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How Much Water Is in a Fruit?

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

The Science of Dehydration

The earliest known use of dehydration (removing water, or drying) to preserve foods was in Egypt, around 15,000 BC. American Indians and early settlers in North America also preserved foods by drying them. 

By removing most of the moisture from foods, dehydration makes many grains, meats and vegetables much less suitable environments for the growth and reproduction of molds, bacteria and insects. Drying also makes foods lighter and easier to store and transport. Other methods for preserving food through dehydration include smoking, which is faster than simple drying—and more effective as well, because the absorbed smoke is toxic to many microorganisms—and salting, which draws moisture out of food items. 


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Numbers: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932


Houston Endowment Inc.

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education