Fruit Dehydrator | Special Appliances for Home & Kitchen
- Maurice E. Terry
Have you ever used a fruit dehydrator? Maybe you are very fond of those dehydrated, dry fruits but unaware of their making procedures. A fruit dehydrator is some kind of kitchen appliance which is used to dehydrate fruits. For a dehydrated fruits lover, it can be as much important as other essential kitchen appliances. In fruit dehydration process all the moistures are removed to preserve the fruits for a long time. Dehydrated foods are less affected by bacteria growth preventing spoilage to extend lifespan. A dehydrated fruit loses its actual size, weight, and shape but it does not affect the nutrition value.
You can also rehydrate your fruits after several months of dehydration. Hence, this fruits can be eaten in a dry state or rehydrate state. However, not every fruit is good to be dehydrated. Apples, bananas, pears, pineapples, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, cranberries, dates, and mangoes are the most popular and common fruits that are mostly dehydrated.
The Different Components of a Fruit Dehydrator and Their Functions
Like every kitchen appliance, fruit dehydrator consists of some necessary equipment. The components may vary according to different machines. However, there are some basic components which can be found in most fruit dehydrator. Those are;
- Heating Element
- Food Trays
- Fan And Air Vents
The Heating Element
The heating element is a coiled 8 to 12 inches long element. It is responsible for dehydrating the fruits. According to the temperature setting, the 120-volt heating element heats up the fruits to release water from it. It ensures your fruits are properly dehydrated.
Fan and Vents
The fan and vents both work together to remove moisture by circulating airflow inside the fruit dehydrator. Moisture is released into dehydrator from fruits while heating the fruits. Then fan pushes this excess moisturized air to the vents from where the air is released outside. The moist air gets out, and dry air gets in. This exchange of air prevents fruits to re-absorb water.
Trays or shelves hold fruits which needed to be dehydrated. The number trays and design varies according to different types and models of fruit dehydrator. There can be a fixed number of trays or stackable trays which means you can add more trays if you need more fruits to dry. Electric dehydrators generally consist of circular and rotating trays. There are also multi-tier trays which allow different sizes and types of fruits to be dehydration simultaneously.
The thermostat allows you to control and monitors the internal temperature of the fruit dehydrator. Adjustable thermostat allows the different temperature to be adjusted so that you can dehydrate different types of fruit with your dehydrator.
Different fruits need a different amount of time to be dehydrated properly. Fruit dehydrator timer can define the amount of time and also alert you when the fruits are completely dehydrated.
These are the most common and useful parts of a fruit dehydrator. These parts work continuously with other parts to make perfect dehydrated fruits.
The Working Procedure of Fruit Dehydrators
Certainly, by now you have got the idea of different components of a fruit dehydrator as well as their functions. So, how does a fruit dehydrator work? The working procedure of a fruit dehydrator is pretty similar to those food dehydrators which you may have seen or even used. Let’s learn more, step by step!
Temperature and Time Setup
First thing first! You need to know how much temperature is required to dehydrate a particular fruit. Based on the fruit type you need to set the right temperature. This can be a tricky part, and you might get confused if you decide to dehydrate different types of fruit.
Do not worry! Let us help you in this aspect. Read the below table to know about the temperature setting along with the desired texture of different types of fruits.
|Name of the Fruits||Required Temperature|
|Apple||135 Degrees||7 to 15 hours||Pliable|
|Banana||135 Degrees||6 to 10 hours||Crisp or Leathery|
|Pear||130 to 140 Degrees||8 to 10 hours||Leathery|
|Pineapple||135 Degrees||10 to 18 hours||Pliable|
|Strawberry||125 to 135 Degrees||10 to 14 hours||Crisp|
|Peach||135 Degrees||5 to 24 hours||Pliable|
|Blueberry||135 Degrees||35 hours||Chewy|
|Cranberry||135 Degrees||10-12 hours||Pliable|
|Kiwi||135 Degrees||6 to 12 hours||chewy|
|Mango||135 Degrees||8 to 12 hours||Crisp or Leathery|
When you know the amount of temperature, and the required heating time, it’s easy to adjust the temperature with the regulator and the timer. Most types of fruit dehydrator consist of a regulator which can be used to adjust different temperature setting as well as the required speed of the fan. The timer will let you set up the required time to heat the fruits. A lot of manufacturers provides guides for their specific product. You can also follow that guideline to set up the temperature and time if you get confused.
Fruit Trays and Shelves
Different types of fruit dehydrator offer different types of trays to hold the fruits. Different designs allow different features to be used. However, most of them are designed in a way that fruits never get burned or overheated. Some dehydrators also consist of the transparent lid through which you can check whether your fruits are overly dehydrated or not.
Fruits that requires more heat needed to be placed near to the heating element and those which requires less heat should be placed away from the heating element. However, you cannot maintain this for rotating type strays as they provide the same amount of heat to the entire parts of the stray. Some dehydrator also does not allow different types of fruit to be dehydrated at the same time.
Heat Release to the Fruits
After you place the fruits on the stray, close the lid, set the temperature and time, fruit dehydrators start heating the fruits using the heating element. The primary goal of heating fruits is to make them dry by removing moisture from them.
Depending on the fruit type, the heating procedure may take from a few minutes to several hours. However, some low-quality dehydrator takes more time than advanced dehydrator to heats up the fruits. The heating element is placed and used in a way that the fruits never get too much heat; rather it gets continuous heat to release moisture gradually. The exact heating time of particular fruit can be found in the table mentioned in the above section.
Air Flow Through the Dehydrator
When the fruits are heated up, it started to remove moisture into the machine which produces hot moisturized air. To eliminate this moist hot air, fruit dehydrator uses the fan and vents. The fan circulates hot air and pushes them outside through vents so that fruits remain dry throughout the whole procedure. Depending on the type of dehydrator, fans are generally situated at the top or at the back of the machine. A steady airflow also keeps the temperature at a preferred level. This is the complete working procedure of an ordinary type of fruit dehydrator. When your fruits are ready, or you run out of previously set up time, the dehydrator will notify you so that you can take your desired dehydrated fruits from the dehydrator.
Types of Fruit Dehydrator
There are actually two types of fruit dehydrators. Those are vertical flow and horizontal flow dehydrators. You can also dehydrate your fruits using sun, air or kitchen oven. Of course, you can even make your own DIY dehydrator using light bulbs and different type of screens. However, we focus on two types of fruit dehydrators here.
Vertical Flow Type Fruit Dehydrator
Vertical flow type fruit dehydrators are most common and affordable fruit dehydrator of the market. These types of dehydrator also called the stackable dehydrator.
They consist of a heating element either at the base or at the top of the machine. However, this heating cannot spread heat uniformly to all of the fruits. For this reason, this type of dehydrator is good for soft, less hard fruits. Although, a fan is there to overcome this shortcoming of these type of dehydrators.
Pros of Vertical Flow Dehydrators
- Compact and Smaller In Size
- Stackable Trays Mean You Can Add More Trays If You Need
Cons of Vertical Flow Dehydrator
- Cannot Circulate Heat Uniformly
There are also some good quality fruit dehydrators which offer almost even heat circulation throughout the trays. For instance, Nesco dehydrator heats up fruits I a very less time and also distribute heat in a very evenly manner.
Horizontal Flow Fruit Dehydrator
Horizontal Flow fruit dehydrator works in a bit similar way of a traditional oven. Both of these devices heat up foods form a heating element situated on the back. Compared to the Vertical flow dehydrator, these machines are little more expensive. However, these dehydrators are accurate in heat distribution and work in a faster way. For example, if you use Excalibur food dehydrator, you will be amazed at its faster operation and dehydration quality.
Pros of Horizontal Flow Fruit Dehydrators
- Efficient and Even Heat Distribution
- Works Fine With Tough and Hard Fruits
- No Manual Operation Means Easier To Use
- Works Fine With Different Types of Fruit
Cons of Horizontal Dehydrators
- Large in size
Depending on your right choice, you can buy any of the above-mentioned types of fruit dehydrator. However, to get the best results on any type of fruits, cut the fruits in pieces as much small and thin as possible.
So, use one of the best cutting boards, slice your fruits and start dehydrating.
Use of Fruit Dehydrators in Our Life
The opportunities of fruit dehydrator are many. It makes easy preservation of our favorite fruits for later consumption. Dried fruits can also be used in bread, trail mixes, and cereals. For this reason, dehydrated fruits can be used to make different food recipes. So, what benefits a fruit dehydrator brings in our life? Let’s find out!
Benefits to Our Health
Dehydrated fruits preserved all the natural nutrients of regular fruit. Dehydrated fruits simply remove water and leave behind all the enzymes and vitamins. So, you will have all the benefits you need. Moreover, commercially prepared dried fruits are often mixed with excessive salts, sulfur and harmful preservatives that can harm human health if consumed a greater amount for a longer period of time.
Some manufacturer also use a high amount of sugar while making dried fruits which is definitely responsible for weight gain and harmful to people with diabetes. Homemade dried fruits can save us from all of these harmful effects while providing the necessary benefits.
Making homemade dried fruits is a great way to save costs rather buying dried fruits from the store. If you have fruit dehydrator you know, you can preserve the excess fruits for future use. So, fruit dehydration also saves a lot of fruits from being wastage.
Fruits that are dehydrated are always come with different and improve taste and texture. A lot of people around the world love dried fruits because of this new taste. Depending on the fruit type it may come up with pliable, crispy or leathery texture. For example, if you dehydrate apple, you will have pliable texture while you will have a crispy or leathery taste from dehydrating bananas. To know the textures of more common fruits, see the previously shown table.
So, it is always good to have a fruit dehydrator if you love dried fruits rather than depending on market-based products.
Alternative Dehydration Methods
However, if you are less interested in using a fruit dehydrator, you can choose other methods. There are alternative ways to dehydrate fruits. Those are;
- Air Drying
- Sun Drying
- Oven Drying
Among these methods, air and sun drying procedure are most ancient and safe. However, it will take a lot of times to completely dehydrate fruits. For some fruits, it may take weeks to fully dehydrate.
- For Apple, It Takes Around 2 Days to Dehydrate
- Peaches, Plums Needs 4 Days to Dehydrate
- Apricots, Blueberries, and Cherries Need 4 Days to Dehydrate
Oven drying takes less amount of time and also less effective if we only talk about fruit dehydration. The oven is only recommended if you do not have the fruit dehydrator for that moment.
Dehydrated fruits offer different taste and texture. You can also store dehydrated fruits for long without losing their nutrition value. For a lot of home users, it can be a daily component like a quality meat grinder. Different types of dehydration machine work in a different way. However, the basic operation remains the same. The working procedures mentioned above are the most common procedures for most of the fruit dehydrators.
By reading this article, we believe you got sufficient information about different types of fruit dehydrators and their working procedures. If find any questions to ask, please feel free to write us back.