Storing Dehydrated Food – These 5 Products Keeps your Food Safe
The food drying is one of the best ways to preserve foods for a longer period. But do you know that if you do not store them in the right way then, it can spoil all your hard work?
Earlier people used to store the dried food in the airtight containers or jars, but now there are few more options which are available for you. People can easily do the dehydration of the food but doesn’t know exactly about the process of storing such food.
Usually, all dehydrated foods can store for around 3 to 6 months without excessively extra care. Such type of foods recognized as "shelf-stable" which means that there will be no change in the quality as well as the nutrient levels of the food after storing. If you save them wisely, then this might increase their shelf life.
First of all, let’s get familiar with the factors which influence the quality of the stored dried food then, we will tell you about the method of storing the dried food judiciously for better results.
Factors Which Affect the Quality and Shelf Life of the Store Dried Food
The following are the factors which affect the affect the quality of the store dried food, so if you keep them in your mind while storing the dried food then that will be going to benefit you a lot:
The stored dried food can only last for a longer period if it has the cooler as well as more stable temperature. Such temperature does not allow the formation of the mold spores and their reproduction. For dehydrated foods, usually room temperature (65 degrees F to 72 degrees F) is adequate to get a shelf life of more than 20 years.
The following are the favorable and unfavorable locations for temperature:
The Basement of House, Cellar, Lower Level of a House, Closet Space or Kitchen Cabinets.
Attic, the upper floor of a multi-level house, in a vehicle or top floor crawl space.
The life and the quality of the store dried food can also increase if you minimize the amount of light which is getting towards the food. The reason behind this fact is that the mold bacteria like to reproduce in the light, but the dark and the reflective containers do not let them grow. The glass, opaque, transparent and plastic containers do allow the light to pass through them.
The following are the favorable and unfavorable locations for light:
Dark Underground Room or Basement, a Crawlspace or in the Rear of an Infrequently Used Storeroom or Closet.
Nearby a window, in a regularly used cupboard or closet.
Moisture is one of the major factors which affect the storage of the dry foods. When you dry the food, the moisture gets reduced, and this does not allow the mold or any other organisms to reproduce. Thus, you should store your food which is away from the formation of the moisture.
The following are the favorable and unfavorable locations for moisture:
Places with Good Air Flow, Location with Little Moisture and on Shelves of a Store.
Nearby a bathroom, straight on a concrete floor, under the sink, adjacent to any water piping or in a fenced room without any air flow.
If your food gets dispose-off to the oxygen then, the dried food will get spoil due to the formation of the spores. You will find oxygen everywhere in your home but the best way to get rid of it to use the airtight containers. So as to remove the oxygen that might endure inside the container after sealing, you can insert the gas such as nitrogen for flushing out and substitute the oxygen, or you can also put an oxygen absorber in the airtight container.
Airtight Containers, Mylar Bags. Lidded Bins, or Canned Jars.
Loose lid jars, non-vacuum bags or open containers which expose to the oxygen.
List of Products Which Help in Storing Dehydrated Food Safely
As soon as you dehydrate and cool down your food, you need to vacuum seal them. Such foods can consume in the off seasons or the emergency situations. The following things can use for preserving and storing the dried food for longer shelf life:
- Mason Jars
The Mason jars are great containers for storing the dried food for the daily or the weekly use. You can easily screw off the lid of the mason jars instead of cutting the top seal of the vacuum-sealed bag. These jars can be directly stored in your kitchen cabinets so that you can use the dried food at any time for making any delicious recipes.
- Oxygen Absorbers
It will be very beneficial if you use the oxygen absorbers along with the Mason jars. It is a stress-free method to remove any unwanted oxygen from the jars. For example, in the quart-size Mason jars a 100cc oxygen absorber is sufficient, and for the smaller pint-size Mason jars, a 50cc oxygen absorber is adequate. The usage of the oxygen absorbers is just like you do in the vacuum-sealed pouches.
- Mylar Bags
Mylar bags are an alternative to the Mason jars which mainly designed for the long-term storage accompanied by the oxygen absorbers. These bags mostly used in the food industry which utilizes them for packaging the different food products. Mylar bags are rip-proof, waterproof and reflective which do not allow the light to get the food.
Mylar bags can be seal airtight once you heated them and pushed together. As soon as you combine the sealed Mylar bag along with an oxygen absorber, then such environment becomes perfect for long term food storage. You should remember to keep the food at a constant and cool temperature and do not overfill the bag with the pouches so that your bag does not get punctured.
