 20%. Thus, fruits or vegetables have a longer shelf life.
There are some points to consider when applying food drying methods. The vegetables or fruits in question should not lose color, taste or smell. Also, if they are cooked again, they must be able to hold the same amount of water as they had before. Drying by paying attention to these issues will be successful. So, how to dry fruits and vegetables?
Drying Methods Suitable for All Purposes
Food drying methods should be fit for purpose. The purpose here is; It is to dry the food in order to extend the shelf life of the food in a natural way while preserving the nutritional values, color, taste and odor as much as possible. Two methods stand out for this purpose. One of the food drying methods is with sulphurization and the other is drying using a lyophilizer. Let’s examine both options.
The most traditional method of drying food is to lay it in the sun. This method is still used for household fruit and vegetable drying. Here, fruits or vegetables are washed and sliced, then laid out on a cloth or paper and exposed to the sun. This drying method, especially in August, is applied in almost every region of our country.
It is a drying process mostly used for green leaves. For example, medicinal plants such as mint, thyme, St. John’s wort, linden, sage, and eucalyptus can be dried in this way. The plants, which have been washed and filtered in giant ovens, are dried in a way to give instant heat. It is then ground into powder and packaged appropriately.
The element SO2, namely sulfur dioxide, plays an important role in the sulphurization process. Because sulfur dioxide is given to the fruits and vegetables that are desired to be dried. The most important feature of sulfur dioxide is that it allows fruits and vegetables to dry much faster than the method of laying them directly in the sun. This minimizes color and taste loss. It also eliminates the presence of insect larvae and bacteria.
Sulfurization can be done in two different ways. One of them is to burn the powdered sulfur in special rooms and release SO2. Fruits and vegetables to be dried come into contact with SO2 gas. The second method is to spray sodium bisulfite, which is adjusted according to a certain formula, on fruits and vegetables.
Freeze-drying is the most preferred method to practically dry foods by preserving their nutritional value and preventing color and taste loss. The lyophilizer method is defined as freeze drying. Also called cryodesiccation. In this method, fruits or vegetables are first frozen very quickly. These crystals are then removed by sublimation. Here, a process based on freezing and extracting the juice contained in the fruit and vegetable is performed.
Among the food drying methods, the lyophilizer option stands out for different reasons. The main reasons for this are listed as follows:
- It is the method by which the nutritional values of fresh foods are best preserved.
- In freeze-drying foods their shelf life is longer than in other methods.
- It can be used not only for vegetables and fruits but also for fish, meat, ice cream, eggs, and dairy products.
- Freeze-drying foods that are increasingly used in homes and professional kitchens saves a lot of money. It also makes an important contribution to sustainability.
What to Use for Home Freeze Drying?
In most houses, products such as peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and apricots are dried in the sun and stored for the winter, following the ancestral traditional methods. However, these traditional methods cannot both preserve their nutritional value and provide no protection for insect larvae and bacteria. As a result, the life of sun-dried fruits and vegetables is not long enough.
Freeze dryer technology, one of the food drying methods suitable for home use, offers great comfort in this regard. It enables you to dry the products you buy in the season in a practical and safe way with a device where you can complete all the processes. So, what is freeze-dryer technology and how does it work?
Freeze Dryer Technology
We talked about food drying methods. We also explained that freeze drying is the most efficient method. So, is it possible to use freeze drying technology as a method of drying your own food at home? It’s possible with Freeze dryer technology!
After the foods are frozen with the effect of low temperature and pressure, the water in them is withdrawn in gaseous form without ever passing through the liquid state. This method, called sublimation, ensures that the water, which causes the food to spoil easily, is removed from the food in the fastest way, while preventing the loss of color, odor and taste. Unlike sun drying or sulfur drying methods, it can be used not only for vegetables and fruits, but also for other foods.
You can browse and order freeze dryers, which have fast and practical installation, from our site. You can dry many different foods such as fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, baby food, ice cream by removing the water in them and keep them in the same freshness for years.
You can reach our previous article from https://liyolife.com/en/freeze-dry-machine-maintenance-and-repair/