Taiwan is the kingdom of fruits, and summer is also the season of abundant fruits. It is now popular for people to go to hypermarkets or use home delivery to buy fruits box by box from the producer. When a large number of fruits are ripe at the same time, in addition to eating them all or putting them in the refrigerator at the risk of increasing blood sugar and calories, it is also a good way to store them as dried fruits.
Dried fruit removes more than 75% of the water content of the fruit, which greatly reduces the size of the fruit and is easy to carry and store. According to the research of Brigham Young University in the United States, dried fruit can be stored for more than 30 years without spoilage under proper humidity and storage conditions, because the drying process reduces water and enhances alkalinity so that microorganisms cannot grow. Although the volume is greatly reduced, this fruit still retains 100% of the original vitamins, minerals, nutrients and enzymes, and the flavor is greatly improved during the process of concentration and drying. Dried fruit is also easy to carry and store in hot weather, light in weight and does not need to be kept fresh. If you are engaged in multi-day mountaineering and camping activities or long-term outdoor sports, dried fruit is definitely the first choice of energy and vitamin C supplement sources. In addition, dried fruit is also an important pastry material. Adding appropriate dried fruit when making bread or cake with a bread machine will greatly improve the flavor and taste of the final product.
However, it is difficult for us to understand the production environment, process, packaging materials, storage and hygienic conditions of the dried fruits sold in the market. For commercial sale, it is also difficult for us to control whether chemical additives such as sugar or saccharin, coloring and preservatives are added to dried fruit. In order to ensure that there is no health pollution in the process of enjoying dried fruit, I decided to experiment and make it myself. At this time, it is time to introduce the food dryer! Most consumers have ovens in their homes. You may ask, why do you need a food dryer ? When answering this question, we have to Let’s review the traditional way of making dried fruit first.
Photo Credit: Trip Advisor
Most of the traditional dried fruits are placed on the scaffolding, straw or the ground and exposed to the sun for a period of time to remove moisture. The temperature during the sun exposure plus the temperature absorbed by the exposed surface is about 40-60°C , so it is a Low temperature and long process. Unless the household oven can also be set to bake at a temperature below 60°C, the vitamins and nutrients are likely to be lost during the high-temperature process of drying fruits at temperatures above 150°C in ordinary ovens, and the fruits after high-temperature baking are prone to over-oxidation. The taste and flavor also change, and the color of dried fruit tends to darken or turn black. The common food dryer can set the temperature between 30-80°C and the timing function for several days to achieve a drying method close to the sun, so it is also the most suitable for making dried fruits and vegetables at home Even an alternative to jerky.
The next article will introduce common food dryer brands and functions, as well as my own purchasing experience.