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Food Dehydration - Step 1a - Sulfite Dip

Food Dehydration - Step 1a - Sulfite Dip

Dry your own fruits, vegetables and other foods

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Sulfite Dip treatments to prevent browning

If you don't use a sulfuring treatment, many fruits, especially apples, pears, and peaches, will gradually darken during drying and storage. Fruits may be dried without sulfuring, but this sulfuring decreases the loss of vitamins A and C and preserves color and flavor. Sulfuring also deters bugs and souring. Is sulfuring safe?  Yes, it's been around for generations, and while a very small number of people are allergic to it (remember the salad bars?) someone is allergic to almost everything on the planet... Sulfite dips are as effective as smoke sulfuring but are much easier and faster, and don't require you to make trays or boxes. .

Supplies needed:

You will need

  • trays,
  • a box to place over the fruit, and
  • an outdoors workplace (a screened canopy over a picnic table is perfect)
  • You can use sodium bisulfite, sodium sulfite or sodium meta-bisulfite that are USP (food grade) or Reagent grade (pure). These are typically sold at drugstores or hobby shops, and wherever wine-making supplies are sold. You can order it online here or from the boxes at right.


Sulfur only the amount of fruit you can dry at one time. Basically, you will create tarys with wood slats or cheesecloth over wood slats and stack them, The burning sulfur will rise through the trays, treating the dried fruit.

Step 1 - Prepare the sulfur solution

Prepare your solution as follows, depending upon the type of sulfur you have:

  • Dissolve 3/4 to 1.5 teaspoons of sodium bisulfite in a quart of water.
  • If you are using sodium sulfite, use 1.5 to 3 teaspoons per quart.
  • If you have sodium meta-bisulfite, use 1 to 2 tablespoons per quart

Step 2 - Add the fruit and soak

Place the prepared fruit in the mixture and soak five minutes for slices, fifteen minutes for halves.

Step 3 - Remove and rinse

Remove fruit, rinse lightly under cold water and place on drying trays.

Step 4 - Proceed to drying

Sulfited foods can be dried indoors or outdoors. Note that you should not reuse the sulfite solution. Make a new solution for the next batch.