Fruit & Vegetable Drying – I

I intend to do a series of posts on fruit and vegetable drying given that this is one of the simplest, safest and cheapest processing technologies. However, as I am always promoting that we need to start at the market side. We also need to define the sector we are working in.

But first a photo to get us thinking away from the shriveled dark brown piece of “banana” that we are used to see.

Flickr Photo Download_ Dried Fruit.jpg

photo by ccarlstead
(Creative Commons License)


This attractive and tasty looking of fruit is on sale in bulk, in a market in Istanbul. While I have seen many markets selling bags of cereals in Sub Saharan African few seem to sell dried fruit which is essentially just as well preserved.

Also of interest in this photo is that the fruit is not simply dried but glazed, dusted and prepared in different ways.

These large quantities of dried fruit could represent fruit that was in excess of the demand for fresh fruit that could have been wasted if not dried and was possibly purchased at a low price. Otherwise it could have been fruit that was purposefully grown to be dried to provide food for use during the winter or even as a supplier to a dried fruit producer.

So there’s lots to think about! which we will be doing over the next while in this series of posts.


4 thoughts on “Fruit & Vegetable Drying – I

  1. Libby

    I dried some native persimmons (diaspyros virginiana ) that I found growing wild. They taste great, a lot like dates, but they contained so many seeds that I wasn’t able to separate out the seeds from the flesh. There are a lot more on the trees that I hope to get when they ripen–any ideas on methods to dry them? or of easily removing the seeds?

  2. admin Post author

    I guess you’ve had a look online and seen the variety of stories and processes on drying persimmons. I suspect the differences in responses is because of the difference in the variaties especially in the native American one you dried. Wikipedia says it has 0 to 8 pips?

    This from agrees with what you found and seems to indicate there is no point in trying to remove before drying.

    When I got those persimmons home and into the kitchen, they proved to be quite persnickety. I quickly discovered that they were laden with seeds, and that trying to separate the seeds from the fruit with any hopes of keeping the persimmon intact was an impossible venture. I also discovered that the pulp was quite sticky, and much of it remained coated around the seed. So by removing the seeds, I was losing a lot of the fruit. Finally, I decided that my best course of action would be to mash the persimmons and then pass the pulp through a sieve in order to separate out the seeds and the skins. This, although time consuming, worked fairly well.

    This extract from a forum ( gives two answers but doesn’t seem to agree with your problems with seeds in the dried fruit – could it be that it wasn’t dried far enough?

    LLB, got your monthly update this morning and am interested in how you dry your persimmons. We have persimmons, use them, freeze them and love them but I’ve never dried them. When they’re ready, they’re so “mooshy” that I can’t imagine drying them. Sliced? mashed? Tell us!!

    — sugarspinner (, November 22, 2003

    Well, I tried a couple things. One was mashing them through a colander and making fruit leather with them. This was all right, but the leather was rather grainy due to the incredible sugar content. However, my all time favorite method is to cut them in half, leaving the seeds in, and drying them. The seeds are VERY easy to remove once they are dried. I was so impressed that I was able to keep all of the pulp by using this method. Now they are in my freezer ready to use in cakes, puddings etc. This was very effective, and much easier than trying to handle those gooshy things any other way.
    Little bit Farm

    — Little Bit Farm (, November 22, 2003.

    They also make great “goat candy” when dried. My girls absolutely love them.

    — Judy (, November 22, 2003.
    Hi. My best friend and I dry persimmons a different way. We cut them off the stem so the branch off the fruit looks like a “T”. Then we take them home, peel them and dip them in lemon juice. Then we hang them on a double strand of fishing line from hooks on the ceiling. They take about 4-6 weeks to dry and you have to keep them in a dry place with a fan so they don’t get moldy.They get all shriveled up and sweet inside and like heaven!!!! If you buy them and they already have the stem cut off, you can skewer them and then hang them off of wire hooks and fishing line. They are very pretty as they dry and seem kind of ornimental for this season…have fun!

    — raku (, December 07, 2003.

    If you want to see beautiful photos of this method of drying try this flickr page
    Not sure how much this helps – anyone else with other ideas?

    Good Luck



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