Sun-dried fruit must be covered or brought under shelter at night. Place trays of food away from dusty roads and yards.Cool night air condenses, which adds moisture back to the food and slows the drying process. Stainless steel screening and thin wood lath are good materials for home-constructed drying trays. Elevate them at least 1 inch above the table with spools or bricks to allow good air circulation below the food (Figure 1).To blanch in boiling water, use one gallon of boiling water per pound of food.
Although steam blanching and water blanching are both discussed in this guide, water blanching is preferred to steam blanching.(© Sebastian Czapnik | Dreamstime.com) Refer to Tables 1 and 2 for instructions for specific foods.Blanching stops detrimental enzyme action within the plant tissue and also removes any remaining surface bacteria and debris.Authors: Respectively, Extension Food Technology Specialist, Department of Extension Family and Consumer Sciences; and County Program Director/Extension Home Economist, Bernalillo County Extension Office, New Mexico State University.(Print friendly PDF) Drying or dehydration—the oldest method of food preservation—is particularly successful in the hot, dry climates found in much of New Mexico.