The Excalibur Dehydrator is a simple and effective way to preserve your food.
Dehydrating food is one of the oldest methods of food preservation that dates back through civilization for centuries!
Available in 5 and 9 tray formats, the Excalibur Dehydrator comes with a built in adjustable thermostat that begins at 85 degrees F. The Excalibur dehydrator assures that no enzymes or nutrients are lost during the drying process. This is where many other dehydrators fail, as thermostats are set too high destroying essential beneficial nutrients.
With The Excalibur Dehydrator you will never need to waste any food again!
We love the Excalibur and recommend it in our books (Detox Your World, Shazzie's detox delights Evie's Kitchen) and DVDs (Shazzie's Raw Food Delights).
About the Excalibur dehydrator and raw / living foods
"Living Foods are uncooked, free from animal products, organic, easy to digest, rich in enzymes, and highly nutritious. They include home-grown sprouted grains and beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fermented preparations, dehydrated snacks and delicious deserts such as fruit and nut pies and fruit ice cream."
-- Ann Wigmore Foundation
In 1963 Dr. Ann Wigmore and Victoras Kulvinskas founded the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, MA. This was followed by the Ann Wigmore Foundation in 1985. Her teachings are followed by thousands of people world wide.
Healthy Tips From Excalibur
Healthy Baby Food
Make extra of your wholesome meals and dry them in the Excalibur. It dries food hard enough that you can powder it in a blender. Powdered foods mixed with water or milk make an instant and highly nutritious baby food.
Noted Author writes
"Dried foods contain more nutrients than canned foods."
While canned foods shine with vivid colors that are beautiful to look at, dried foods have the advantage of being quite tasty and convenient. They contain more nutrients than canned foods.
Carol W. Costenbader,
Safe for Diabetics!
Q: Are dehydrated foods safe for diabetics?
Bite into a juicy red apple. You are experiencing the full potential and complement of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes nature provided in that compact package. There's no nutritional loss due to the heat of cooking, nor loss of water soluble vitamins and minerals. If your apple was organically grown, you aren't ingesting artificial preservatives, food dyes, or other man-made chemicals, simulated sugars, or 'enhancers'.
Dehydrating is the best way to preserve the essence of a raw apple, as well as other fruits and vegetables. Dehydrating doesn't subject foods to high temperatures associated with traditional canning methods. For safety reasons, low-acid foods are heated to temperatures of 240ºF degrees in a pressure canner. High-acid produce reaches a temperature of 212ºF in a water-bath canner. When a raw food is heated to an internal temperature of 120ºF or higher, much of it's nutritional value is lost, especially enzymes. Canning also leaches out water soluble vitamins and minerals, which further depletes the healthful qualities of raw-living foods.
Excalibur dehydrators are uniquely suited for dehydrating foods while retaining those beneficial qualities. Excalibur's Parallexx™ Horizontal-Airflow Drying System evenly distributes air which eliminates 'hot' spots. Compare our dehydrators to the 'typical round dehydrator'.
Excalibur's Adjustable Thermostat maintains drying temperatures well below the threshold for enzyme and vitamin loss. For maximum retention of the living-food qualities, set the thermostat to 105ºF. Excalibur's thermostat will maintain the temperature needed to air dry the food, without raising the internal temperature of the food, itself, to critical levels.
One aspect, not previously mentioned, is Excalibur's opaque door. Some vitamins are light sensitive and are destroyed when exposed to light. Excalibur's opaque door and light blocking cabinet are designed to minimize light sensitive vitamin loss. Many 'typical' round dehydrators have transparent trays and covers, affording maximum light penetration to the food being dried.
All Excalibur models come with a 5 year manufacturer's guarantee.
Power Boost for Fresh Raw foods!
When you make your favorite smoothie or other raw food beverage, add powdered fruits or vegetables to the recipe. For example, if your beverage contains carrots, add a tablespoon of carrot powder to a cup of carrot juice for an even higher degree of nutrition!
Keep your pantry stocked with dehydrated fruits and vegetables, so that you can add a big power boost to supplement those fresh fruits and vegetables that you have on hand.
When you use an Excalibur to stock your pantry, you can be assured the fruits of your labor will be the very best!
Roger Orton, President of Excalibur Products, writes...
