One of the oldest ways of preserving food is by drying or dehydrating it. Drying removes moisture which is the perfect environment for bacterial and fungal growth. It also makes the food last longer while keeping them safe to eat, making dried meats and fruits tasty snacks that you can eat whenever you feel a pang of hunger while in between meals.
While most of the food is traditionally air or sundried, advances in technology have made it possible to use commercial equipment to remove unnecessary moisture. Dehydrated foods also keep their nutritional value and nutrient content much longer than fresh meats and produce.
Not yet convinced that dehydrated food is good for you? Here are some facts to help you understand why you should include dried fruits and meats in your daily meals.
Higher Nutritional Value
Dehydrated food retains its original nutritional value because no heat is applied to it. The heat application on some food makes it lose some of its vitamins and minerals sensitive to heat. However, because moisture is lost when food is dehydrated, it shrinks in size, making the calorie count higher and the nutrient content more concentrated.
Free of Artificial Flavors and Preservatives
The process of drying meat only involves soaking meat in a solution of salt and other spices. No preservatives and artificial flavours, which are usually used in processed cured meat, are added to prolong their shelf life because removing moisture is enough to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Maintains Its Nutrient Content
Research shows that some fresh produce loses its nutrient content in as short as 24 hours, while meat can only stay fresh and safe to eat for only as long as two days. On the other hand, dehydrated food such as dried meats retains its nutrient content longer because the drying process does not affect the nutrient content of the food.
Lower Risk of Food Poisoning
Uncooked meat should be refrigerated or even frozen to avoid spoilage. Pathogenic bacteria, mould, and fungi can proliferate in unrefrigerated meat and may cause foodborne illnesses detrimental to health. Dehydrating meats remove this risk because no water serves as the perfect environment for the most common bacteria and other microorganisms to grow.
Because moisture is removed when dehydrating food, it effectively concentrates its nutrient content. Some research shows that eliminating moisture makes the concentrated nutrients be absorbed more easily by the body and makes you feel more energised for more extended periods. This is especially true for dehydrated meats, and wherein there is a high protein content known to make you feel full longer and keep your energy levels high.
Gives You Access to Food Even When it is Not in Season
Dehydrating food means you can have foods, and their nutrient contents, that are not in season, making you able to add a variety of nutrients to your food all year round. And a diet that is rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients throughout the year is essential in maintaining good health and well-being.
Reduces Food Waste
When you preserve your food, you are not the only one benefiting from it. Your environment is also benefiting from it by reducing unnecessary food wastage. Maintaining food and using what you only need when you need it reduces that food wastage.
There are so many reasons why people enjoy dried food. They are easy to store and have a longer shelf life. They can be conveniently consumed whenever you feel hungry or serve as a tasty snack in between meals. They are also delicious and healthy snacks that provide you with energy, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These and many other reasons are what make dried food good for you.
Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.