Dry foods are the dried form of a plant or fruit. Dried foods have undergone several processes so that they can be stored either for extended periods or for a short period of time. These foods are available in the market in dried forms or can be preserved in other ways as well. In the process of drying foods, certain amount of moisture is left in the food and this is called dry storage. The purpose of dry storage is to retain the nutrients of the food.
Food drying is also a procedure of food preservation where dried foods are dried. Dried foods are not as nutritious as fresh foods but they do maintain some nutrients which are lost during the process of preserving. Drying prevents the growth of fungi, yeasts, molds, and bacteria during the removal of moisture. There are different methods of drying foods like oil drying, air drying, microwave drying, food drying in oven and others.
Dried fruits are dried fruits that are kept for a long time and are mainly used for preservation of foods. These dried fruits consist of the pulp and the skin. Dried fruits contain almost ninety percent of the total moisture in it. Other foods such as vegetables, meats, cheeses, dried herbs and mushrooms also consist of dried foods soft dried orange.
Dried foods are dried for extended periods of time by using a cold process called slow freezing. For vegetables, they are dried using a cold process called cold air method. In case of meat and fish, the moisture is dried using an oven method. However, with respect to mushrooms, slow freezing is used. The mushrooms get dried in the freezer and are placed on the shelves in the fridge for a longer period of time so that they can retain the moisture.
Freeze-drying is an alternate to the traditional way of drying foods in the open. When you dry foods by freeze-drying, the nutrients are locked in the food. This helps in retaining all the vitamins, minerals and moisture of the food. Freeze-drying also prevents any loss of vitamins, minerals and moisture from the food during storage. However, in the case of meat and fish, they are better preserved by being cooked in salted water or by wrapping them in aluminum foil and storing them in a refrigerator.
There are different methods of drying different types of foods. A few of them are instant, air-dry, cold air dry and hot air dry. The most commonly used method is the air-dry method, which is appropriate for foods such as vegetables and fruits. This method of drying is important as incomplete drying may spoil the food. The complete drying of the food releases the moisture and also ensures the freshness of the food for a longer period of time.