FAQs

Q?

What is food dehydration?

A.

Food drying, also called food dehydration, is the process of removing water from food, thus inhibiting the growth of microorganisms (enzymes) and bacteria by the circulation of hot, dry air through the food.

Q?

What is the best way to store the food once it is dry?

A.

Any sterilised, rigid airtight container offers a convenient storage method and the dried food can be stored for many months without the risk of spoiling. Food should fill the containers to minimise the volume of air left in the container. Some people will go one step further and use a vacuum sealer to exclude air and preserve more of the nutrients over time. Vacuum sealed bags take up less space too.

Q?

How long can dried foods be stored?

A.

Dried foods will last from one season to the next. Dried herbs and spices last a very long time. Air, water, and light are the three enemies to keeping food fresh. Keep those three enemies to a minimum and prolong the shelf life of your fresh fruits, veggies, and pre-cooked meats.

Q?

How does drying affect the nutritional value of foods?

A.

Dehydration minimally affects the nutritional value of foods. Most research on the nutritional value of dried foods has been conducted on foods that are commercially dried. When you dry foods under gentle conditions (correct temperature and a reasonable amount of drying time), you produce a high-quality product. Compared with canning and freezing, both of which involve extreme temperatures, food drying is the least damaging form of food preservation.

Here are some specifics:

  • Vitamin A is retained during the drying process. Because vitamin A is light sensitive, foods that contain it-like carrots, bell peppers, mangoes-should be stored in a dark place.
  • Some vitamin C is lost during the drying process because vitamin C is an air-soluble nutrient and food drying is an air-based process. When a food is sliced and its cells are cut, the surfaces that are exposed to air lose some vitamin C content.
  • The caloric value of a fresh food stays the same when it is dried, although some dried foods, fruits for example, taste sweeter because the water has been removed and the sugar is concentrated.
  • Dried fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and carbohydrates, neither of which is affected by drying.
  • Dried fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat. Minerals available in certain fresh fruits-such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, and so on-are also not altered when the fruit is dried.

Q?

How do I properly rehydrate dehydrated foods?

A.

Most dehydrated items are reconstituted by adding hot/boiling water, waiting about five to twelve minutes, and draining the excess water if necessary. Follow instructions on the product packaging.

Q?

Are any preservatives added to INSTA products?

A.

At INSTA Foods, all our products are organic and natural with NO preservatives or additives added during or after the dehydration process.