Dried foods are those that are made into dried products instead of being eaten raw. This is because some nutrients in dried foods are ruined during the process of curing them. For example, plant fibres become coated with salt, making them less useful than if they had been eaten raw. The same is true for herbs and spices that lose their volatile oils during the curing process.
Dried foods are usually prepared by drying them in low moisture environments, such as in a dehydrator or oven. Food drying is a technique of food preservation where food is dried quickly to reduce moisture levels. Drying encourages the growth of mildew, mould, and bacteria through the elimination of moisture from air. Low humidity conditions are ideal for dried foods, as the absence of moisture encourages plant growth, which produces healthy soil for crop production. It is important to keep dried foods away from high traffic areas, and if possible, to place them out of direct sunlight, as too much sunlight can damage some types of food soft dried papaya.
Good air circulation around your home is the best way to ensure dried foods retain their freshness. One way of achieving this is to remove leaves on green vegetables and dry fruits quickly after they have finished cooking. Do not leave them on the cooker for more than 10 minutes as this may cause them to burn. Similarly, do not place dried fruits in a low-humid environment, as they may bruise or discolor quickly. Also, be careful about placing cooked meat and fish in a low moisture environment; these items tend to lose a lot of moisture through evaporation, so do not place them near a ventilated window.
Many people like to freeze dried foods for later use. However, unless the food has been kept at the correct moisture level (about 75%) it will spoil within a few weeks. If you are going to freeze dried fruits and vegetables, make sure that you keep them in a refrigerator that is not too close to room temperature.
The best way to store dried fruits and vegetables is in airtight containers which are airtight enough to allow good circulation but not so large that they get lost in the bottom of your cabinet. You should keep dried herbs, spices, seafood, dried meat and fish in airtight glass jars. These items will keep for many months. If you are going to use them immediately before they are used, be sure to add water to the jar just before adding them to the recipe. This will prevent spoilage and keep the flavors for a longer period of time.
Dried meat and fish should be vacuum packed in zippered plastic bags. A good food preservation recipe will advise you how to dry fruits and vegetables to preserve them for as long as possible. There are many different techniques, but the most important thing to remember is to never put dried fruits or vegetables into your microwave. It may seem tempting to do this when you are ready to use them, but leaving them in the microwave for any length of time could cause them to deteriorate.