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. When drying food as a preservation method, one can dry it under the solar or can make use of the food dehydrators 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. 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. There are various important components that are essential for a food dehydrator to enhance drying of food 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. Food drying in a food dehydrator is usually carried out through 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 role of the heating element is to warm the food allowing moisture to escape 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. To ensure that food drying is done in the right way, the food dehydrator usually maintains an adequate flow of air in the device and a constant temperature. The most appropriate temperature that should be maintained should not be too 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. Some of the common things to consider 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.