Fruit-drying is a common method of preserving fruits that have been used for thousand of years. By removing water from the fruits, their shelf life can be lengthened by preventing the growth of bacteria. Thus, fruits can be consumed even outside of their peak season.
Drying preserves much of the original flavor and nutrient content of fruits and will turn them into healthy snack-time treats. Dried fruits can be enjoyed on their own, mixed with nuts or used as ingredients for baked goods and other dishes. Popular fruits for drying are strawberries, apples, apricots, peaches, pineapples, oranges, and plums.
There are many methods of drying fruits including sun-drying, oven-drying or using dehydrators, a device specially designed to get rid of the moisture content of fruits and other food items. Once dried, food items take up less space and are lighter, which makes shipping them an easy and cheap task.
Just like other food items, dried fruits have to be packed correctly prior to shipping to keep their freshness. Here are some tips on how to properly pack and ship dried fruits.
They key in keeping dried fruits fresh is to store them in airtight containers that will protect them from moisture, direct sunlight and air which will further dry the fruit out, making them harder than a rock! Glass or plastic jars with air-tight lids and zipper bags are ideal containers for shipping dried fruits.
Make sure that jar lids are well-sealed. Taping the lids will ensure that they will not pop open and there is no way for air to come in. When using Ziploc bags, remove any excess air in the bag before sealing it shut.
Wrap glass jars and plastic containers generously with bubble wrap before packing in an appropriately sized shipping box. This step is crucial especially when shipping several jars in one package. Use packing materials such as packing peanuts, crumpled or shredded paper or more bubble wrap on all sides, top, and bottom of the package to protect the items from damage due to impact.
Make sure that the box is filled with sufficient packing materials to prevent the contents from moving or colliding with each other before sealing the box closed with heavy-duty packing tape. Address and label the package and take to a post office or your preferred carrier.