The Growing Importance of Dehydrated Food Products in our Lives
Dehydration is one of the oldest methods of preserving food and dates back centuries. It involves the process of removing moisture from the food and making it smaller in size and lighter. With the evolution of time and the changing lifestyles and choices of the consumer, the dehydration process has also evolved. Today the dehydrated food products industry is driven by the consumer’s demand for quality, health and convenience.
How does dehydration help in preserving food?
Reducing the moisture content of food stops the growth of bacteria, yeast and mould. These microorganisms make the food go bad. It also brings down the enzymatic reactions that take place in the food. This combined effect helps to prevent the dried food from spoiling.
Benefits of Dehydrated Food Products
Longer Shelf Life
The dehydrated food products are witnessing a rise in demand due to newer technologies being used for their production. These techniques ensure that these products stay in a consumable state for a longer time. Stored at the correct temperature, they have a good shelf life, ranging from months to even a year.
Easier to Store
Dehydrated food products are easy to store as removing the moisture from the food shrinks them by as much as 50% or even more. As water accounts for a significant percentage of the weight of the product, dehydrating makes the food lightweight. This ensures that the products need very little space and more can fit in the same storage space. Since these can be stored at room temperature, one doesn’t have to be bothered with storing them in refrigerator or freezer and then worry about them getting spoilt in case of a power failure.
Perfect for Travel
Dehydrated foods are a perfect choice when travelling. Lightweight, they are easy to carry and occupy very little space. They are perfect as a quick, healthy snack or can help in making a quick meal.
Maintains the Nutrition & Taste
Many foods with a longer shelf life are full of preservatives to prevent them from spoiling. Contrary to that, dehydrated foods retain the nutritional value of fresh food and are equally healthy. They are full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and are low in fat, just like the raw product. Moreover, dried food tastes just as good as the fresh one, and in some cases, the drying process actually enhances the flavours.
Caters to the Changing Lifestyle of Consumers
The rapid changes taking place in the lifestyle of urban consumers is one of the biggest reason for the increase in the demand for dehydrated food products. The increasingly demanding and hectic working life of the consumers leaves them with little time to cook and is pushing them towards ready-to-eat meals or eating out. With dehydrated food products, cooking at home is quick, and hassle-free. It helps them to prepare and enjoy the tasty and nutritious home-cooked food with minimal preparation time.
Variety & Affordable
Dehydrated food products are very well priced and are available in a lot of varieties. This keeps the consumer happy as they have a range to choose from and can keep reinventing their meals. These products take care of the consumer’s call for convenience, flavour and affordability
Rehydrating the food products is also very simple. One just needs to soak the dried food product in water for 10-15 minutes, as written on the pack. This allows the food to get soft and become just like the raw product. After the soaking, use them just like fresh produce.
Dehydrated food products industry is gaining popularity across the globe because of the convenience and ease of use it provides. Manufacturers work toward providing nutrition-rich dried food products which retain the taste and health of the raw material. Rising consumer awareness and the improved shelf life of these products has further contributed to the acceptance of these products. Additionally, the inconsistencies in the production and pricing of the raw product, chiefly due to seasonal fluctuations, have also been a determining factor in influencing the rapid growth of this market.
Dehydrated food products are the answer to our increasing need for convenience, while not compromising on health. The industry is on the threshold of changing the way we consumers have looked at food.