Today we decided to introduce to you the advantages of a healthy process for preparing and storing food, called dehydration. What is good about this process is that a practical maximum level of the food’s nutrients is preserved in spite the thermal treatment.
What is dehydration about?
This process is used to extract water from food at low temperatures thus helping preserve them.
The machine called dehydrator removes moisture using a heat source and air stream.This moisture content is usually too high – around 80-95% for the different kinds of fruits and vegetables, and 50-75% for meat. With reducing moisture content in food, we prevent the spread of bacteria, the main cause of its spoilage.
Dehydration is the most ancient method of food preservation. In the past, people used the sun and fire for this purpose and archaeologists have even found dehydrated food which is believed to be 4000 years old.
Health benefits of dehydrated foods
It is proven that ultra-heat treatment of fooddestroysits vitamins, minerals and all the other beneficial nutrients. Dehydration, however, only reduces the levels of vitamin C. It turns out that some phytochemicals, such as lycopene and polyphenols are even more concentrated in the dried versions of the products.
Dehydrated food belongs to raw cuisine because it does not undergo any cooking or high-temperature treatments and that lets food preserve all of its healthy features.
Raw is considered the food processed at temperatures up to 80°C. This low-temperature treatment preserves all of its healthy features, including the water-soluble vitamins and minerals. It also minimises the loss of the heat-sensitive vitamins A and C. Dehydrated food is not only lighter, but it is also much richer and stronger in aroma and flavour.
The process of vacuum expansion (PÄX process) and the preservation of vitamins
Ladies and gentlemen,
Fraunhofer IVV has extensive experience in the field of scientific research of products based on the process of vacuum expansion. This process includes pre-drying of fruits and vegetables under mild conditions and then increasing their volume by spontaneous evaporation of the residual water. This gentle method of texture, which does not require the use of sugar or other supplements, works at temperatures under 70°С and gives food unique structure and intensifies the colour and flavour of fruits.
Recent analysis shows that there is good preservation of valuable ingredients such as minerals and vitamins during the process of vacuum expansion. For example, in raw fresh fruits and vegetables up to 80% of vitamin C, which is often used as an indicator of processes of thermal decomposition,is preserved.
This improved process of drying of fruits and vegetables preserves not only theiraroma and flavourin an extraordinary way, but also the nutritionally important components for our health-conscious consumers.