With dehydration becoming prominent as an ideal form of food preservation, food dehydrators are gaining widespread adoption to produce healthier and nutritious foods. Foods preserved through dehydrator machines have no added sugar and chemical preservatives, allowing the nutrients to remain intact, extending the shelf life, and reducing waste.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the rate of food insecurity and supply chain issues, due to the economic impacts of lockdowns and other strict restrictions. Based on a survey conducted by NYU School of Global Public Health researchers, over 15% of U.S. households reported food insecurity during the pandemic. Factors such as these are likely to augment food dehydrator market dynamics, since dehydration can help extend the life of fresh produce during food shortages.
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To allow efficient and continuous dehydration of foods, advanced products have been developed, benefitting agricultural farmers and dried food consumers worldwide. Listed below are three key reasons behind the burgeoning popularity of the food dehydrator industry globally:
1. Development of solar-powered dehydrators for rural farmers to limit food wastage
Solar food dehydrators are emerging as an efficient and inexpensive option to dry fruits and vegetables and store them for a prolonged period. This type of dehydrator can protect products from burning, scorching, and other undesirable effects, making it an ideal solution to address food wastage issues. As per estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one-third of the foods produced for human consumption go to waste per year globally.
S4S Technologies’ solar-powered food dehydrator, for example, is emerging as a viable solution to this issue, helping rural farmers, especially in developing nations, decrease wastage and increase income through the reduction of moisture content and extension of product shelf life to around 12 months. These favorable features will encourage more consumers to make a shift from traditional open-air dryers to solar dehydrators, and in turn, drive overall food dehydrator industry growth.
2. Expansion of food processing and agriculture projects
In emerging economies, governments have prioritized food processing and agriculture infrastructure in recent years. For example, under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) in India, around 15 identified projects in food processing and 20 projects in agriculture are expected to be implemented between 2020 and 2025, as per data from the India Investment Grid.
Dehydrators can aid the food processing process through the removal of moisture with varying heating sources such as radiation and convection. The thriving food processing industry will therefore escalate the adoption of reliable and advanced commercial food dehydrators to process foods, including dried products, without the loss of color, taste, and nutritional value.
3. Growing burden of nutritional deficiency
Apart from food and beverage applications, dehydrators with heat control and fans are considered effective for the thorough drying of herbs. Likewise, dehydration is regarded as a key technique for preserving nutraceutical products.
Deficiencies in Vitamin A, iodine, and iron are becoming more prevalent worldwide, particularly among pregnant women and children. Middle- and low-income countries bear the burden of micronutrient deficiencies. According to the World Health Organization, over 45% of child deaths are associated with undernutrition. With the growing burden of nutritional deficiency, the usage of dehydrators for herbal and nutraceutical product preservation applications will rise considerably.
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Dehydrators come in an array of varieties to dry and preserve fruits, vegetables, herbs, nutraceuticals, and other products. They can keep nutrients at peak levels and address food insecurity, which became highly prevalent issue during the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the strong government focus on the expansion of food processing and agriculture infrastructure, the food dehydrator market size is slated to grow substantially over the foreseeable future.
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