All-Natural Dehydrated Blueberries
Here at Gingerich Farms Products, our blueberries are as perfect as we can me them: fresh, sweet and full of flavor. Freshness is the key. Picking the blueberries at that perfect time is what makes our berries taste so good.
In fact, freshness is so important to us that we not only pack our own blueberries for both fresh and frozen, we also dehydrate and vacuum pack our dehydrated blueberries ourselves. And that flavor carries over to our all -natural dehydrated blueberries.
We dehydrate our blueberries naturally, without extra water, sugars or preservatives.
Most dehydrated blueberries you buy are made by the process of what's called "infusion". Infusion is where you take the blueberries and soak them in a solution, usually sugars mixed with water or fruit juices, for a specific amount of time. The sugars force the water out of the blueberries, with the sugars then taking the waters place in the berries. After the soaking, the blueberries are then dried down to the desired moisture level.
What this process does is help keep the original weight of the blueberries. Now, retaining weight is a big thing in blueberries, well, actually in any form of dehydrated product. In natural dehydrated blueberries it's normal to loose 75 to 85% of your total fruit weight while removing the water. For every pound of dehydrated blueberries you want, you must start with 5, 6 or even 7 pounds of regular berries!
In infused blueberries you are replacing that lost weight with . . . well, with sugars. In this kind of process, it's more common to only have 50 - 60% loss. This means to get 1 pound of infused blueberries usually only takes 2 to 3 pounds of regular berries.
This doesn't necessarily make sugar-infused dehydrated blueberries bad dehydrated berries. Just as long as you realize you're getting as much as 60% sugar!! When talking about sugar-infused blueberries, some say it's almost like eating candy. Even worse are those who call their product dehydrated blueberries but only list "blueberry chips" on their ingredients, not the whole blueberries. We're not exactly sure what a blueberry chip is.
Business-wise, it's seems to be pretty simple math. If it takes 2 to 3 times as much incoming product to get the same final weight, its probably going to cost you 2 to 3 times as much to make your product.
But, Gingerich Farms doesn't just look at it from the business side of it. We look at it from the quality and nutritional side also. The blueberries you get from a natural dehydration process are just that . . . Blueberries. Full of flavor and natural goodness. They taste and smell like blueberries!!
Many people are aware of blueberries excellent health qualities, but did you know that most of the antioxidants (or anthocyanins) are in the skin of the berry? Dehydrating them naturally, we can use up to 7 pounds of blueberries to make 1 pound of dehydrated blueberries. Therefore, you can receive almost 7 times the amount of beneficial antioxidant nutrients in 1 ounce of dried blueberries as opposed to 1 once of fresh berries. So . . . Dried blueberries are not just good for you - they are great for you !
Dehydration is the process of removing moisture from the product, taking it down to a desired moisture level. Our dehydrator moves heated air across and through the trays to remove the moisture from the blueberries.
Because quality is so important to us we inspect our blueberries throughout the drying process
We vacuum pack our dehydrated blueberries to ensure quality. First we set the liner in place.
Next, we draw air out of the foil liner, flush with nitrogen, and seal with a double-ribbed seal
Finally, the box is sealed for shipping. Your dehydrated blueberries will arrive in peak condition.
Gingerich Farms Products is one of the only growers to vacuum pack our dehydrated blueberries.
This process stabilizes the moisture content, prevents infiltration by insects or mold, and provides exceptional protection and stability during shipping.
Washed and inspected blueberries are loaded onto drying racks.
The filled drying towers are wheeled into our dehydration tunnel.