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Food Dehydration - Step 5 - Packaging

Food Dehydration - Step 5 - Packaging

Dry your own fruits, vegetables and other foods

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Storage containers

Choosing the right storage container is as important as properly drying the fruit or vegetables.

Glass containers, such as regular canning jars, are excellent for storage because any moisture that collects on the inside can be seen easily
Modern vacuum food sealers do a great job and have become inexpensive.
See this page for complete vacuum food sealer descriptions and choices or a few examples at right

Packaging the dried foods

  1. Packing/Sealing the dried food: Dried foods are susceptible to insect contamination and re-adsorption of moisture and must be properly packaged and stored immediately.
    First, cool completely. Warm food causes sweating which could provide enough moisture for mold to grow.
    Package dehydrated foods in sealed containers, See the next step for proper vacuum sealing
    Keep in mind, Vacuum food sealers and their bags a a great alternative to glass jars, which weigh much more and can break.
  2. Vacuum Packing Dried Produce -
    This helps to get moist air out of the jars and seal them. Never vacuum pack your dried vegetable unless you know they are truly dry, either by drying to a brittle stage or by calculation. For vegetables, dry to 90% solids level.
    1. Fill canning jars with dried fruit.
    2. With the lid lightly screwed down, place jars in a 325 F oven for 15 minutes.
    3. Using oven-proof gloves, tighten the lids when you remove the jars from the oven.
    4. About an hour later, when the jars have cooled, test the lids on the dried fruit to see that they have sealed.  Just press in the middle of the lid. If it is sealed, it will be sucked down.  If it can be flexed up and down, it is not sealed.
  3. Fruit that has been sulfured should not touch metal. Place the fruit in a plastic bag before storing it in a metal can. Sulfur fumes will react with the metal and cause color changes in the fruit.
  4. Pack as tightly as possible without crushing.
  5. Pack food in amounts that will be used in a recipe. Every time a package is re-opened, the food is exposed to air and moisture that will lower the quality of the food.

Next - Storing the dried foods