Whether you bought a bag of dry fruit or attempted dehydrating it at home, you’ll want to store it properly to preserve it in good shape. The purpose of drying fruit is to keep it fresher for longer, but if stored wrongly, it will quickly decay. How do you properly preserve dried fruit? The goal of keeping dried or dehydrated fruit is to keep it away from air moisture, light, and heat. Both dehydrated and store-bought dried fruit should be stored in a cold, dark place in an airtight container. Mason jars, plastic storage containers, and resealable vacuum packs are all excellent options for storing dried fruit over time. Here is our comprehensive guide to keeping dried fruits and vegetables.
How Should Dried Fruit Be Stored?
Fruit drying is an age-old practice of extending the life of fresh fruit, and it has proven to be effective. If you want your dried fruit to last as long as possible, whether you buy it in bulk from the shop or try your hand at home dehydration, make sure it is stored properly. Fruit that has been dried properly can survive for weeks or even years. It makes a terrific snack and a great addition for cakes and other recipes, and it is simple to keep and carry.
Whether you purchased the dried fruit from a store or dried the fruit yourself will determine the method you employed to store it. Depending on whether the fruit was purchased in a sealed bag or an open one, the procedure will also differ for store-bought fruit. The majority of the fruit’s moisture has been drawn out, which is why dried fruit keeps for such a long time. The natural mechanisms that cause fruit to rot cannot happen without moisture and air. The best methods for keeping dried fruit, whether you’ve purchased it from a store or dehydrated it at home, will be thoroughly examined today.
How To Store Dried Fruit From The Store
Dried fruit can be purchased in bulk online or at grocery stores. Many different varieties of fruit can be dried, and they can be purchased individually or as a mixed fruit selection. When you buy commercially manufactured dried fruits, you can be confident that they have been prepared to ensure that they last as long as possible without sacrificing taste or quality. These fruits are then placed in a bag or container that allows as much air to escape as feasible. Unopened dried fruit bags are considered shelf-stable products. This means that an unopened container can be stored with little risk of deterioration.
Precautions When Storing Store-Bought Dried Fruit
However, there are several safety measures you may take to preserve the quality of an unopened bag of dried fruit. First, you should always store it in a cold, dark location, like a pantry shelf or a cupboard. The contents will age and perhaps turn rotten when exposed to light and heat. It is a good idea to put this bag inside a secondary container because the bags used to pack dried fruits are frequently rather delicate. This will shield your fruit in the event that the bag is accidently harmed. Dried fruit will remain in top shape if stored in this way for several months or even years. Dried fruit has an extremely long shelf life, and the best before date frequently lasts for a very long time after you’ve bought it.
Storing Opened, Store-Bought Dried Fruit
When you open a bag of dried fruit, it begins to decay. This is because the fruit is now exposed to both moisture and air, both of which hasten the deterioration process. This is true even with the cool resealable pouches that are now available. These are fine for fruit that will be consumed within a week or two, but any longer and the contents will become sour and unappealing. As a result, once you open a bag of dried fruit, you must find another means to store it in order to retain it in the best possible condition.
A simple solution is to reseal the bag to prevent air from entering it. Some bags include a resealable tag, while others may allow you to fold the top over and secure it with a bag clip or tape. Again, this is not a long-term solution, and it may be preferable to transfer the contents of the bag to a different storage container entirely. You can either decant the contents fully or transfer the dried fruit still in its original bag into another container. We’ll look at the finest containers for storing dried fruit later, but the goal is to pick one that is airtight.
So this might be a purpose-built storage container or an upcycled old food jar. Just keep in mind that your opened bags of dried fruit should always be stored in a cool, dark place away from heat and direct sunshine.
How Long Can Store-Bought Dried Fruit Be Stored?
We can all agree that the greatest technique to extend fruit’s functional life is to dry it. Before opening, dried fruit purchased in stores typically has a shelf life of at least a year. However, this is only assured if the fruit is stored in a cold, dark environment, often at or below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This period is shortened to just six months when the storage area’s ambient temperature is raised to about 80°F. Light and air exposure are other factors that shorten the period that dried fruit can be stored.
