four months to eight months (stored at 60° F), depending on storage
conditions. Store in cool, dry, dark areas. For best quality, store
60 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it is not necessary to store dried food
in a refrigerator or freezer, except for meat jerky, low (under 60°
F) temperatures extend the shelf life. Dried foods must be stored
to maintain the very low moisture content and to prevent microbial
Proper storage prevents insects and rodents from eating the food. It
keeps moisture out and saves nutrients. Before packing foods, the dried
pieces should be allowed to cool for a short amount of time.
after the product has cooled the food should be stored. Use glass jars,
metal cans or boxes with tight-fitting lids or vapor-proof freezer
Heavy-duty plastic bags with press-together seals are acceptable, but
not insect or rodent proof. Screw lids or covers on glass jars to
insect contamination, but it is not necessary to heat-process the jars.
Note: To be
sure that the food remains dry, add dessicant or silica gel which you
purchase in the notions or housewares section of a department store or
at hobby shops. Place the substance in the glass jar to cover the
of the container to a depth of ¼-inch thick.
any moisture from the surroundings and prevents the food from absorbing
moisture. Place the dried food wrapped in a sealed plastic bag over the
dessicant and tightly seal the jar. Packaged dried food should be
in a dry, cool, 60° F place. Dried food should also be kept out of
the sun to prevent discoloration and nutrient loss.
Dried foods in sealed
plastic bags may also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
The shelf life of
food dried in the home is not as long as the shelf life of commercially
freeze-dried products, because freeze-dried foods are first frozen at
F and then placed in a chamber connected to a vacuum pump and heat is
to the frozen food after the air is evacuated from the chamber and the
ice sublimes or evaporates directly into vapor.
is not practical for home use because elaborate and expensive equipment
containers within seven to 10 days to see if moisture is present. If
see moisture, remove food and redry at 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
food is moldy, discard it.
|Did You Know?
cooled dried jerky strips in an airtight plastic food bag or jar with a
tight fitting lid. Pack jerky with the least possible amount of air
the container. Too much air causes off-flavors and rancidity to
develop. Label and date packages. Store containers of jerky in a cool,
dry, dark place or the refrigerator or freezer. Properly dried jerky
will keep for approximately two weeks in a sealed container at room
temperature. It will keep for 3 to 6 months in the refrigerator and up
to one year in the freezer. Check occasionally to be sure
no mold is forming.
Only tested recipes that assure
adequate destruction of bacteria
should be used for fruit leather
and jerky preparation.