Food dehydration has become very popular in these recent years. It is a great way to get variety and lasting effect from the common organic, raw fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc. These are mostly used due to the increase in popularity of raw foods and the many health benefits that we get from these foods. Table of contentsWhat is Dehydrated Food?Benefits of dehydrated foodProcedures for quality dehydrated foodFaqs What is Dehydrated food? Dehydration or drying of food items is one of the oldest and best ways to preserve food items. It doesn’t require any preservatives, does very fewer changes to the taste of the food items, and also increases the shelf life up to months together. Dehydration removes water or moisture content of the food under controlled conditions such as temperature, humidity, etc. Water is the basic element of every human but is also required for micro-organisms. So when it’s removed, food lasts longer than usual. Benefits of dehydrated food: 1. Improves Gastrointestinal health- Dried foods contain highly concentrated levels of fiber that keep the gastrointestinal system healthy. This fiber also stimulates bowel activity, which treats constipation. The concentrated glucose also stimulates the production of gastrointestinal fluids. These gastrointestinal fluids soften the partially digested food that passes through the intestines.2. High in Iron- Dehydrated foods, like raisins and apricots contain a large amount of iron. A 100-gram serving of dehydrated apricots has almost twice the iron than that of the same serving of beef and four times the same serving of chicken. Also, the vitamin C needed to improve the absorption of iron are also provided by these dehydrated foods.3. Stronger bones- Beet greens, blackberries, figs are just a few of the many dried fruits that have huge amounts of calcium. Calcium is a bone-building nutrient which helps in keeping the skeletal system healthy. Calcium also helps in the absorption of other nutrients from the food that we eat.4. High in Antioxidants- Antioxidants are nutrients which neutralize the damaging effects caused to cells. A study shows that oxidative stress due to free radical damage leads to various chronic diseases, including cancer. Thus, antioxidants are a necessity, which is in huge amounts in dehydrated foods.5. Easy to digest- Dried foods are delicious, keeping their nutrients and sugars in concentrated form. The small size and fewer fats in these foods are also easy on your stomach.6. Improves Immunity- Dehydrated foods usually lose their vitamin C contents, but in case of some orange and yellow colored fruits like pineapples, apricots, papaya, we get plenty of vitamin A, which helps n increasing the immunity of human body.7. Nutritious and Healthy- Dehydration benefits you by keeps the original vitamins, minerals, and the natural enzymes of the food. Even study shows that dried foods have nearly twice the amount of antioxidants as their fresh versions. Plus, in the present times, when we are mostly surrounded by packaged and chemically altered food items, dehydrated foods are a boon. As most of the water is extracted from the dried fruits, all the nutrients are condensed into small packets. Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, etc have high contents of beta-carotene, vitamin A, E, C, iron, calcium, and potassium.8. Easy to store and preserve- By removing the moisture of the food, the growth of bacteria is also decreased, so the food stays preserved and safe for much longer. As for storage, the size of the food is decreased, making storage very easy and we can store larger amounts also. Procedures for quality dried food:There are certain rules to be considered while drying foods to prevent the spread of pathogens and bacteria in the food. Some of those processes are- l Blanching- Blanching is especially used in fruits and vegetables to maintain their color and flavor. This process includes the immersing of food into boiling salted water or steam for a small amount of time, depending upon the food. Then the food is put in ice water and drained.l Lemon bath- In this process, the food is prevented from formation of oxidation, just like in the case of apples and brinjals. First, add some squeezed lemon juice directly over the food or put it in some water with lemon juice. Let the food dry in that state. After it is completed, dehydrate the food.l Different methods of dehydrating food at home include- Dehydrators, Oven drying, Sun drying, Air drying, Microwave drying. Commonly Asked Questions:1. Is dehydrated food nutritious? The nutrition value of food is affected by dehydration, yet blanching greatly reduces the loss of vitamin A, C, and thiamin during dehydration. So, it is highly nutritious and very beneficial to our body.2. What are the best-dehydrated foods? Fruits- All types of fruits can be dehydrated, and are good for health. Vegetables- Potato, Onions, Peas, Plums. Meat- Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Pork.3. How long can you keep dehydrated food? Dehydrated foods can be stored for a long period of time, if properly sealed and air-tight. Under these conditions, dehydrated food can last for 10 to 15 years, at room temperature. They can last even longer if kept in cooler temperatures.4. What are the drawbacks of dehydrating food? Unfortunately, like the several benefits, there are also some drawbacks of dehydrating foods: i. It can be of high-calorie. ii. It can be high-sugar. iii. It can be high-sodium. Iv. Dehydration removes the moisture content of the food, which is the most important constituent of our body.5. What should we not eat when dehydrated? Cucumbers, watermelons, strawberries, zucchini, celery. These food items are consumed due to their high content of water in them.6. Can dehydrated food go bad? Dehydrated food, if properly sealed, can be kept for a long period of time. But if it is not stored properly, the food will rot or get wasted.