There are a variety of ways that are used in preserving different kinds of food to ensure that their shelf life is increased. The most common method of food preservation that is practised in almost all places in the world is food drying where the food is dried to prevent the growth of yeasts, bacteria or molds by removing water from the food. Food drying may depend on natural methods such as solar drying but can as well be done using a food dehydrator that helps extract moisture from the given food hence aiding in preservation. Food drying through the use of a food dehydrator can be done on almost all kinds of foods such as vegetables, fruits as well as animal proteins.
The food dehydrator usually depends on a source of heat and the air flow to help extract water from the food. Food dehydrators usually depend on a variety of sources of heat for food drying including the include electric power, solar power or even a biofuel. The food dehydrator consists of various basic parts that enhance food drying which may include the heating element, air vents that allow air circulation in the device, a fan as well as food trays where one can lay the food. The most effective components in food drying include the heating element, air vents that allow air circulation in the device and a fan which work simultaneously with each other in removing moisture from the food.
The heating element usually warms the food which allows the moisture present to be released while the fan will blow out the moist warm air from the appliances through the air vents. The drying process continues for the set period of time till the moisture content that remains in the food do not exceed 20%. The dehydration temperature in the device usually depends on the type of food being dried for example most foods are usually dehydrated at 1300F while for the meat jerky, the temperature has to be increased to about 1550 F. An adequate flow of air in the device and a constant temperature has to be maintained in the food dehydrator to ensure that the drying process is appropriate and the shelf life of the food concerned is enhanced. It is important to ensure that the temperature maintained is not very high to ensure that the food do not dry and become hard on the outside and the inside is moist making it susceptible to spoilage.
One need to put certain factors into consideration when purchasing a suitable food drier to use for food preservation. The model of the dehydrator, the kinds of food to be dried, space one has to accommodate the food dehydrator as well as its cost are some of the factors that one can consider when purchasing a food dehydrator.
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