Sun drying process
is very slow, because it uses the heat from the sun and the natural
of the air, and requires a good deal of care. Keep in mind that natural
heat is less dependable
and much slower than controlled drying in an oven or food dryer.
must be protected from insects and covered at night. Sun drying is not
as sanitary as other methods of drying. Don't sun dry food if the
is humid or you live in an area where the air is not clean or if you
near a busy road.
Place prepared pieces of food on screens, drying racks
(or natural dryer) and then cover them with a layer of cheesecloth or
to keep off dust and insects.
Two stainless steel screens are the best
for drying food, one acts as a shelf and the other as a protective
You can use plastic screens or teflon coated screens. Screens or racks
need to be safe for contact with food. Do not use screens made from
because copper destroys vitamin C and increases oxidation. Avoid
made from aluminum because they tends to corrode and discolor. Place
screens, racks or natural dryer in direct sunlight on a high surface
from animals and dust. It is good idea to place racks over a sheet of
or tin because the reflection of the sun on the metal increases the
When food is almost dry, put it in an airy, shady place to
prevent scorching during the final stage of drying. The length of time
to sun dry foods depends on the type of food and the atmospheric
Fruits take 4 to 7 days to dry in the sun.
trays or dryer during the night because dew and sudden temperature
put moisture back into the food and lengthen the drying time. If the
in your area drops more than 20 degrees F during the night time bring
dryer indoors at night.
|Did You Know?
|Solar dehydration of foods requires
humidity (below 60 percent is best) and 4 to 5 consecutive days when
temperature is around 100 degrees F. You can buy or prepare your own
dryers use a reflectant such as stainless steel, aluminum
foil or glass to increase the sun's temperature by 20º to
To improve air current they have air vents at each end. Cooler air
the dryer, crosses the food, removes moisture and escapes. Frame is
with plastic and prevents rain or condensation from dampening the food
and screens over the vents keep insects off the food.
dryers may need turning
or tilting throughout the day to capture the direct, full sun and food
on the shelves needs to be stirred and turned several times a day.