"We have enjoyed working with the Raw Foods Community since our introduction to it by Dr. Ann Wigmore, over 15 years ago, and are very sympathetic to their concerns. We want to produce what our customers really need. The Excalibur is the dehydrator of choice among the Raw Foodists .There seems to be no consensus as to the proper "air" temperature surrounding foods that are being dried. I say "AIR" temperature, because we have found in tests that, due to the cooling effect of evaporation, food temperature is usually 20 to 25 degrees cooler than air temperature. As long as the food temperature doesn't exceed the enzyme destruction temperature (120ºF, according to Ann Wigmore). While in the wet state, the enzyme action will be suspended. As soon as they are consumed, or rehydrated, they become active again."
"In June 2001, we attended the Festival of Raw and Living Foods in Portland Oregon. I talked with Victoras Kulvinskas Author, and co founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute 'The Father of the movement', and discussed the above. He agreed . I asked him what improvements that we need to make to the Excalibur Dehydrator. He told me, I have FIVE Excalibur Dehydrators, I use them all the time, I have tested the enzymatic activity of foods I have dried in them, and have found them to be very high. I am completely satisfied with the present design. I don't see a need for any change."
About dehydrator sheets
Note: You can buy coated sheeets very cheaply in supermarkets. These last a very long time, and may be a better option for you than paying £8 for an Excalibur dehydrator sheet.
Dehydrator sheets are super flexible and coated with non-stick material for fruit leathers, rollups, taffies. They are reusable for years, and will only need replacing quicker if you constantly cut on them.
Ideal for home crafts, too!
Because you can remove trays, the Excalibur allows you to dry BIG items like natural flowers, whole apples, dough-art creations, and many other craft projects. Gentle, controllable heat lets you dry delicate things perfectly.
Unlike parchment paper or plastic wrap that often becomes stuck to the food, dehydrator sheets are 100% non-stick allowing even the stickiest foods just peel right off. Dehydrator sheets are also FDA approved and are temperature rated up to 500ºF so they can be used as baking sheet liners.
Dehydrator sheets are used for:
Catch drips with dehydrator sheets -- Put a dehydrator sheet under your Polyscreen tray liner, to catch drips, if you're drying foods with a lot of moisture content. Even though your Excalibur is easy to clean, using dehydrator sheets in this manner will make clean up even easier!
Open letter to raw foodists
Dear Excalibur Owner
In the past couple of years as the raw food lifestyle has become more popular, some raw foodists have become concerned about thermostat in their Excalibur not holding an accurate air temperature. This concern has arisen due to a couple of reasons. One reason is the lack of instruction we have provided on how the dehydrator was designed to work, which then leads to the second reason, which is a lack of understanding on the part of the user on what is happening during the dehydration process, and how the enzymes are effected by various temperatures. Because of this concern parts of the raw food community have urged us to design a new dehydrator with a thermostat that will accurately control the air temperature.
One of our main goals as a company is to produce a product that meets the needs of our customers. Therefore we responded to the request and spent hundreds of hours testing at least a dozen different thermostats. Twice we thought we found the right one, and both times they failed to get the approval of the raw food chefs that tested them. They simply said the old one worked better. This created a concern for us because we had based our decision upon inaccurate information, for example that temperatures above 105ºF would destroy all enzymes. We then devoted our time and effort into finding the information we had to have before we could proceed with developing a new product. Based upon what we already knew from almost 30 years of experience, and information we found through recent testing and research, we have discovered that Excalibur’s present design and thermostat is superior for living foods.
Excalibur Dehydrator’s thermostat was never originally designed to hold an accurate air temperature, but was specifically designed for, and very accurate at controlling food temperature. However it is very important to understand what is happening in the dehydration process. Here are some aspects of the process that are most critical to understand
FIRST, understanding the difference between air temperature and food temperature, and how the evaporation process keeps food temp cooler than air temperature SECOND, understanding how the thermostat works by causing the air temperature to fluctuate up and down THIRD, understanding at which point in the dehydration process that the enzymes are most susceptible to destruction by heat, which is while the food is in its wet state. After the food is dehydrated the enzymes can with stand much higher temperatures.
Food Temperature vs. Air Temperature
In understanding the difference between air temp and food temp it is important to know how to read Excalibur's dial.
