View Full Version : Dehydrating disasters...
I'm just wondering.... I have a dehydrator that, as of yet, have only used to dry banana chips and make fruit roll ups. The fresh ingredients that I put in, come out dis-colored (mostly brownish), but certainly not fresh looking. The fruit roll ups taste great. Rather unappealing to look at, but I've eaten worse things. Wouldn't that meant that food processed in this manner may have the possibilty of spoiling. Are there certain foods that don't process well, or shouldn't be process at all?
art to linda
treat fruits with a lemon juice rinse before dehydrating helps with discoloration and adds to the flavor, vegies you can try a saltwater rinse :)
I once used lemon juice, I found pinapple juice works better. Get pinapple cut into chunks and dry that stuff, save the juice as a sulfide.
I once tried to dry oranges but they came out sour. I believe that besides the lemon juice/sulfide, having a temperature control dial is needed for delicate foods. My dehydrator does not have one, so I stay away from drying fruits.
I wouldn't worry about discoloration unless it is unappetizing to you. That's an enzymatic reaction within the foods. As others have said, prevent it with a slightly acid rinse/wash to deactivate the enzyme (or whatever actually happens).
My dehydrator-disaster involved wanting tomato soup for the trail and not wanting to use those packets of soup powder. So I tried dehydrating Campbell's tomato soup.
Dehydrated fine, looked fine. Wouldn't rehydrate worth a d*rn. Ended up with little tomato-soup concentrate globs floating in a weak watery tomato "broth". Nothing I did would get those globs to un-glob. Running the dehydrated soup bits through the blender just resulted in smaller blobs.
Best I can tell, the flour listed in the soup ingredients must have "cooked" when I dehydrated the condensed soup, and wouldn't uncongeal.
I since then made a batch of home-made tomato soup from crushed tomatos and other ingredients. This dehydrated and rehydrated quite well. The key was I did not add any flour or other thickeners.
Its the citric acid in orange juice or pinapple juice etc that keeps the food from going brown. I have never had oranges dry well, always taste bitter to me, don't know why.
deeddawg I bet you are at least partly right about the flour causing the lumps. It is also possible you dried the first batch too long. Did it tast burnt? Drying ANYTHING tomato too long will cause it to taste burnt, you don't have to actually burn it to cause it to taste that way. Over drying has also caused one of my first batches of pasta sauce to "Lump up"
deeddawg I bet you are at least partly right about the flour causing the lumps. It is also possible you dried the first batch too long. Did it tast burnt? Drying ANYTHING tomato too long will cause it to taste burnt, you don't have to actually burn it to cause it to taste that way.
Actually the taste was fine, it was the consistancy and "mouth feel" which was way off.
Anything is possible, of course, but I highly doubt that it was over-dried. I'd done plenty of pasta sauces before and after, as well as my batch of home-made (no flour!) tomato soup using about the same time and temperature. Only real variable I can think of was the flour in the Campbell's, but I also haven't done a true "scientific" experiment to tests my hypothesis.
Good point about tomato-based stuff though!