Dried Food: Does It Lose Its Nutritional Value?

dried strawberries

Dried food gets rid of more than water; dried food also loses nutritional value. While dried food has many advantages, you should not rely on it for your only source of fruits and vegetables because of the nutritional loss.

Nutrient Loss from Drying food

There are different drying processes. Some are harsher than others, but all will destroy some level of nutrients. Electric dehydrating preserves the most nutrients, which is one reason why it is considered the best method to dehydrate food at home. For example, berries, which are rich in phytonutrients as well as flavonoids like malvidin, petunidin, and peopnidin, are commonly dried. Since phytonutrients and flavonoids are damaged by oxygen, light, and heat, drying these foods means they lose nutritional value.

Ways to Dehydrate Fruits and Vegetables at Home

You can use the sun to dry food. For this method to work you will need three to four days of consecutive sun where the temperature is at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be difficult to maintain. You can also prepare dried food in the oven as long as you can keep the temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the food to dry properly. The biggest draw back to oven drying is the loss of taste and nutrients. The electric dehydrator is the most convenient and the most energy efficient. It retains the largest amount of flavour and reduces the amount of nutrient loss.

What You Should Know About Dried Food

Dried fruits and vegetables are a healthy replacement to junk food or other sweet snacks. Athletes eat dried fruits as a quick energy source. While fresh fruit should always be your first choice, dried food provides an alternative to fresh fruits and vegetables.