If you’ve purchased a bag of dried fruit or attempted home dehydration, you’ll want to make sure it stays fresh for as long as possible. Fruit can be dried to extend its shelf life, but it still needs to be stored properly or it will spoil quickly.
Just how should dried fruit be kept? In order to preserve dried or dehydrated fruit, it is necessary to keep it away from air moisture, light, and heat. Dried fruit, whether homemade or store-bought, needs to be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Dried fruit can be stored for a long time in mason jars, plastic containers, or reusable vacuum packs.
Our comprehensive storage guide for dried and dehydrated fruit covers a wide variety of options to ensure your fruit stays fresh for as long as possible. If you use our advice, you’ll be able to stock your cupboard with tasty jars of dried fruit for months, if not years.
How Should Dried Fruit Be Stored?
This ancient way of keeping fresh fruit for longer has certainly stood the test of time: drying fruit. Whether you are purchasing dried fruit in bulk from a store or dehydrating fruit at home, you will want to ensure that it is stored properly to ensure the longest possible shelf life.
When properly preserved, dried fruit can last for months or years. It is simple to keep and carry, and it makes an excellent snack or component for cakes and other recipes.
The method for storing dried fruit will vary depending on whether the fruit was purchased or dried at home. The process for preparing store-bought fruit will differ based on whether the bag is sealed or has been opened.
The reason dried fruit lasts so long is because the majority of the fruit’s moisture has been extracted. Without water and oxygen, the usual decomposition processes of fruit cannot occur. Today, we will examine in detail the best methods for storing dried fruit, whether it was purchased from a store or dehydrated at yourself.
How To Store Dried Fruit From The Store
You may purchase dried fruit in bulk at grocery shops or online. There are numerous fruit varieties that can be dried, and you can either purchase them in separate bags or as a collection of mixed fruits.
You can be confident that dried fruits purchased in commercial quantities have been treated to maximize their shelf life without sacrificing their flavor or freshness.
Then, these fruits are placed in a bag or other container that allows the maximum amount of air to escape. A bag of dried fruits that has not been opened is regarded as a product with shelf stability. This indicates that there is little chance of a container’s contents deteriorating when it is left unopened.
Precautions When Storing Store-Bought Dried Fruit
However, you can take some care to maintain an unopened bag of dried fruit in the best possible condition. To begin, keep it in a cool, dark spot, such as a cupboard or pantry shelf. The contents will deteriorate and perhaps get rancid as a result of exposure to light and heat.
Because the bags used to pack dried fruits are frequently brittle, it is best to keep this bag within a secondary container. This will help safeguard your fruit if the bag is damaged by accident.
Dried fruit stored in this manner will remain in optimum condition for many months, if not years. Dried fruit has a very long shelf life, and the best before date often stretches for a long time after you purchase it.
Storing Opened, Store-Bought Dried Fruit
The quality of dried fruit might start to decline as soon as the bag is opened. This is due to the fact that the fruit is now open to air and moisture, both of which will hasten the rate at which the fruit degrades.
This still holds true even with the chic resealable pouches that are currently on the market. These are good for fruit that will be used within a week or two, but if left open for much longer, the contents will begin to go bad and become unpleasant.
In order to preserve dried fruit in the finest form after opening a bag, you must find an other method of storage.
Try to reseal the bag as a temporary solution to stop air from getting inside. Some bags have a resealable tag, while others may only require you to fold the top over and secure it with a bag clip or piece of tape.
Once more, this is not a fantastic long-term fix; it might be preferable to completely shift the contents of the bag to another storage container.
You can either decant the entire contents or place the dried fruit still in its original bag inside another container to accomplish this. The best storage options for dried fruit will be discussed later, but for now, use an airtight container.
So, you may either use a specially built storage container or upcycle it by repurposing an old food jar.
Just keep in mind that opened bags of dried fruit should always be kept in a cool, dark location away from heat and direct sunlight, regardless of how you decide to store them.
How Long Can Store-Bought Dried Fruit Be Stored?
