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Drying is a method of food preservation that works by removing water from the food, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms and hinders quality decay. Drying food using sun and wind to prevent spoilage has been practised since ancient times. Water is usually removed by evaporation (air drying, sun drying, smoking or wind drying) but, in the case of freeze-drying, food is first frozen and then the water is removed by sublimation.

Bacteria yeasts and moulds need the water in the food to grow. Drying effectively prevents them from surviving in the food.

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