Dehydrating Food – How Vital Is It In The 21st Century

Dehydration is one of the oldest methods used to preserve food. Having been used by prehistoric people to sun-dry seeds, today, it is used to dry fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, roots and seeds among others. According to history, the North American Indians used dehydration to preserve meat and prevent it from going bad. Around the world, the Japanese dried rice and fish while the Chinese dried eggs.

When early American settlers arrived in America, they dried foods like currants, meat, grapes, and corn. Back then, they used sun drying to preserve the food. Here is how the method works. When food is placed outside in the sun to dry, the rays of the sun evaporate a vast quantity of the water found in the food.

As you already know, bacteria thrive well in moist and wet conditions. If food is not properly dried, bacteria will act upon the food leading to rot. When food is dried, the water content is reduced making it difficult for bacteria to breed. As a result, food is preserved and can be stored for later consumption.

What is food dehydration?

This is a method of food drying or preservation where food is desiccated thus inhibiting the growth of yeast, mold, and bacteria. According to food dehydrator reviews (fooddehydratorshub.com/food-dehydrators-guide/), many people use modern food dehydrators to remove moisture from food. This device can dry vegetables, meat, and fruit among other foods.

The device works by using heat source and air flow. Since water content is very high – 60% to 75% in animal protein (meat), 85% to 95% for fruits and vegetables, it provides a perfect environment for bacteria to breed. As a result, it leads to the food going bad. Thanks to the dehydrator, it restrains bacteria from growing by using heat and airflow to remove moisture from food. What you ought to know is that this process also reduces the weight of the food. The good news is that the shelf life of your food is extended.

Benefits of food dehydration.

Preserves vital nutrients

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2005, dried vegetables and fruits have twice the amount of antioxidants compared to fresh food. The high content of antioxidants in dried fruits is very important. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals, unstable atoms known to damage cells, promotes aging and causes illness.

As you already know, we are surrounded by processed and packaged foods that contain little or no nutritional value. Since most healthy foods – fruits and vegetables- are not available throughout the year, dehydrating them ensures you have a constant supply of nutritious food.

No preservatives used

When you use a food dehydrator which relies on heat and airflow to lower moisture content in food, it eliminates the need for using chemicals or preservatives to extend the shelf life of food. As you already know, a vast majority of chemicals are formulated from the combination of two or more compounds. While these compounds may not be harmful in a single state, when combined, they become harmful. These chemicals have adverse side effects on the human body – from promoting the onset of health issues and diseases to damaging one’s DNA. This may lead to diseases such as cancer.

Affordable

If you opt to use preservatives or chemicals to preserve your food, you will be forced to purchase the preservatives from the store. Imagine doing this every day, week, month and year. The expenses will be astronomical. When you opt for food dehydration, all you need is to purchase a food dehydrator. As a food drying device, you will only incur the cost of purchase. Thereafter you will enjoy the benefits of drying food without chemicals or added costs.

Reduce wastage

When we don’t preserve food in the correct way, it will go bad after a few days. Since the smell of rotting food is not pleasant, you will be forced to throw food away. According to statistics, $165 billion worth of food is thrown away in the US alone every year. When you opt to dehydrate, you can extend the shelf life of food and prevent wastage.

Why Food Dehydrating works?

Yeast and bacteria are present in the air. When you expose your food for long, the micro-organisms rely on the moisture found in food to grow. As a result, they make food to go bad. When you opt to dehydrate or dry your food, you will reduce water content. This helps to eliminate the perfect breeding ground for micro-organisms. As a result of the action, you will slow down the enzymatic reactions that usually take place in your food. In the end, you will extend the shelf life of your food. That is not all. You will preserve vital nutrients in the food as well as eliminate the need to waste food by throwing it away.

What foods are suitable for dehydrating?

The following is a list of foods suitable for dehydrating:

  • Fruits – Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Cherries, Coconuts, dates, Figs, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, pears, Pineapples and Plums among others
  • Vegetables – Beets, Carrots, Sweetcorn, garlic, Horseradish, Mushrooms, Okra, Onions, Parsnips, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkin and Tomatoes among others.
  • Meat – Beef, Chicken, Fish, Duck breast, Lamb, and turkey
  • Herbs and spices –Ginger, spearmint, Stevia, Basil, Lavender, Thyme, Sage, Yarrow Root and Rose Hips.
  • Roots – Turmeric, Dandelion, Ginger, and Echinacea.