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I just bought a nesco dehydrator. Used it a few times with good results. Yesterday I sliced up some fresh pineapple and placed it over 4 racks. I let it run at 140-145 for 6 hours. The thinner slices were dehydrated but still moist.

My question is, how does the temperatures affect how food is dried? One would assume that the higher the temperature, the faster the drying. Obviously that isn't the case...or is it?

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The higher the temperature the faster the drying but also the more damage will be done to the food. As high as 140 and it is being cooked. For something like pineapple this is fine but for delicate things like basil that is not ok.

If you live in a dry climate the heater might not be necessary at all but it will save time.

I don't know exactly why your pineapple didn't turn out but here are a couple notes:

1- Things that are thick or very moist take much longer than usual. 6 hours is not a long time. Obviously pineapple is both. Try letting it go overnight.

2- Really really sugary things are so hygroscopic that they have a hard time drying completely and staying dried.

3- Commercial dried fruits are usually candied and chemically altered before being dried in equipment that I can't reproduce. This shouldn't discourage you by any means but don't expect your product to always be exactly like commercial dried fruit.

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thanks. I'm actually expecting it to come out like previous batches (made with a different dehydrator). My grandma used to dry pineapple (canned I think) and it would become hard/crispy. The user manual for my dehydrator says 4 hours at 135. I let it go 140 for 6 hours plus rotating the trays. –  DustinDavis Mar 7 '11 at 19:09
    
I don't expect anything to compare to commercial. My beef jerky is far superior to what you can by in the store. I'm good with what I produce. Just want to get the techniques correct –  DustinDavis Mar 7 '11 at 19:11
    
@DustinDavis- Sounds like you are getting your money's worth out of that dehydrator. You remind me that I need to make jerky again. –  Sobachatina Mar 7 '11 at 19:16

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