The use of solar energy for drying, which is one of the first methods used in the storage of foods, dates back to ancient times. Today, the development of technology has led to an increase in the variety of solar drying systems, the development of solar energy drying systems with which we can produce more hygienic dried products with more economical use of energy, and even the development of combined hybrid collectors. Today, the increasing course of energy costs makes the use of solar energy widespread in agriculture, especially in drying processes.
Our country has a very rich range in terms of fruit and vegetable cultivation and product variety. However, many grown products are only consumed locally and they do not have a chance in foreign markets because the shelf life of the products is not long. The transformation of these raw materials into value-added, long-lasting and quality products will serve the income of the producer, the economic development of wider masses, the promotion of production, the conscious adaptation and use of new technologies, and the promotion of local products.
How does sun drying protect fruits and vegetables?
Drying removes water from fruits and vegetables, preventing bacteria, yeast and mold growth and minimizing spoilage.
It also inhibits the activities of some enzymes naturally found in fruits and vegetables, which enable ripening, but cause excessive ripeness and aging in advanced stages, causing the product to be discarded.
As the water in the fruit and vegetable is removed, the product becomes smaller and lighter. When the dried product is to be used, the water lost depending on the place of use is recovered by keeping it in warm water. Theoretically, if the drying process is done consciously, the product will regain its original dimensions to a large extent.
Producing safe, hygienic, high quality dried products requires careful procedures throughout the entire preservation process. Food suffers only a slight reduction in nutrition and aesthetics if properly dried; however, improper drying can significantly spoil food and bring with it the risk of food poisoning.
With solar drying systems, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and medicinal plants that are dried with heated air, not directly by the sun, lose only their moisture, not the vitamin. It is aimed to consume the products safely by providing organic and hygienic drying.
GFruit, vegetables and meat dried in a solar dryer are better in terms of quality and hygiene than fruit, vegetables and meat dried under sun drying conditions. As mentioned, contamination (spoilage) of foods is prevented or minimized thanks to the closed system design. Additionally, food is not vulnerable to rain and dust compared to the open system design of sun drying.
GFood products such as apples, oranges, pears, dates, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, garlic, sage, mint, thyme, laurel, mushrooms and meat, dried with sun drying systems, preserve their organic structure, and their durability increases with packaging and storage in hygienic environments. is also increasing.
What are the advantages of sun drying?
• Food in the fridge for later use increases food safety at home.
• It creates employment opportunities and a sustainable income.
• Dried products improve family nutrition. Because fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
• For diabetics, dried fruits prepared without added sugar are a healthy choice instead of sweets.
• Dried fruits can be used in stews, soups and casseroles or consumed as snacks. It can also be added to breakfast cereals or used to make ice cream and baked goods.
• Improves the bargaining position of farmers. Sometimes farmers sell their surplus produce at very low prices during the harvest season because they cannot store or preserve it.
• It encourages people to set up their own gardens.
• Dried products have special uses in traditional Turkish cuisine.
• Drying food reduces its volume, so storage and transportation costs are also lower.
ESolar heating and drying systems integrated with Enge Solarbox, which is produced with high energy efficiency and latest technologies, have an important place in the fight against climate change and global warming by reducing fossil fuel consumption.
For more detailed information on the subject, you can review our products;
Solarbox Solar Heating Panels and Solar Drying Systems