Dr. Catherine Kunyanga from the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology participated in a study on the Effect of drying air temperature and slice thickness on the physical and microbiological quality of dried beef. The findings of this study were published LWT-Food Science and Technology Vol.92 2018. Pages 484-489.
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of cabinet drying air temperature (30–60 °C) and sample thickness (2.5–10 mm) on the quality attributes of dried beef. The physical (colour, rehydration ratio/RR and texture) and microbial quality of beef samples were evaluated using standard procedures. There was a significant decrease (P ≤ 0.05) in L*, a*, b*and chroma/C* colour values with increasing temperature and beef thickness, while change in thickness had no effect (P > 0.05) on the hue/H* colour attribute. The RR was higher at 60 °C for 5–10 mm thick samples and decreased (P ≤ 0.05) with increase in beef thickness. The firmness values increased with increase in temperature from 30 to 50 °C, decreased at 60 °C and were significantly lower (P ≤ 0.05) at 2.5 mm beef thickness. The total viable counts (TVC) and Staphylococcus aureus numbers in beef dried at 30 and 40 °C were higher than that of fresh beef, whereas drying at 60 °C significantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced the microbial numbers.
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