Food dehydrating is the process of removing water from food by circulating hot, dry air through the food. This is done at a temperature low enough not to cook the food. When food is dried using this process, it inhibits the growth of bacteria, yeast, mold, and other microorganisms (aka enzymes). This method has been used for thousands of years and is traditionally executed through evaporation by using the sun to dry foods. However, with the invent of food dehydrators, the process can be completed much more efficiently and with more consistent results.
Dehydration minimally affects the nutrients of the food. Some foods may taste sweeter because of the water content being removed and thereby increasing the concentration of sugars. Compared with freezing or canning food, food dehydration is the least damaging food preservation method. Here are a few details:
- Calorie count is not impacted.
- Food retains most of its Vitamin C and all of its Vitamin A.
- Fiber and carbohydrates, as well as minerals such as potassium, are retained.
Many companies charge a pretty penny for packaged dehydrated food such as jerky and fruit leathers. Making these healthy treats, yourself isn’t as hard as they would like you to think. By dehydrating food, you can make as much as you want at a low cost, and if you have extra it can easily be stored for later.