The Raw Foods Evolution

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Excalibur Dehydrator Temperature for Raw Food

What is the correct temperature to set the Excalibur Dehydrator at to make raw foods?

Answer by Dr. Gabriel Cousens:

Low-temperature food dehydration is a technique that warms and dries food that will not destroy enzymes. It has been suggested by Edward Howell in his book Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity that food enzymes are destroyed when the food temperature reaches 115 to 120 degrees F.

However, recent research by The Excalibur Dehydrator Company suggests that it is actually better to begin the dehydration process at 145 degrees F for the initial stage of the drying process. The reasoning is that as the food is dehydrating, it literally "sweats out" the moisture it contains. This moisture inside the dehydrator reduces the food temperature, as much as 20-25 degrees.

This information changes how we think about the entire process of food dehydration. It means that the safest way to dehydrate is to begin drying at 145 degrees F for a maximum of three hours for foods with a high water content. After this the temperature is set in the "normal" range of 110 to 115 degrees F through the completion of the drying process.

By doing this we are inhibiting bacterial growth by reducing the time the food spends in the dehydrator. The longer that a food is in the dehydrator the more potential exists for the enzymes to be destroyed, even at lower temperatures. Low-temperature dehydration for sustained time, as practiced for years by the live-food community, may not be safe because sustained low-temperature dehydration encourages bacterial growth and fermentation.

At the Tree of Life we feel that the new approach is both safer and more efficient. Through research from our Master's Program in Nutrition, we hope to have more exact temperatures and times regarding this technique, but for now we only have estimates. Join the Tree of Life Newsletter at for updates on this important information.

This technique of dehydration is only recommended for the "Excalibur Dehydrator" because of the way that it dries food. First the Excalibur has the Parallexx Horizontal-Airflow Drying System, which evenly distributes air, eliminating "hot" spots. Also, a thermostat controls the temperature in the Excalibur; therefore when it reaches the set temperature it shuts off.

The advantage to this is that when the temperature is higher, moisture is evaporated from the food (instead of being trapped inside by hardening of the outer surface). Then as the temperature goes down, moisture is able to pass from the inside to the outside of the food as the outer moisture is evaporated. In this way the food dries much more quickly and evenly so there is less chance of bacterial growth.

The Excalibur dehydrator comes equipped with non-stick Teflex sheets. These are non-stick sheets that are used whenever the food to be dehydrated is of a more liquid-like consistency that could spill through the plastic net sheet that is consistently used on the dehydrator tray.

This article is by Dr. Gabriel Cousens and the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center

For more raw food tips and a free digital book about living foods please visit

Talk soon,

Mike Snyder

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