The temperature reading on the dial refers to FOOD temperature.
In general food temperature is about 20 degrees cooler that air temperature. Therefore if you set your Excalibur at 105ºF you are setting it to hold the food temperature at around 105ºF, the air temperature may get as high as 125ºF depending upon the moisture content of the food. The reason the food temperature is cooler is because of evaporation. As the moisture on the surface of the food evaporates, it cools the food keeping it about 20ºF cooler than the air temperature. We have discovered this through hours of testing by measuring the air temperature and food temperature simultaneously during the dehydration process using a Doric Trendicator with type j thermal couples.
How Excalibur's Thermostat Works
It is also important to know how the thermostat works. We have found through experimentation, that in order preserve the enzymes, and reduce the risk of mold and bacteria, it is necessary to have a wide fluctuation in temperature. Because enzymes and microorganisms both thrive at the same temperature, we must be able to accomplish two things at once, keep the food temperature low enough not to harm the enzymes, and elevate the air temperature high enough to remove the moisture quickly to stop the growth of mold or bacteria. The wide fluctuation in temperature accomplishes just that.
As the air temperature rapidly rises to its high point moisture is quickly evaporated off the surface of the food, and as the temperature lowers the dryer surface pulls moisture from the center of the food and becomes saturated again. Because of the continuous up and down fluctuation in air temperature, and constant evaporation the food temperature remains constant at a lower temperature.
After all the moisture is evaporated out of the food, the food temperature will rise and then equalize somewhere in the middle of the air temperature fluctuation. Once the food temperature rises one might get worried and think that the enzymes are dead if he or she does not understand the third critical aspect. Which is, that enzymes are only susceptible to damage by high heat when they are in the wet state, therefore once the food is dehydrated the enzymes have become dormant, and can withstand much higher temperatures.
According to our discussions with Viktoras Kulvinskas on this matter he said that we were right, and that, quote dry enzymes can survive well up to 150ºF. He has tested food he has prepared in his Excalibur dehydrators with an experiment he created, and found it to be high in enzymatic activity. We have also done some experiments by soaking various seeds, dehydrating them at different temperatures, and soaking them again afterwards to see if they will sprout, and they did, which proves that the enzymes are alive.
Enzyme Destruction Temperatures
Something that has caused us a lot of concern, is we have heard so many conflicting opinions as to the temperature at which enzymes are destroyed. Twenty years ago Ann Wigmore spoke to Roger Orton personally and said that the food temperature had to go above 120ºF for a period time before the enzymes were destroyed. Again in our discussions with Viktoras he said the same thing.
Ann tested different dehydrators, and found that Excalibur was the best for living foods. She found that the best technique for saving enzymes was to set Excalibur on a higher food temperature setting in the beginning and then turn it down after a few hours. However because most people may not know when to turn it down, and by leaving it on the higher setting may kill the enzymes she said to set your Excalibur on 105ºF setting throughout the entire cycle. That way the food temp will never go above 120ºF even after it is dry.
We believe this is why many have come to believe that 105ºF air temperature is the temperature at which the enzymes are destroyed, which is entirely inaccurate. We have also heard many people quote Dr. Edward Howell where he says in his book Enzyme Nutrition that prolonged temperatures over 118ºF will destroy enzymes. We also read in his book where he says that the enzyme amylase can still convert starch to sugar at air temperatures up to 160ºF but will wear out after a half an hour. We have also read where he says that the optimum temperatures for enzymes are 45ºF to 140ºF.
Just recently we spoke with Dr. John Whitaker who is a world recognized enzymologist, and former dean of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at U.C. Davis. He said that every enzyme is different and some are more stable at higher temperatures than others but that most enzymes will not become completely inactive until food temperatures exceed 140ºF to 158ºF in a wet state.
We appreciate you taking the time to read this information, and urge you to help us in spreading it though out the raw food community. Please contact us if you have any questions, or you know of any further information you can share with us. We want to meet the needs of the raw food community, and are still doing research in order to make any necessary changes, but from what we have been told the present Excalibur is perfect. We hope that it has helped in answering your questions regarding your Excalibur Dehydrator. Please share this with any of your friends in your community.
Your Friends at Excalibur
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