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Don't Skip Dehydrated Food Conditioning: Here's Why

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Dehydrating food is a fantastic way to extend the shelf life of your fruits, vegetables, and even meats. By removing the moisture, you can preserve the flavors and nutrients of your food for much longer than if you were to leave them in the fridge or pantry. However, if you want your dehydrated food to last as long as possible and retain its quality, conditioning is an essential step you can't skip.

What is Conditioning?

Conditioning is the process of equalizing the moisture content of your dehydrated food. Even if it looks and feels dry on the outside, some residual moisture might still be inside the food. If you store it before conditioning, the moisture can cause mold growth or spoilage, wasting effort and money.

How is Conditioning Done

To condition your dehydrated food, let it cool down after dehydrating, usually for about 15 minutes to an hour. Then, you'll want to pack it into an airtight container, such as a mason jar, leaving some space at the top. Next, store the container in a cool, dark place for about 4-5 days, shaking it once daily to redistribute any remaining moisture. This way, the moisture in the food will redistribute evenly, and you'll be able to detect any signs of spoilage before it's too late. If the food sticks or you see moisture, put your food back into the dehydrator. If a few pieces of food stick to the bottom, this is usually caused by compression. As long as they shake off, the food is good.

Why is Conditioning Necessary?

Conditioning isn't just about preventing spoilage; it's also a way to improve the quality of your dehydrated food. By redistributing the moisture, you'll ensure that all parts of the food have the same texture and crispness. If you store your dehydrated food without conditioning, it might develop hard spots or become too brittle, affecting the taste and texture.

Conditioning is an essential step you can't afford to skip when dehydrating food. Not only will it help to prevent spoilage, but it can also improve the quality and texture of your dehydrated food. So, the next time you dehydrate some fruits or vegetables, don't forget to condition them properly before storing them for future use.

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dehydrated food: beans conditioned
Conditioning dehydrated food- what is it and how to do it.

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