Evolution of food preservation methods!
With the journey from primitive age to modern age, the world has undergone drastic changes in all aspects, but the role of food still remains the same. Food has its own significance which cannot be replaced, as it is the source that keeps us alive. Though a necessity, food scarcity was a major issue for the primitive man; the skill of finding and cooking food was fundamental. With the idea of storing abundant food for further use, came the concept of ‘food preservation’. The technique of food preservation was a major step towards civilization. The procedure of drying, freezing, pickling and canning are some of the traditional techniques of food preservation that evolved at a later stage of civilization.
The modern era made way for the new techniques of food preservation. The modern techniques include dehydration, vacuum drying, pasteurization, usage of chemical additives, adding a touch of sophistication to traditional methods. Beyond being just applicable to the domestic process, food preservation has become an integral part of food processing industry.
Dehydrators, traditional method with a modern touch!
Food dehydrator is an important kitchen tool for preserving food. Being an economical method, food dehydrators preserve food, while keeping intact the nutritional values. As suggested by experts, food dehydrators are one of the healthiest way to preserve food. Without the use of chemicals or toxins, food dehydrators just work with simple mechanism of removing moisture from the food. Commercial dehydrators and fruit dehydrators are upgraded form of storage, extending their applications across various sectors.
Working mechanism: Dehydrators work with heat source and airflow. Water content in the food serves as a base for growth of bacteria, which leads to the spoilage of food. Dehydrators work by removing water from the food, which would reduce the growth of bacteria to a considerable amount, helping prevent food from getting spoilt. Dehydrators are used for preserving food for a longer time.
Features that make the food dehydrator a masterpiece
The following features should be considered while buying a dehydrator –
Fan: Fan forms an important part of dehydrators. The dehydrators with fan are the most reliable ones. Fan help in distributing moisture and removing it from the chamber. Absence of fan leads to increase in humidity, leading to spoilage of food. It is always wise to consider dehydrators with fan.
Heating element: A temperature control heating element is needed to maintain the target temperature.
Easy maintenance: The dehydrators with stacking plates or trays are easier to clean and maintain. Easy removing of stacks and tray enables easy cleaning.
Shape: It is logical to buy a dehydrator with circular shape rather than a rectangular one. The circular dehydrators allow quick and even distribution of heat.
Benefits of dehydrators
Food preservation: Being one of the widely used techniques of food preservation, dehydrators suit domestic and commercial applications; works with de-hydrating mechanism, i,e removal of water.
Retaining nutrition: The beauty of dehydrators is that, they preserve the food without effecting its nutrition value.
Versatile: Use of dehydrators are not restricted to drying of fruits, vegetable etc. the food range extends to wide variety of food items like beef jerky.
No addition of chemicals: Unlike many of the preservation processes which involve use of preservatives and chemicals, dehydration is the safest way to preserve food. No chemical and no loss of nutrition, it forms the effective preservation method.
Reduce waste: Wastage of food is no longer a concern. With the dehydrators, the food can be preserved and used for further use.
Cost effective: The dehydrators are undoubtedly the cost- effective method of preservation. It’s a onetime investment and long term use product.
With the idea to improve the electric dehydrators, solar dehydrators came into existence. Connecting with nature, these dehydrators use solar power to dry food. These cost-effective dehydrators are suitable for drying large amount of food. Though drying is an effective means of preservation, exposure to direct sunlight may lead to loss of vitamins. Hence, direct exposure of food to sunlight is not advisable. The solar dehydrator use sunlight indirectly by heating up mechanism. The food gets dried up naturally and efficiently without the use of fans.
Using age-old process of drying, the dehydrators don’t need any chemicals or preservatives to preserve food. Being an effective and cheap method of food preservation, one should consider buying a dehydrator.