The German Appropriate Technology and Ecoefficiency Programme (GATE) Programme of GTZ (the German Development Agency) has a good overview of sun drying as a food technology process.
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It presents the technical background of drying, describes and compares different drying operation and equipment, gives an idea of costs, tabulated advantages and disadvantages and gives a good list of references.
In this time of potential food shortages and rising energy cost, using the sun’s free energy to preserve food which might otherwise be wasted, is at first glance very attractive. The article provides some of the information needed to consider the pros and cons.
One should remember though that the bulk of the worlds dried fruit is sun dried and we have no concerns about its safely and quality.