Food preservation is a common practice that has been practiced since the ancient times that aims at ensuring that the shelf life of the given food is enhanced. 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. 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. The food dehydrator may be used on various 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. 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.
When using a food dehydrator, the heating element will warm the food allowing it to remove moisture while the fan will then blow out the moist warm air from the appliances through the air vents. This process of food drying in the food dehydrator will continue till the moisture content remaining in the food is less the 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. 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.
There are certain factors that one can consider when purchasing a food dehydrator that they can 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.