Food Dehydration Options

By: Katherine Adam
August 2004


Removing water from a product—under controlled conditions of air flow, temperature, and humidity—reduces the moisture in the food to some certain level and inhibits the microbial growth that causes decay and spoilage. Pretreatment of some foods before drying preserves flavor, color, and nutrients; prevents microbial contamination; and prolongs shelf life. Removal of moisture also reduces weight—an important consideration for shipping—removes the need for refrigerated shipping and storage, and facilitates formulation of pre-mixed retail products. This publication focuses on commercial-scale food drying methods and equipment. It also outlines solar food drying technology that tends to be of lower cost and smaller scale in its application.

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