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PREPARATION
Peel and core, cut into slices or rings one-eighth to one-quarter inch thick. Peelings may be left on, however they tend to toughen during dehydration.
Fruits that are to be dehydratedare pretreated to prevent discoloration by oxidation, to keep a fresher color, to have a more pliable texture, and to help retain vitamin A and C.
Each of the following pretreatments perform auseful part of the dehydrating process and each has merit. Personal preference should be your guide.
Sodium Bisulfite:
Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sodium bisulfite in one quart of water and add cut fruit.Slices of fruit should be soaked for no more than 10 minutes. Drain and dehydrate. (CAUTION: Sodium Bisulfite can affect anyone with asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems.)
Ascorbic Acid:Dissolve one tablespoon of pure crystalline ascorbic acid in one quart of cold water. Add cut fruit and soak for a few minutes; remove with a slotted spoon; drain well and dehydrate.
Lemon Juice:Use one cup lemon juice to one quart water. Soak the fruit for no more than ten minutes. Drain and dehydrate. (Lemon juice is only one-sixth as effective as ascorbic acid.)
NOTE: After pretreating,the apple slices may be sprinkled with cinnamon or flavored gelatin crystals.
DRYING METHODS
Sun Drying.
This method takes 3-4 hot days (98-100 degrees F). Be sure to cover fruit with screen orcheese cloth to keep away insects. Bring in or cover at night to keep moisture from collecting. To "pasteurize" sun dried fruit in order to prevent contamination from insects, freeze for 28-72 hours.Oven Drying.
This is generally the fastest method. The temperature should be no higher than 140 degrees, leave the door ajar; place a fan so it blows across the opening and carries the moistureaway.
Dehydrator Method. The temperature should be 150 degrees for 2-3 hours, then reduce to 130 degrees until dry.
Fruit is dry when it is soft and pliable with no moist area in the center when cut....
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