The best before date on dried fruit is a nice feature because it is merely a recommendation and need not be strictly followed. The manufacturers believe that in order to appreciate your fruit to its fullest, it should have been consumed by this date. You could, however, be able to eat dried fruit well after this date if it is stored properly. Even if some of the flavors may fade with time, the food will still be edible and even delightful to consume. Check your store-bought dried fruit carefully to be sure it is still safe to consume if it has been sitting on the pantry shelf for longer than you expected.
Signs Dried Fruit Is Going Bad
Moisture or condensation inside the bag are indicators that dried fruit is past its prime. The fruit’s color may have faded or changed completely, or you may observe mold around the fruit. Dried fruit that is no longer edible will have a somewhat ‘off’ or even rotten odor. The appearance and fragrance may not alter, but the flavor may turn slightly rotten. If you have any doubts about whether your dried fruit is safe to eat, don’t try it! It is advisable to throw it away. In the future, try to remember to consume your dried fruit more rapidly.
How To Store Dehydrated Fruit (Homemade)
Making use of a plentiful crop is easy when you dehydrate, or dry, your own fruit.
Why Do It
Whether you’ve been handed a glut of fruit robbed by a friend or neighbor, or you have your own orchard or fruit garden, spending time drying fruit will repay you with wonderful snacks all year. Fruit can be stored in a variety of ways, including freezing it or preparing jams and preserves. However, dehydration outperforms all of these approaches in terms of convenience and storage lifespan. Once dried, your fruit will be easy to store without taking up valuable freezer space. It will deliver fresh and nutritious snacks to you and your family anytime you want them.
Dried fruit is a versatile ingredient that may be used in a variety of dishes. We won’t go into detail about the ways for drying fruit here because that’s a topic for another day. However, whether you use a countertop dehydrator or live in a location where sun drying is allowed, you’ll want to ensure that the (dried!) fruits of your labor are preserved properly to preserve them for as long as possible.
Storing Fruit That’s Freshly Dehydrated
It’s crucial to end the drying or dehydrating of your fruit with a time of conditioning. Fruit that has been home-dried should have a moisture percentage of about 20%. But because no two pieces of fruit are the same thickness, some will be drier and some will hold more moisture than others. The conditioning procedure enables these moisture levels to even out throughout the fruits, lowering the possibility of mold development.
Allow the fruit to dry and then store it loosely in glass or plastic jars to condition dehydrated fruit. These containers should be sealed and left to stand for about ten days. For the fruit to be evenly distributed, shake each jar every day. Take a brief look inside each jar each day to look for moisture condensation. Fruit still has too much moisture if condensation starts to form on the inside of the jar.
Restart the conditioning process after returning the fruits to the dehydrator for additional drying. Similar to how dried fruit purchased at the shop should be stored, home-made fruit should be kept in sealed containers. Without splitting it up, the fruit should be crammed tightly inside the containers. Make sure the contents of each container are clearly labeled, along with the date it was dehydrated.
Best Storage Conditions For Homemade Dried Fruit
Your dehydrated fruit containers should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Many people believe that a home kitchen is too warm to preserve dehydrated fruits for long periods of time. This is why many houses were built with an underground basement in the past to provide a cool storage space for preserved foods! If the temperature in your kitchen exceeds 60°F, look for a cooler location in the house to store your dried and dehydrated fruits. Because many homes these days are climate controlled and warm throughout, you may need to relocate your dried fruits to a cooler outdoor shed or garage. Just don’t forget about them during the summer, as your outside storage space may rapidly become hotter than your home!
How Long Does Dehydrated Fruit Last?
You won’t have access to the manufacturer’s instructions if you dehydrate fruit at home, so you won’t know how long it can be kept for. As a result, you must exercise extra caution when following the recommended storage procedures. In order to ensure that the oldest fruits are eaten first, it’s crucial to control how often your pantry’s contents are rotated. Authorities on food safety advise that dried fruits can be stored securely for up to a year. The temperature at which it is kept has a direct impact on how long it lasts. Dried fruit can be kept for up to a year at 60°F. Your dried fruit may only be kept at a temperature of 80°F for around 6 months.
The residual moisture content is the other major element that affects how long dehydrated fruit may be kept in storage. When dehydrating fruit, strive for an equal distribution of moisture throughout the fruit with a moisture percentage of about 20%. Fruit with a moisture content below this will be excessively dry, chewy, and difficult to consume. You run the risk of condensation inside the storage jars if your moisture content is more than 20%. As a result, mold will have ideal environmental conditions to grow and thrive.
