What information can you give me on drying vegetables, specifically tomatoes?

C.S.KentuckyAnswer: Thank you for requesting information from ATTRA on vegetable drying designs and methods (tomatoes). Please refer to the ATTRA publication Food Dehydration Options. This publication covers mid-to-large-scale food dehydration methods for the U.S.Referenced below is information from Golden Harvest Organics on some low-tech methods for drying tomatoes. Note that for successful sun drying you may need as many as 12 days of continuous hot sunshine (with low humidity) . The referenced research paper on using geothermal energy for tomato drying makes the same point: “Sun drying?is limited to climates with hot sun and dry atmosphere with strong winds. Typical areas with such climates are most of the Mediterranean regions.” In the U.S. Southern California is about the only area where sun drying is feasible. Strict food laws and regulations govern drying of cut vegetables intended for sale to the public.Inventor Allen Dong (1) is a good source of plans for low-tech food dryers. These plans are best accessed via the Web. Allen makes his inventions freely available to the public without patenting them.http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooking/cooking.htm#Dryingwww.doomers.us/forum2/index.php?action=printpage;topic=17147.0The second Web site is a discussion group for small-scale food dehydration.Reference:1)Allen DongI-TechP.O. Box 413Venita, OR 97487Resources:Andritsos, N. P. Dalampakis, and N. Kolios. 2003. Use of geothermal energy for tomato drying. GHC Bulletin. March. p. 9?13.Golden Harvest Organics. 2006. Sun or oven drying tomatoes for storage. 6 p.