We can all agree on one thing: drying fruit is the best technique to extend its shelf life. Dried fruit from the store typically has a shelf life of at least one year before opening. This is only ensured if the fruit is stored in a cold, dark environment, usually at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
This duration is shortened to six months when the storage area’s ambient temperature is raised to roughly 80°F. Light and air exposure are two further factors that limit the storage time of dried fruit. The best thing about dried fruit is that the best before date is only an indication and does not have to be followed.
This is the date by which the producers believe your fruit should have been consumed in order to enjoy it in the best condition possible. However, if dried fruit is stored properly, you may be able to eat it after this date. It may lose some of its flavors over time, but it will remain edible and even delightful to consume.
If you have a bag of store-bought dried fruit that has been lying on the pantry shelf for longer than expected, inspect it carefully to ensure it is still safe to consume.
Signs Dried Fruit Is Going Bad
Moisture or condensation within the bag are indications that dried fruit is past its prime. The color of the fruit may have faded or changed entirely, or you may observe mold around the fruit.
Unfit for ingestion dried fruit will also have a little ‘off’ or even moldy odor. There may be no visible or olfactory alterations, but the flavor may become slightly rotten.
If you have any uncertainty about whether your dried fruit is suitable for human consumption, do not consume it! The best choice is to dispose of it. Future you should remember to devour your dried fruit more quickly.
How To Store Dehydrated Fruit (Homemade)
Dehydrating or drying your own fruit is an excellent method to make use of a plentiful crop.
Why Do It
Whether you’ve been gifted an abundance of fruit by a friend or neighbor or are fortunate enough to have an orchard or fruit garden, drying fruit will provide you with delicious snacks throughout the year.
There are numerous methods for storing surplus fruit, including freezing and preserving. However, dehydration surpasses all of these approaches in terms of simplicity and durability of storage.
Once the fruit has been dehydrated, it will be simple to store without requiring valuable freezer space. It will supply you and your family with nutritious and healthful food on demand.
Dried fruit is versatile and can be used in a variety of different recipes. The methods for drying fruit will not be discussed in detail here, as that is a topic for another day.
Whether you use a countertop dehydrator or live in a location that allows for sun drying, you’ll want to store the (dried!) fruits of your labor properly to ensure they last as long as possible.
Storing Fruit That’s Freshly Dehydrated
After drying or dehydrating fruit, it’s vital to condition it for optimal flavor. The ideal moisture content for home-dried fruit is 20%. Nonetheless, not all fruit pieces are created equal, and this means that some will dry out more than others and that some will keep more moisture. The condition procedure helps even out the fruit’s moisture distribution, which lowers the potential for mold.
Dehydrated fruit needs to be packed loosely in plastic or glass jars and let to settle before being stored. You should put the lids on these containers and let them sit for about ten days. To prevent the fruit from settling to the bottom, shake the jars daily.
Each jar should be checked for condensation every day. Condensation on the jar’s inside indicates that there is still too much moisture in the fruit. To continue the drying process, put the fruit back in the dehydrator and restart the conditioning process.
Airtight containers are recommended for storing home-dehydrated fruit, just as they are for storing dried fruit purchased from a store. Keep the fruit whole and tightly packed inside the containers. Put the contents and the dehydration date on the labels of each container.
Best Storage Conditions For Homemade Dried Fruit
Your containers of dehydrated fruit should be stored in a cool, dark location away from direct sunlight. For many individuals, a home kitchen is too warm for long-term storage of dehydrated fruits. In the past, many homes were constructed with underground cellars to provide a cool storage area for preserved foods!
If the average temperature in your kitchen is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, search for a cooler location to keep your dried and dehydrated fruits.
As many modern homes are climate-controlled and warm throughout, it may be necessary to store your dehydrated fruits in a shed or garage that is cooler. Just don’t forget about them during the summer, because your outside storage could quickly get hotter than your home!
How Long Does Dehydrated Fruit Last?
