Food dehydrator is an equipment used to provide enough air and heat to the food to keep the moisture away from it. This helps in aiding in the preservation of food. The objective of food drying, besides preservation, is to sterilize the food. However, recent studies have shown that traditional methods may not be good enough to get rid of salmonella and E.Coli present in meats. When making meat jerky, commercial food dehydrators work well when there is appropriate sunlight.
For homes, food dehydrators come in a variety of sizes, and shapes to dehydrate vegetables, meats and fruits.
Following are the kinds of dehydrators used:.
Solar Powered Dehydrators: Solar powered hydrators are effective not only in areas with proper sunlight and optimum humidity, because the units process the heat and ventilation to the necessary levels instead of relying upon only the quality of natural sunlight. These, in fact, can be used in almost every part of the world where a simple vegetable garden can flourish. The only exception, perhaps, are where the sky is too frequently overcast, like in some northern maritime areas.
Electric Food Dehydrators: Food Dehydrators normally work in a two-fold but simultaneous process. A heating element dries the moisture in the food and brings it down to about 15 – 20%, and a fan blows the hot air with the moisture out. A further categorization is possible here with the convection powered units that do not use a fan at all.
Boxed Dehydrators : Dehydrators may come as units with trays that are to be stacked on top of each other or as rigid boxes with removable trays. Whatever the arrangement, it is important to rotate the trays properly so that only the ones closest to the heating element do not receive the maximum drying.
How to buy a Food Dehydrator
Brand: When buying a food dehydrator, the well established brand must be kept in mind to ensure durability and easy working.
Wattage: Dehydrators with low wattage must be considered and 1000 watts for 10 trays is to be considered while buying a food dehydrator.
Advantages of using Food Dehydrators
Apart from drying and preserving foods, these units can also sprout seeds and hatch chicks, and dry wet leather gloves and shoes, pasta, freshly glued material, and water-damaged books. Using mechanical dehydrators keeps food safely preserved, and the process is cheaper by seven times than freezing and about half as much as canning.