- Plastic Lidded Bins
The usage of the lidded plastic bins work amazingly for storing the pouches of vacuum-sealed foods which confined in the Mylar bags. This type of plastic container can call "airtight" if you insert a 2,000 CC oxygen absorber before putting on the lid. However, these bins are not airtight, and you can make them oxygen-free with the help of the absorbers machine.
Now you must be thinking then why we are recommending you to use these bins? Well! These containers work remarkably for storing the dried food for long term storage. You can keep your Mylar bags in them safely.
- Feed Buckets with Lids
The feed buckets with lids are certainly air-tight in which you can use the 2,000cc oxygen absorbers along with your Mylar-seized pouches. It is not necessary that you use Mylar bags in these buckets for storing the dried food. But if you use them, then that will keep your food organized and segregated. The buckets with lids keep your food safe from bugs and insects also.
Instructions for Packaging Dehydrated Fruit and Dried Food
The following are the few tips which you can follow for packaging the dehydrated fruit and dried food:
- You should not pack the dried foods for storage till they are totally cool to touch. The air adjacent to the warm dehydrated food has more moisture content that gets released after cooling down. If there are any droplets of water in the storage container, then that will also decrease the shelf life of the dehydrated food.
- Dehydrated fruits should condition before the storage. You should pack them loosely in jars and shake them once in a day after every ten days. Ate the time of the conditioning period, if you see any condensation, then that means your fruits not completely dried.
- The dried food must store in the air-tight containers, airtight jars or plastic freezer bags. While using the freezer bags, you remove the entire air from the bag before sealing.
- The process of Vacuum-sealing provides the best shelf life to the dried food for removing the air and for keeping the moisture and the mold far from the dehydrated food.
- To store the sulfured fruit in any non-metal containers, you must put it in a plastic bag before inserting inside the metal container. Or else, the sulfur can react with the metal and can yield off-flavors.
- The dried foods must store in small batches for retaining the freshness and for reducing the danger of contamination. If you open the container regularly, then the exposure to the air can cause mold or formation of bacteria in the food.
- You should label every single container with the name of the food along with the date of the packaging. It will help you in knowing that which container you need to use earlier.
Important Guidelines for Storing the Dehydrated Food
The following are the few tips which you can follow for storing the dehydrated fruit and dried food:
- The containers in which you store the dried food need to be placed in the cold, dry and dark location. The best temperature for storing the dried food is 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius. The exposure to light can destroy the dehydrated foods. Thus you should place them far from such exposure.
- The dehydrated fruits, as well as herbs, can be put in storage for up to 1 year.
- Dehydrated vegetables and meats can bring into storage for up to 6 months.
- You can store the dried food in the freezer if you want to use them for a longer period.
- If you see the condensation one any of the containers of your home-dehydrated food, then it means that needs to be dehydrated again.
- Always place the older items in the container on the front side so that you can use them earlier than the new one. It benefits in using the high-quality products before.
Tips for Using the Stored Dehydrated Fruit and Food
The following are the tips for using the stored dehydrated fruit and vegetables:
- If you want to preserve the freshness of the dried food, then store the opened containers of dehydrated foods in the freezer or refrigerator.
- Before consuming the dried food, always inspect the quality of the food. In the case of any doubt or if you see any mold, then just discard that food and throw it out.
Pros and Cons of Stored Dehydrated Food
The following are the pros and cons of the stored dehydrated food:
- Storing the food offers longer shelf life.
- You can carry stored dried food on trips or journeys.
- It helps in maintaining the quality of the dried food.
- Keep safe from any mold or bacteria.
- Do not let the food exposed to light, heat, germs and exposure to moisture.
- Stored food is lightweight to carry.
- Some of the storing products are expensive to buy.
- Mylar pouches are inclined to get a puncture.
- Needs adequate and appropriate space for storing.
- If any water content left behind in the dried food, then that can spoil the whole food in the jar.
- You have to check the stored dried food periodically.
Sometimes, in the case of any emergency situations like floods or earthquakes, the stored dried food act as a surviving breathe for so many people. You can use them efficiently on long journeys or trips but only if you have stored them properly.
Eventually, we just want to say that the method of storing the dried food plays the critical role in the shelf life of the foods. There are some ways through which you can store the dried food, but you have to choose the best method that suits your needs and requirements.
In the above article, we have discussed the different ways of storing the dried food along with the useful tips. So, now if you have finished with the dehydration process, then go ahead with the exact storing process of your dried food.
All the best!