There is no way to know how long fruit can be preserved without consulting the manufacturer’s specifications when dehydrating it at home. In light of this, it is imperative that you exercise the utmost care in preserving the item in question by following the best preservation procedures. Also, make sure the oldest fruit in your cupboard is eaten first by rotating it with the rest of the stock.
Dried fruits have a recommended safe storage period of four months up to one year, according to food safety regulators.
The storage temperature has a direct effect on how long it will keep. Dried fruits keep for a whole year if stored at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. At 80 degrees Fahrenheit, dried fruit has a shelf life of around 6 months at most.
The amount of moisture left after fruit has been dehydrated is the second major element in determining how long it may be kept. In order to achieve uniformity in texture and flavor when dehydrating fruit, the ideal moisture percentage is 20%.
Fruit with a moisture level lower than this will be excessively dry, chewy, and unpleasant to eat.
Condensation might form inside the jars if the moisture content is more than 20%. Conditions like this are ideal for mold to flourish and spread.
Which Containers Work Best For Storing Dried Food?
It is essential to choose the suitable sort of container while keeping dried fruit. There is one quality that is more important than all others: the container must be airtight.
The purpose of an airtight container is to keep air from freely circulating about the fruit; nevertheless, these containers also have another significant advantage: moisture cannot enter or exit the container.
This allows you to generate the ideal climatic conditions to retain your dehydrated fruit in the finest shape possible.
As with many other aspects of life, certain types of airtight containers are vastly superior than others. When it comes to picking the proper airtight container for dried fruit, there are several factors to consider:
Size Of Container
When keeping dehydrated fruits, it is critical to examine the container size carefully. The goal is to have as little air within the container as feasible. As a result, choose one that fits the contents snugly. If you have a large quantity of dehydrated fruits, it may be better to divide them into smaller containers.
This gives you the advantage of just having to open one batch at a time, while the others stay safe and snug in their sealed jars. It also ensures that if one container goes bad, you only lose one jar rather than the entire bunch.
We must be able to regularly check the jar contents when dehydrating fruits. This enables you to respond quickly if you think your dried fruits are starting to lose their quality.
But you shouldn’t have to open a jar each time you want to take a look at something. You can easily view the contents of containers made of clear materials, such as glass or plastic, without having to open the jar.
A high-quality air-tight seal is required to keep air and moisture out of your dehydrated fruit. Look for containers with a good seal around the lid. If you’re going to use bags, ensure sure they have an airtight closure method.
Although we all like to reuse jars and containers whenever possible, these airtight seals can degrade with time. For storing your valuable dehydrated fruits, only the best quality ones should be used.
Best Dried Fruit Storage Containers
If you go to the trouble of dehydrating or drying fruit at home for your family, you want to be sure you choose the correct container to maintain the fruit’s quality for as long as possible. Here are our top selections for the finest storage containers for dried fruit:
When it comes to glass jars for storing dehydrated fruit, you have numerous alternatives. They are available in a variety of sizes and provide the benefit of allowing you to clearly perceive your produce.
The most popular option for most people is a glass canning jar. This is the ideal design for the long-term storage of food. It will effectively seal your dehydrated fruit from air and moisture.
Alternatively, you may be able to store your dehydrated fruit in professional glass jars. It is recommended to ensure that the lids of these containers have an airtight seal.
Food Storage Bags
Some food storage bags are significantly better than others for preserving dried fruit. We recommend staying away from plastic sandwich bags when keeping dried fruit. They don’t always have a completely airtight seal. Mylar bags are a wonderful alternative for food storage bags because they are built for long-term storage.
These do require additional equipment in order to produce an airtight seal. However, once your food is stored within them, it will remain in pristine condition for as long as possible. You might also use a vacuum storage bag, which eliminates as much air as possible from the bag’s interior.
Rigid Storage Containers
Tupperware and other rigid storage containers are ideal for stacking on pantry shelves.
Rubbermaid 1/2 cup Storage Containers are recommended.
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 keeping dried fruit, read on for the solutions to some additional frequently asked issues!
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.