Preserving Food Techniques

By Marjorie J McDonald

Dehydration of fruit, vegetables and meat using food dehydration is one of the oldest sorts of food preserving techniques known to man. Although food preservation is the primary reason for dehydration, dehydration of fruits, vegetables and meats also lowers the cost offinding storage.

Dehydration is an alternative choice to canning (called "bottling" in Great Britain) and freezing fruit and vegetables. If you have a surplus of fruits or veggies from your garden, but lack the canning gear or freezer space, dehydrating could be the right technique for you!

It may also be a good methodology for preparing deer and game that you could have bagged on your recent hunting outing. These may include deer, antelope, elk or moose. Sometimes you can purchase a quarter, half or full side of angus from some meat markets and dehydration is an exceptional way to prepare these for your whole family for using around the year.

Dehydrated foods have several advantages:

- Dehydration is an inexpensive way to save food that is free from fears about botulism
- the dehydrated foods need less storage space than canned products
- there isn't any refrigerator to keep running.

Before Dehydration Pre-drying treatments prepare the raw product for dehydration and include: raw product preparation and color preservation.

Raw product preparation includes:

- selection and sorting
- washing, peeling (some vegetables and fruit)
- cutting into the correct form
- blanching (for some fruits and most vegetables).

Fruit and veggies are selected; sorted according to size, maturity, and soundness; and then washed to remove dust, mud, insect matter, mold spores, plant parts, and other material that might contaminate or affect the color, smell, or flavor of the fruit or vegetables. Peeling or removal of any unattractive parts follows washing.

To prevent browning: try steaming or coating light-colored fruit and vegetables with lemon juice or ascorbic acid (FruitFresh) before drying. Steaming or blanching is also endorsed for vegetables to inactivate enzymes that cause vegetables to age, or get tough during dehydrating.

Before Dehydration for your Prime Meat Cut or cut the slices into the correct size pieces and prepare with spices or marinade if you decide to use them.

After Dehydration Packing of dehydrated fruits, vegetables and beef is an absolute must to protect the dehydrated food against:

- moisture
- light
- air
- dust
- microflora
- foreign odor
- insects
- rodents

Also packaging:

- provides strength and stability to maintain original food size
- shape
- appearance

through storage and serving to your, your friends friends or putting in lunches.

Package with materials that are accepted for contact with food. Cost is also an important element in packaging.

Package types include:

- cans,
- plastic bags
- bins
- cartons, and depend on how much and what your space for storage is like.

Now the only other thing you will be doing after dehydration is eating the efforts of your labor and obviously, enjoying doing that. Occasionally, present giving might be an alternate way to enjoy presenting your friends and family with healthy treats.

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