Thursday, November 29, 2007


The length of time you can store dried food depends on
The type of food
Factors related to the drying process (pretreatment and final level of moisture in the dried food)
Packaging of the dried food

The storage area

An ideal storage area for dried food is cool, dark, and dry. The cooler the storage area, the longer the shelf life. Dark areas are ideal because light fades fruit and vegetables and decreases their vitamin A and C contents. The storage area need not be fancy; a ark, unheated closet or drawer works fine. Metal containers have the advantage of keeping their contents in darkness. Glass or plastic containers can be covered with a cardboard box, a barrel, or black plastic to keep light out.

Many people store dried foods in the refrigerator or freezer, which keeps quality high.

During storage at room temperature, the most common type of spoilage is mold growth. Molds can grow in foods that are not completely dry and in foods that absorb water when they are packaged or stored in moist conditions. (Remember: don’t consume moldy foods. Some toxic molds can grow at room temperature.) Dried food will probably not absorb enough water to allow bacterial or yeast spoilage. One typical change that occurs during storage is “Maillard browning,” which involves complex chemical reactions between the food’s sugars and proteins. Other chemical changes that may take place during storage include loss of vitamin C or other nutrients, general discoloration, changes in food structure leading to an inability of the dried food to fully rehydrate, and toughness in the rehydrated cooked product.

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