Dehydration in Food
Dehydration and drying are the most widely used methods of conservation throughout the history of mankind. Formerly, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and fish, dried in the sun to have food in times of scarcity.
Although the objective of both is to reduce the amount of water in fresh foods, what differentiates them is the method used to do so. Dehydration is the reduction of the amount of water by treating the food by artificial heat (previously heated air, hot surfaces, etc.), that is, artificially or industrially. The foods that can be dehydrated are fruits, vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, spices, milk and eggs. Drying is the reduction of the amount of water by treating the food in environmental conditions (sun, wind, etc.), that is, in a natural or artisanal way. The foods that can be dried are fruits (pineapple, mango, papaya), vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, meat and fish.
Advantages of dehydration and drying:
- They increase the useful life.
- No loss of proteins, carbohydrates and fats or lipids.
- They reduce the weight and volume of food, so they reduce storage space and optimise transport and distribution.
- No special facilities are required for later storage.
- They add added value to the food used.
- They avoid the waste of food.
- Food compatible with any other dehydrated food is obtained for the preparation of mixtures and serve as a basis for the preparation of other foods.
- Dehydrated foods are easy to prepare and save time and energy.
- Due to its particular characteristics, it is highly used by athletes or travellers in its passage due to its great versatility.