Most fruits and vegetables must be prepared by blanching—and in some cases by adding preservatives—to enhance color and microbial shelf-life of the dried food.
Blanching stops detrimental enzyme action within the plant tissue and also removes any remaining surface bacteria and debris.
Since aluminum screening reacts with acids in the fruit, it is less desirable. Cover the food with a muslin or cheesecloth tent to protect it from insects.
Do not use galvanized metal, copper, fiberglass, or vinyl screening. Dry fruit in direct sunlight; move trays periodically to ensure direct sun exposure.
Vegetables (with the exception of vine-dried beans) and meats are not recommended for sun drying.
It is best to dry meats and vegetables indoors using the controlled conditions of an oven or food dehydrator.To ensure even drying in the oven, rotate trays top to bottom halfway through drying time.