How to dry fruits and vegetables: some useful tips

Drying fruits and vegetables in the food industry

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Drying fruit and vegetables is a preservation technique that reduces the water content of products, thereby delaying the deterioration process. It is a vital process in the food industry because it allows to prolong the shelf life of products, while preserving their flavor, texture and nutritional value. To be carried out at its best it must be performed using specific procedures and equipment, certified for contact with food and specially designed for this type of processing.

In this article, we will see how to best perform the process of drying fruits and vegetables in the food industry, the methods used, the advantages and important considerations to achieve high-quality results.

​​Advantages of drying fruits and vegetables

Drying is an effective method of storing fruit and vegetables and offers several advantages for the food industry. Water, in fact, is a critical factor, which promotes the growth of microorganisms and causes the deterioration of food. Removing water reduces the possibility of contamination and creates an unfavorable environment for the growth of microorganisms.

In addition, water removal concentrates the nutrients and sugars present in the products, increasing the nutritional value. Finally, dried products take up less space than fresh ones, facilitating transport and storage, and can be consumed or used for other processes even out of season or when fresh products are not available.During the drying process, the products are exposed to high temperatures, which promote water evaporation. This process can take several hours or days, depending on the method used and the specific characteristics of each product.

Main methods of drying

There are different drying methods used in the food industry, which may vary depending on the type of products or the needs of each specific production line. Among these there are:

  • air drying, one of the oldest and still widely used methods. In this process, fruits and vegetables are exposed to warm, ventilated air to remove moisture. This method takes time, but can retain the flavor and nutrients of the products;
  • solar drying, which uses the energy of the sun to dry products. This method is ecological and economical, but depends on weather conditions and is therefore particularly suitable for hot areas or areas that boast plenty of sunlight;
  • temperature-controlled drying, which uses special equipment to adjust the temperature and humidity during the process. This method allows for more precise control and can reduce the time required for drying.

How to best carry out the drying process

Before drying fruit and vegetables, they must be prepared properly. This includes selecting fresh and ripe products, thorough cleaning and, if necessary, peeling and cutting into smaller pieces. Proper preparation helps to obtain high quality dried products.


The drying process can be divided into three main stages: pre-treatment, drying and post-treatment. Pre-treatment includes preliminary operations such as washing, peeling and cutting products. This step is essential to ensure the safety and quality of dried products.

During the actual drying the products are exposed to high temperatures to remove moisture. This can be done using specialized dryers that regulate temperature and ventilation. It is important to maintain an adequate temperature to ensure uniform drying and prevent nutrient loss. Finally, in the post-treatment phase, the dried products are cooled and packaged appropriately to preserve freshness. Proper storage is essential to prevent fruit and vegetables from absorbing moisture and therefore deteriorating or losing nutrients. 


Dried products find numerous applications in the food industry. They can be used as ingredients for the production of snacks, cereals, energy bars and beverages. In addition, dried fruit can be used in the bakery sector or confectionery industry as an ingredient or condiment for desserts. 

Important considerations for the food industry

Drying fruit and vegetables in the food industry requires attention to several important considerations, including hygiene and safety. During the process, in fact, it is essential to follow specific standards and hygiene rules: this includes the choice of plastic equipment certified for food, such as those proposed by IFT, which comply with international and EC food contact regulations (in particular EC Regulations 10/2011 and EC Regulations 1935/2004 and 2023/2006 and EC Directives 19/2007 and 2002/1972) and the national ministerial decree of 21/03/1973 and s.m. It is also important to be aware of the regulations on labeling, packaging and nutrition declarations.


The food industry must also carry out regular quality controls to ensure that dried products comply with all standards and regulations in force. These controls include microbiological testing, sensory analysis and nutritional assessments.

IFT drying rack for food: a practical and safe solution for the food industry

The IFT drying rack for food is the ideal solution for drying fruit, vegetables or spices. Designed specifically for the food industry, it guarantees high standards of safety and quality, while maintaining all the properties and characteristics of the products during the drying process. The IFT frame is made with a solid and resistant polypropylene structure, injection molded in two pieces, smooth and without ribs to avoid marking the hands of operators during manual handling operations. 

In addition, it is simple to use and designed to allow a tidy and uniform arrangement of the products to be dried. The drying surface, equipped with a special grid, offers a large area on which to place fruits and vegetables in an easy way.

It also has beveled corners to avoid blocks in smoothness, a design made to facilitate the placement in the automatic stacking phase and a sliding rail to allow a perfect overlap of the frame on the carriage. In addition to this, it provides numerous other benefits, including: 


  • removal of wood particles and traces of aluminum in products;
  • perfect mechanical rigidity; 
  • maintaining the ideal temperature at the exit from static dryers; 
  • prevents the entry of harmful residues or loss of moving parts thanks to the peculiarities of its structure, which has no openings or holes closed with caps. 

It is available in three models of different sizes, to adapt to all the needs and specific needs of each production: H35 (mm 1200x600xh35), H54 (mm 1200x600xh54) and H70 (mm 1200x600xh70). 

For more information on the drying frame or other products offered by IFT, contact us!