What is air drying (AD) in dried fruit processing?
Air drying (AD) is a common method of preserving fruits by removing moisture from them. The process involves exposing the fruits to air, usually between 50°C and 80°C, for several hours until they reach the desired moisture content. The advantages of air drying are that it is simple, economical, and widely available. The disadvantages are that it can cause loss of nutrients, color, flavor, and texture in the fruits.
Dried fruits using air drying can still be good sources of dietary fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. However, they may also contain more sugar, calories, and additives than fresh fruits. Therefore, it is important to consume them in moderation and check the labels for any added ingredients. Dried fruits can be enjoyed as snacks, added to cereals, salads, or baked goods, or rehydrated for cooking or making jams.