Conditioning Dried Food, an Essential Step


Have Confidence Your Food Is Dry with This Safety Step


There is nothing worse than reaching into a jar of your dehydrated goods and finding moldy food. Throwing away all that hard-earned work is disheartening. Been there, done that. That was when I learned about “conditioning”.

When dried fruit is taken from the dehydrator, the remaining moisture may not be distributed equally among the pieces because of their size or their location in the dehydrator. Conditioning is a process used to equalize the moisture and reduce the risk of mold growth.

To condition the fruit, take the dried fruit that has cooled and pack it loosely in plastic or glass jars. Seal the containers and let them stand for seven to ten days. The excess moisture in some pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation.

If condensation develops in the jar, return the fruit to the dehydrator for more drying. After conditioning, package and store the fruit.

Although vegetables are less likely to need it, allowing them to set for a few days does not hurt and ensures that you have fully dehydrated your food. It gives you confidence that you have fully dried them and makes you feel secure in your processes.

To condition your dehydrated foods:

  1. Cool food for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Take the cooled, dried food and pack it loosely in glass jars.
  3. Seal the containers and let them stand for seven to ten days. The excess moisture in some pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces.
  4. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation.
  5. If condensation develops in the jar, return the food to the dehydrator for more drying.
  6. After conditioning, package and store the food. See Storage Considerations for Dried Foods.

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