# How to determine drying time for meat?

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### #1 itreatpets

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 03:39 PM

Hello Folks,

Is there a mathematical equation to determine how long and at what temp to dry meat to get the moisture below 10%? Or is trial and error the only way to figure this out?

Its been a long week and my brain is ready to quit, I apologize if I did not state my question very well.

TIA

### #2 Scampi

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 04:57 PM

you can use math to give you a GENERAL time frame. However, for production, this will be a test by test determination as there are too many variables involved.

If not dried properly, your aw won't be correct either, so your running a c bot and mold/yeast risk if you don't test each lot in a few places

TGIF

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### #3 itreatpets

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 05:12 PM

I figured it would come down to trial and error.

The water activity always comes in under 0.70 aw so I am not so concerned about this, however it is still a concern overall.

Unintentionally, I tried something over the weekend and now wondering how & if we can safely do it with every batch of product, rather than adjusting cooking time & temp. I left a dried meat sample in a cool (12-16°C) low humidity room (20%) and the moisture content dropped by 10.50% and aw dropped by 0.12.

### #4 Jpainter

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 08:24 PM

Because your room temperature is in the temperature danger zone, I think you would have a difficult time getting regulatory agencies on board with that. You should try this process in a room that is below 40F (4.5C) to see if you get similar results. My guess would be that it would not be as large of a decrease in aw, but this is an effective method (I have used it in making uncooked dried sausages before). You may also think about leaving this product to lose moisture before cooking as well. This would be ideal as you can show any bacterial growth is controlled as your lethality step is upcoming in the process. It would also help to know what product you are making. I'm guessing a jerky type product?

### #5 itreatpets

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 02:39 PM

Because your room temperature is in the temperature danger zone, I think you would have a difficult time getting regulatory agencies on board with that. You should try this process in a room that is below 40F (4.5C) to see if you get similar results. My guess would be that it would not be as large of a decrease in aw, but this is an effective method (I have used it in making uncooked dried sausages before). You may also think about leaving this product to lose moisture before cooking as well. This would be ideal as you can show any bacterial growth is controlled as your lethality step is upcoming in the process. It would also help to know what product you are making. I'm guessing a jerky type product?

We are making a jerky treat for dogs but its from a particular cut of meat that's not currently on the market, unfortunately I can't say more then that.

Good point on the danger zone & I will definitely look at decreasing moisture before the cooking process as well, I did not think of that and now I am curious. Would there be any guidance out there on how to do this?

### #6 Scampi

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 03:46 PM

There's tons of info out there to assist, here's a couple

https://meathaccp.wi...elf_stable.html

http://www.haccpalli...eline_Jerky.pdf

https://www.fsis.usd...pdf?MOD=AJPERES

https://nchfp.uga.ed.../dry/jerky.html

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