Which Containers Work Best For Storing Dried Food?
When preserving dried fruit, it is critical to use the proper container. There is one quality that is more important than all others: the container must be airtight. An airtight container’s purpose is to keep air from freely circulating about the fruit; however, hermetic containers offer another significant advantage: moisture cannot enter or leave the container. This allows you to generate the ideal climatic conditions for keeping your dehydrated fruit in the best shape possible. However, as with many other aspects of life, some airtight containers are vastly superior to others. When it comes to choosing the most airtight container for dried fruit, there are a few factors to consider:
Size Of Container
When storing your dehydrated fruits, it’s critical to carefully evaluate the container’s size. The container should contain as little air as feasible. Therefore, choose a container that the contents fit tightly. It would be better to divide a large quantity of dehydrated fruits into several smaller containers. This has the benefit of allowing you to open just one batch at a time while the others stay secure and safe inside their airtight jars. It also implies that you just lose one jar instead of the entire batch if one container goes bad.
We need to be able to check the contents of the jars on a frequent basis when dehydrating fruits. This allows you to act quickly if you feel that your dried fruits are past their prime. You don’t want to have to open a jar every time you want to look inside. Using clear containers, such as glass or plastic, allows you to see the contents without having to open the jar.
A high-quality airtight seal is necessary to keep moisture and air from tainting your dehydrated fruit. Search for containers with a secure seal all the way around the lid. Alternatively, if you’re using bags, be sure they have an airtight closing. Despite the fact that we all prefer to reuse jars and containers as much as possible, these airtight seals might degrade over time. Only the highest quality ones should be used to store your priceless dehydrated fruits.
Best Dried Fruit Storage Containers
If you go to the trouble of drying or dehydrating fruit at home for your family, you’ll want to choose the correct container to preserve it in peak condition for as long as possible. Our top selections for the best dry fruit storage containers are as follows:
When it comes to selecting glass jars to store your dehydrated fruit, you have a lot of alternatives. They come in a variety of sizes and have the benefit of making it simple for you to see your fruit. A glass canning jar is the most popular choice among most people. When it comes to long-term food storage, this is the ideal design. It will tightly seal your dehydrated fruit from air and moisture. Alternatively, you may be able to store your dehydrated fruit in professional glass jars. It’s a good idea to carefully inspect the lids of them to ensure they have an airtight seal.
Food Storage Bags
Some food storage bags are far better than others at keeping dried fruit in them. We suggest staying away from putting dried fruit in sandwich bags. These sometimes don’t have an airtight seal. Mylar bags, which are made for long-term preservation, are a wonderful choice when it comes to food storage bags. The airtight closure on these does require some additional tools. But once it’s inside of them, your food will be preserved in prime condition for as long as possible. An alternative would be to use a vacuum storage bag, which eliminates as much inside air as possible.
Rigid Storage Containers
Tupperware and other rigid storage containers are ideal for stacking on pantry shelves. The finest solutions include a high-quality airtight seal, preferably with a lid that securely clips in place. The biggest disadvantage is that you cannot always easily visualize the contents.
Now that we’ve answered all of your inquiries about storing dried fruit, read on for the solutions to some other frequently asked questions!
Do You Need To Refrigerate Dried Fruit?
Dried fruit does not always need to be refrigerated, but in some cases, it may be preferable. Fruits were traditionally dried to preserve them for longer periods of time without the need of a refrigerator. Because dried fruit contains less moisture than fresh fruit, it will not spoil as rapidly. However, keeping certain types of dried fruit in the refrigerator can help them stay fresher for longer. This is especially true for fruit that had a high moisture content when it was fresh. Dried fruit should be stored in an airtight container on a shelf in the main compartment of the refrigerator. Dried fruit can be stored in this manner for up to six months.
Can Dried Fruit Be Frozen?
Many people would never think to store dried fruit in the freezer, yet doing so is a great way to extend the shelf life of dry fruit. The freezer is an excellent option if you’re not completely sure in your at-home dehydration method or if you’ve opened a bag of dried fruit that won’t keep well in the pantry. You should freeze the dried fruit for about an hour after placing it on a silicone baking sheet or a baking tray lined with paper. Put the fruit in an airtight container after it has been frozen, and then label the container. This can be kept for up to a year in the freezer.