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Pretreating fruits for drying with fruit juice dip as a sulfite alternative

Pretreating fruits for drying with fruit juice dip as a sulfite alternative

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Drying fruit is usually not enough to completely preserve it. Pieces of drying fruit are most vulnerable to spoilage when they're warm and moist in the food dehydrator. Pre-treating fruit with sulfites is a great way to cut down on spoilage, but for individuals with sulfite sensitivities, this is not an option. A popular alternative to sulfites is to use ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Rather than using crushed vitamin tablets, you can employ fruit juice that is high in vitamin C. Here are instructions.

To prevent and slow oxidation resulting in discoloration and spoilage in fruits being prepared for dehydration, sliced fruit can be treated with a soak in fruit juice. Essentially this works the same way as treatment with ascorbic acid, and though it is not as effective as using a pure ascorbic acid solution, it is easier in a pinch than tracking down powdered ascorbic acid or crushing vitamin C tablets.

Your choice of fruit juice will impart additional flavor in whatever you're drying. If you find yourself with a surplus of particularly boring-tasting apples to dehydrate, consider spicing them up with a fruit juice pre-treatment with lemon, lime, cranberry, or pineapple juice instead of sulfites.

Basically, you can use any juice that is naturally high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C). I prefer lemon in most cases, but lime, orange, pineapple, cranberry, and pineapple juice will also be effective.

Directions for treating fruit with a fruit juice dip:

  1. Fresh-squeezed juice is preferable to pasteurized, as heat can degrade vitamin C.
  2. Submerge the sliced and prepared fruit completely in the juice for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Drain and remove the fruit, and place in the drying racks.
  4. The fruit juice can be used for a total of two soaks.

All popular pre-treatment methods for preventing discoloration and oxidation of fruits in drying: