Items you will need
- Zipper food storage bags
- Cool, dry place
- Heavy duty bags for use with vacuum sealing machine (optional)
- Vacuum sealer machine (optional)
Dehydration has been used for centuries to preserve foods such as dried fruits and jerky. By removing the water, you can store food in less space and for longer periods of time than you can with whole foods. Dehydrated foods often require either a considerable time or money investment, and after that, you must be sure that your food does not spoil. These are the steps you should take to store your dehydrated foods so that they will last you for years.
Leave packaged dehydrated foods in their original package, or place into a zipper food storage bag if it has been opened.
For home dehydrated foods, place it into a bag for use with a vacuum sealer (see Tip). Optionally, you can place the food into a zipper food storage bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before closing the zipper.
Insert the bag into the vacuum sealer machine, and use according to the directions for the appliance model to remove the air and seal the bag.
Place the bagged food in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year after opening. Possible places include basements, pantries or root cellars. The shelf life for dehydrated foods is similar no matter what type of food is preserved. By removing the moisture, you increase the shelf life of foods to 1 year. If your food is completely sealed in a vacuum or tightly closed zipper bag, it will last longer.
Keep dehydrated foods in the freezer if you live in a humid climate.
You do not need a vacuum sealer. Regular zip-top bags will store the food just as long, but a vacuum sealer pulls extra air out of the bags before sealing them, reducing the amount of space required to store those items. Vacuum sealers also ensure that you have a complete and tight seal that keeps moisture and pests out.
Avoid putting dried foods into the refrigerator, since the air is too humid for dehydrated food storage.
If there are any signs of spoilage (mold, spots, insects, off smell), discard the food and do not consume it.