Home Dehydrated Food Shelf Life
Home Dehydrated Food Shelf Life by Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog
4 Factors That Affect Home Dehydrated Food Shelf Life
Temperature affects shelf life
Storage temperature has a significant affect on shelf-life. The cooler the better!
For every reduction in storage temperature of 10-degrees-C (18 F) the expected shelf life will double! That is pretty significant.
A storage environment of 54 F instead of 72 F will double a 1 yr shelf life expectancy to 2 yrs. This might be the difference between storing your food upstairs (where it’s usually warmer) or downstairs in the basement (assuming you have a basement). So keep that in mind…
A storage temperature of 90 F instead of 72 F will halve the expected shelf life.
For more information, the following article describes this in more detail:
Moisture affects shelf life
The process of dehydrating removes most of the moisture from foods while retaining much of the nutritional value and flavor. It is a great method to preserve your harvested fruits and vegetables for later consumption off-season.
Fruits will typically contain about 75 percent moisture when fresh, and should be dehydrated to an approximate 20 percent moisture level, the point at which they become leathery and pliable. Apparently it is okay for fruits to be dried to this ‘pliable’ level rather than a lower ‘brittle’ moisture level because the natural sugars and acids in fruit act as an added preservative.
Vegetables should be dehydrated to a moisture level of at least 10 percent (lower is better), or to the point at which they become crisp and brittle, and will break or snap if bent.
Oxygen affects shelf life
Oxygen will interact with, and break down fats and proteins resulting in poor flavor and eventual spoilage. Fruits and vegetables only have small amounts of fat and protein but will still oxidize over a period of time when stored in an environment containing oxygen. This may be a particular concern if you are storing your dehydrated foods for “long term” (years).