Why is a fruit and vegetable dryer just for vegetables and fruits? Is it possible to dry meat and fish in it or not? Some do it all the time, others talk about the dangers of contamination with bacteria. In this material, we deal with all the subtleties and find out everything about the danger.
It is believed that the fruit and vegetable dryer is so named for some safety reasons. It is impossible to predict in advance what bacteria may be contained in meat or fish, and whether the dehydrator will be able to cope with them at a low temperature. If we imagine that a person contracted salmonellosis or botulism by drying meat in a vegetable dryer, then it is completely unclear who is to blame in the end: the culinary specialist himself, the farmer, the seller of this meat, or, nevertheless, the manufacturer of the dryers, which did not provide for a proper drying system meat with the exception of any risks? This article is more about medicine than technology.
In industrial drying, meat and fish are first calcined to 90–100 ° C to ensure the destruction of all harmful bacteria. Most of them do not stand up to such indicators. Then the products are dried at their own lower temperatures. Some industrial dehydrators work on infrared radiation, almost completely preserving the beneficial properties and vitamins of products and destroying unwanted microflora and microorganisms. Infrared radiation eliminates overdrying because it does not activate the fan and is much faster than air drying. There is no way to reproduce such conditions at home, so as not to spoil the taste of meat and fish. For example, chicken at high temperatures or drying for too long will turn into a dry sole. It also becomes too stale from the air blowing, which is found in all dehydrators.
To begin with, let's define how meat and fish are generally dried in dehydrators and what recipes for home dryers tell us about this.
Drying times often depend on the amount of food to be poured and the thickness of the pieces. The larger they are, the longer the drying time. During the drying process, it is recommended to change the trays in places every few hours to ensure uniform airflow. This is logical for vertical dryers where the fan is at the bottom. In the horizontal, the fan is located at the back, and the air circulates equally throughout all the loading tiers.
The main danger of dried meat and fish is bacteria that can survive drying and get into our body. From banal cysts of worms to quite serious botullotoxins. Usually we cannot know in advance whether the meat is contaminated or not, unless we hand it over for examination every time. Even your own poultry and livestock can be contaminated with different types of germs and bacteria through soil and water. Below we have compiled the most complete list of the most dangerous bacteria found in meat and fish, and the temperature of their death.
Salmonella . The most famous bacteria that cause salmonellosis. For some reason, it is believed that this is a disease exclusively of chicken meat and raw eggs, while Salmonella also live in fish and in meat of livestock. They die at a temperature of 70 ° C after 5-10 minutes.
Escherichia coli . Found in all types of meat and fish. Strictly speaking, it is not Escherichia coli itself that poisons us, but the toxins that some of its strains release. Escherichia coli bacteria die at a temperature of 60 ° C after 15 minutes.
Campylobacter . They often infect poultry, less often livestock. Most of them cause campylobacteriosis in humans. It can also manifest itself as a normal food dysbiosis, or it can develop into systemic lesions up to enterocolitis, meningitis, thrombophlebitis and kidney damage. Not resistant to high temperatures, they die quickly when heated to 60 ° C within 10-15 minutes.
Staphylococcus aureus . They "live" mainly in meat. They can cause purulent inflammation in various organs and tissues of the body. The simplest and most common manifestation of infection is the symptoms of severe poisoning. Dies at temperatures up to 70 ° C in an hour, and at 80 ° C - after 30-40 minutes. However, some strains tolerate heating up to 100 ° C.
Listeria . Dangerous primarily for young children and elderly people with weak immunity. Infection manifests itself at first as a typical poisoning, but it can turn into systemic infection up to death. Listeria die at a temperature of 62 ° C.
Brucella . As a rule, these bacteria are carried by small and cattle, they can be found in farm dairy products and even in water. Brucellosis is a dangerous and serious disease that affects the spinal cord and causes critical neurological disorders, including disability. The bacteria tolerate freezing well and persist at -20 ° C for up to 20 days. When boiled, they die almost instantly, in the sun - within 4-5 hours. But at a temperature of 60 C °, they die after 30 minutes, but only in a humid, not dry environment. Thus, brucella will easily survive drying in a dehydrator and take over your body with pleasure.
Pseudomonas - aka Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is present in fish. In fact, it is present normally in the human body. At the same time, it can cause infection. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be infected not only from fish, but more often in hospitals. Pseudomonas die at 65 ° C in 10 minutes.
Botullins... Germs that cause botulism. It is more often considered a disease of low-quality canned food or missing sausage (the word botulus itself is a sausage). In these cases, the infection is caused by botulinum toxins. But botullins can also be found in raw meat and especially fish. Among fresh and frozen fish supplied to fish processing enterprises, 6–8% contain botulism pathogens, and this is the main danger in fish, especially sturgeon. This is a severe, acute toxic-infectious disease with damage to the nervous system, medulla oblongata and spinal cord. It develops rapidly, in severe cases leads to paralysis and death. Vegetative forms of the microbe die at a temperature of 80 ° C within 30 minutes, but botullin spores can even withstand boiling and die only with high-temperature sterilization at least 120 ° C. At the same time, in all recipes for electric dryers, fish is dried at a temperature of 50-60 ° C. Botullins will easily survive drying.
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