Packaging and Storing Dried Foods
Dried foods are susceptible to insect
contamination and moisture reabsorption and must be
properly packaged and stored immediately First, cool
completely. Warm food causes sweating which could
provide enough moisture for mold to grow. Pack
foods into clean, dry insect-proof containers as tightly
as possible without crushing.
Glass jars, metal cans or boxes with tight fitted
lids or moisture-vapor resistant freezer cartons make
good containers for storing dried foods. Heavy-duty
plastic bags are acceptable, but are not insect and
rodent proof. Plastic bags with a 3/8-inch seal are
best to keep out moisture.
Pack food in amounts that will be used in a
recipe. Every time a package is re-opened, the food
is exposed to air and moisture that lower the quality
of the food.
Fruit that has been sulfured should not touch
metal. Place the fruit in a plastic bag before storing
it in a metal can. Sulfur fumes will react with the
metal and cause color changes in the fruit.
Dried foods should be stored in cool, dry, dark
areas. Recommended storage times for dried foods
range from 4 months to 1 year. Because food quality
is affected by heat, the storage temperature helps
determine the length of storage; the higher the
temperature, the shorter the storage time. Most dried
fruits can be stored for 1 year at 60°F, 6 months at
80°F. Vegetables have about half the shelf-life of
Foods that are packaged seemingly "bone dry" can spoil if moisture is reabsorbed during storage. Check dried foods frequently during storage to see if they are still dry Glass containers are excellent for storage because any moisture that collects on the inside can be seen easily Foods affected by moisture, but not spoiled, should be used immediately or redried and repackaged. Moldy foods should be discarded.
To shop for a quality electric food dehydrator, click on the following link: Shop Dehydrators.
1. This document is Fact Sheet FCS 8507, a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: June 1998. First published: February 1994. Reviewed: June 1998.
2. Written by Susan Reynolds, M.S., former Extension Foods Specialist, University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental
Sciences, Athens. Reviewed for use in Florida by Mark L. Tamplin, associate professor, Food Safety Specialist, Department of Family, Youth
and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL