You might love the taste of dried figs but do you have any idea how these are processed? Pretty sure, the drying procedure could be a mystery since production companies don’t usually share details on the actual processes that figs go through as they end up becoming dried products.
What you might imagine is that the fruits are left to dry on the tree or fall on land and left to dry themselves. Possible, if it’s just a home-based production but what about on a larger scale?
By drying, the fruits maintain their original flavour like they were fresh. Fresh figs containing 78 per cent water have their moisture removed in their dried state. The processing of dried figs entails rather simple equipment and easy technology according to experts. The two main methods involved are natural and artificial drying.
- Natural Drying
Natural drying of the figs under the sun in the fields is the usual method used by commercial growers. The fruits dry on the tree and/or are left to fall to the ground on their own. This is also the simplest way to make homemade dried figs. You’ll know the fruits are properly dried if they’re soft and chewy to the bite. Further, when you squeeze the dried figs between your fingers, no juice should flow out of them.
While some commercial growers just allow the entire process to be completed there in the field, there are also those who prefer to complete the drying process using other methods.
- Artificial Drying
Drying in the oven and drying using a dehydrator are the most common artificial approaches used. To do this, arrange the fruits with proper spacing on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place inside the oven. Set the oven at around 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 to 12 hours with the door slightly open to avoid the build-up of moisture. Check the process every now and then to know if the drying is nearing completion.
Meanwhile, using an electric tabletop dehydrator, the drying process is similar to that using the oven. The dehydrator should be set at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 8 hours. For an even drying, flip on the other side of the fruits. The technique is done when the figs are thoroughly dry to the touch.
There are still other drying methods such as putting the fruits in a solar drying room and using other facilities. But remember, before you choose any of those techniques mentioned earlier, remember to select the fruits of the best quality and clean them thoroughly.
For commercial production, the processed figs still undergo further operations. They can be immersed in salt water or be subjected to steam treatment, pressed again to produce particular shapes and dried again until they achieve their eye-catching, glistening appearance.
Seems worrisome? Why not just search online for dried figs for sale? Click this link for helpful information.