Drying Method of Food Preservation with Types, Examples

Drying is one of the oldest and most common methods of food preservation. It involves removing water from food products to prevent microbial growth and enzymatic activity, thereby extending their shelf-life. Drying also reduces the weight and bulk of food products, making them easier to transport and store.

There are different methods of drying food products, but they can be broadly classified into two categories: sun drying and artificial dryer.

Sun drying

Sun drying is a natural and widely used method for food preservation, especially for Mediterranean herbs, spices and dried fruits. It involves exposing food products to direct sunlight or solar heat, assisted by the movement of surrounding air. Sun drying requires a dry and sunny climate, with temperatures above 98°F (37°C) and low humidity. It also requires careful protection of food products from insects, dust, rain and night moisture. Sun drying is relatively slow and depends on the weather conditions. It can take several days to dry food products completely.

Artificial dryer

Artificial dryer is a term that covers various types of dryers that use controlled heat and air circulation to dry food products. Artificial dryers can be classified into solid surface dryers, adiabatic dryers, foam-mat dryers and freeze dryers. Artificial dryers have several advantages over sun drying, such as faster drying rate, better quality control, less risk of contamination and spoilage, and year-round operation. However, artificial dryers also have some disadvantages, such as higher capital and operating costs, higher energy consumption and possible loss of nutrients and flavor due to high temperatures.

In conclusion, sun drying and artificial dryer are two different methods of drying food products with their own pros and cons. Depending on the type of food product, the desired quality, the available resources and the environmental factors, one method may be more suitable than the other for food preservation.