The process of dehydration removes the water present in all fresh foods. This slows the growth of bacteria, yeast and molds, which typically require a moist environment to proliferate. The key ingredient for success is dry, circulating air. For high-quality results, it’s important to control and moderate the air temperature and circulation speed.
The Atacama is engineered with a horizontal air flow system and precise temperature control to maximize the energy and time that dehydration requires. Once the food you wish to dry is laid out on trays, heated air is forced through the drying tunnel. Through osmosis, the hot air removes the water inside the food by drawing it to the surface.
There are so many delicious foods that deserve preservation. Satisfy that sweet tooth with dehydrated apricots, strawberries, peaches, apples, bananas, blueberries, cherries and dates. Hint: they’ll taste great as an ice cream topping or baked into a cake.
Create long-lasting veggie flavors by dehydrating mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, beets, beans, squash, corn, pumpkin and broccoli. And for a salty protein boost, try dried beef, chicken or fish. Don’t forget about herbs for rich spices and select fruits, plants and flowers for herbal teas. The possibilities are endless!
There are some foods that are not advisable to dry in an electric home dehydrator, such as products with a high fat content. These include avocado, cheese, milk, eggs, and certain meats and fish. To preserve these products, we recommend vacuum packaging. For more info, visit takaje.com.
Dehydrating fruit and vegetables for long-term preservation is an excellent way to include important nutrition in your diet from season to season with minimal investment. After it is dehydrated, food occupies very little space, and can be stored in an organized fashion. In most cases, dehydrated food can be stored for up to 12 months. Herbs and spices can even last for years! Dried meats should be consumed within 2-3 months.
High-quality ventilated dehydrators work within a range that goes from room temperature to about 70 °C.
Because it’s the “boundary” temperature in cooking: above it the sensory qualities of food typical of the cooking process start being transformed. Dehydrators capable of higher temperatures should be regarded more as ovens.
According to a law of physics, during the period in which the foodstuff continues to release water, its temperature stays very low compared to the surrounding environment. It starts to heat up only when it is completely dry and has no more water to release.
For technical reasons, the ‘official’ temperature is usually recorded near the resistor, at one of the hottest points in the machine. In its flow outwards, the air cools, both because it moves away from the fan and because it comes into contact with the foodstuffs, which are colder. It is therefore normal for there to be a difference even of 12-14 °C between ‘official’ temperature and effective temperature. In any case, within this range the machine is working properly.
We believe that chefs both amateur and professional should always be inspired by new recipes and innovative flavor combinations, so we’ve curated the best of dehydration on our Youtube channel. Discover the ins and outs of your Atacama, optimal techniques, and industry best-practices straight from our Italian dehydration masters.