Fig. 15. Series of trays enclosed in wall-board box, for use
with electric fan.
Blanching is desirable for successful vegetable Drying.
Blanching gives more thorough cleansing, removes objectionable odors and
flavors, kills protoplasm and softens and loosens the fiber, allowing
quicker and more uniform evaporation of the moisture, stops destructive
chemical changes, and gives better color. It is done by placing the
vegetables in a piece of cheesecloth, a wire basket or other porous
container and plunging them into boiling water A more desirable way is to
blanch in steam. For small quantities a pail or deep kettle is serviceable.
A false bottom raised an inch or more is necessary. Upon this rests a wire
basket or cheesecloth filled with the prepared vegetables. The water should
be just below the false bottom and be boiling vigorously when the products
are put in. Cover with a tight-fitting cover. Keep the water boiling during
the blanching period. For larger quantities a wash-boiler partially filled
with water is convenient. Bricks set on end or a wooden frame raised a few
inches above the water make good supports for the containers.
Fig. 16. Meat Chopper for preparing vegetables.
Do not continue blanching longer than the prescribed time as
some of the valuable constituents will dissolve out, the color will be
destroyed and the starch will be partially cooked to a paste.
The time required is short and varies with different vegetables.
For the proper time in each case consult the directions given for Drying on
pages 25, 26,
27 and 28 and the time-table on page
After blanching, drain to remove moisture and arrange on trays.
DANGER FROM INSECTS
In addition to exercising great
care to protect vegetables and fruits from insects during the Drying
process, precautions should be taken with teh finished product to prevent
the hatching of eggs that may have been deposited. One measure that is
useful is to subject the dried material to a heat of 180°
F. for from 5 to 10 minutes. By the application of this heat the eggs will
be killed. Be careful not to apply heat long enough to damage the product.
Store as soon as removed from the oven.
word "conditioning" as used in connection with drying vegetables and fruits
simply means "thorough drying." It indicates the after treatment of products
on their removal from the drying trays.
Fig. 17. Crout slicer.
Put the dried products in bins, boxes, or, if the quantity is
small, in bowls. Once a day for a period of ten days to two weeks, stir
thoroughly or pour from one box to another. The containers should be in a
clean, dry room, and protected from light and insects. Shutters and screens
at the window are desirable. Otherwise protect the dried food by spreading
clean cloths over it. If any part of the material is found to be moist,
after this process, return it to the drier for a short time. When for
several days no change in the moisture content has been noticed, and
therefore no extra drying has been necessary, the products are ready to be
Properly conditioned products can be stored without danger of
spoiling, because spores and fungi cannot begin growth if there is uniform
freedom from moisture on the surface.
PRACTICALLY ALL DRIED PRODUCTS SHOULD BE CONDITIONED.