There are a variety of ways that are used in preserving different kinds of food to ensure that their shelf life is increased. Food drying is one of the most common food preservation method that can be practised easily in all places where the food is dried hence preventing the growth of yeasts, bacteria or molds by removing water from the food. In most cases when drying food, a food dehydrator may be used that helps extract moisture form the given food hence aiding in preservation. The food dehydrator may be used on various kinds of foods such as vegetables, fruits as well as animal proteins.
Food drying through the use of a food dehydrator usually requires a source of heat and the air flow to help extract water from the food. There are a variety of energy sources that can be used by a food dehydrator including include electric power, solar power or even a biofuel. In a food dehydrator, there are a variety of essential components that enhance removal of moisture from the food and they 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 process usually takes place for a set period of time till the moisture that remains in the food is less than 20%. Depending on the kind of food that is being dried for preservation, the drying temperature will vary 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 most common factors put into consideration include 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.