Yes, ITS manufactures industrial batch drying ovens for jerky curing:
First, a little bit about jerky.
Drying is the worlds oldest and most common method of food preservation. Drying technology is both simple and readily available. The scientific principal of preserving food by drying is that by removing moisture, enzymes cannot efficiently contact or react with the food.
Jerky is a nutrient-dense meat that is made lightweight by dehydration. Because most of the moisture is removed, it is shelf stable and can be stored without refrigeration.
Jerky processing includes slicing or forming meat or poultry, marinating, heating, and then drying the strips.
Five Fun Facts About Jerky
- Jerky is eaten in outer space – Since the early 90s NASA’s space crews have chosen to take jerky as a lightweight, high protein snack.
- Squirrels make jerky too – No, seriously. Red squirrels have been seen hanging fungi out to dry between tree branches. The dried mushrooms last longer during winter.
- June 12th is National Jerky Day.
- “Jerky” is derived from the Spanish word “Charqui,” which came from Quechua, a Native American language, and it means “to burn meat.”
- You can use almost any type of meat to make jerky.
How is jerky made? Jerky is cured and dehydrated in an oven. The main components of a Jerky Curing oven are:
- A source of heat which can be electric, indirect fired gas or steam
- Air flow to recirculate a source of air
- Humidity system, atomized water, or steam
- Trays or racks to hold food during the curing process
Temperature and humidity control is critical when making jerky, the USDA recommends that when making jerky safely you need to heat the meat to 160°f and poultry must be heated to a minimum of 165°F before the dehydrating process, also maintaining the humidity at a minimum of 90% assures that any bacteria that is present will be destroyed by wet heat. Wet heat (humidity) can be accomplished by closing the oven down to prevent moisture loss, but the preferred method would be through the introduction of atomized water or steam to the process air stream. This would include a wet heat control system to measure and control the humidity in the oven to meet lethality compliance guidelines. After heating the jerky to 160°F or 165°F and then maintaining a constant temperature of 130°F to 140°F is important to remove the water fast enough to keep the jerky from spoiling.
ITS Curing Ovens for Dehydration
International Thermal Systems provides low temperature dehydrating ovens with either electric, indirect gas fired or steam heating options, the indirect gas fired option provides a gas heat source without any of the products of combustion entering or contaminating the air stream.
The dehydrating, curing oven is provided with a humidity monitoring and control system. We provide a plc-based control system with operator interface. This allows the operator to create custom cure profiles for different types or cuts of jerky. The plc system provides many options for time and temperature combinations. Data acquisition that is time and date stamped can be provided to document the curing process.
The oven is provided with a laminar air flow across the chamber, this guarantees that you have uniform drying throughout the work chamber. Work chambers can be designed around your existing carts or racks or we can provide carts and pans as an option.
Advanced food dehydrators work equally well drying fruit, fruit rollups, vegetables, pet snacks, herbs, kale chips to beet powder and more.