Dried foods are those that have been stored for a long period of time in an air tight container to preserve them. Dried foods are not edible, but their preservation makes them interesting curiosities for those who love to collect various types of preserved food. Dried foods have been used in history for everything from food preservation to being a means of making storage foods for emergencies. Dried foods and other dried foods contain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts and are able to help you reach your dietary goals. Here is a brief description of how this process works and what you can expect from your dried foods.
Dried foods are food that has been dried at a high temperature, usually above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Dried foods are normally stored in air tight containers in order to preserve them, but there are certain foods that must be stored in a low temperature environment in order to preserve them properly. Dried foods are commonly referred to as “frost-proof” or “dormant food.” Dried fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, meats, dairy products, ice cream, sherbet, teakettle chips, dried herbs such as basil, and dried foods such as sorrel are examples of these types of products kingfoods.
Dried foods can be used in a variety of culinary applications. Dried fruits can be used as a filling for cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, ice cream, sherbets, or as a topping on hot coffee drinks. Dried vegetables, fish, meats, mushrooms, dairy products, and sherbet can be used to dress up salads and other foods. For a long time, teakettle chips were used as a marinade for fish, but using a dry heat source for cooking vegetables made the fish rubbery enough without burning it.
The primary benefit of dried foods is the ability to retain much needed vitamins and minerals, but preservation also has its benefits. Dehydration can cause spoilage. When food is exposed to the air for too long after it has been exposed to moisture, microbial growth occurs. This growth creates toxins and free radicals that attack the nutrients in the food. These toxins and free radicals are removed from the food during the storage process, but not before microbial growth takes place.
As an example, storing dried foods in airtight containers helps to keep them fresh longer than if they were stored in loosely sealed bags. Airtight bags allow moisture to evaporate faster, allowing air to permeate the bag and out into the container and into the food. On the other hand, loose bags allow moisture to escape faster, which allows moisture to penetrate the bag and into the food faster, allowing food to spoil more quickly. Dehydration of foods is particularly dangerous for dried fruits, such as raisins and dried pineapple slices, which are exposed to air after they have been stored for any length of time.
Dried foods can also benefit from some common sense, as well. Although you should never put dried foods into your microwave, if you do plan to freeze dry foods make sure you wrap them in a freezer bag and store them in a cool, dry place. Food spoilage is easier with air-based foods than with liquids, as the moisture content of air-borne foods is much less than that of liquids. Food preservatives can be added to dry foods to prolong their shelf life, but this can increase the cost. Store dried foods at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator, which allows you to control moisture content and preserve the food as much as possible.