Sausage is the meat product combined with spices and seasoning which can be served as a food item. Meat rapidly gets contaminated due to excess moisture.
Meat is rapidly contaminated when it is ground for hamburger or sausage because the bacteria normally present on the outside of the meat (skin, nails, hair) move into the chopped meat where there are many air pockets and rich supply of moisture, and proliferates.
If the sausages lose moisture too rapidly during the initial stages of the drying period, the surface hardens and a crust develops. This crust inhibits further transmission of moisture which spoils the sausage.
While drying sausage, the required air change rate is approximately 30 air changes/hr, while the temperature has to be consistently maintained at 20ºC with 10% RH level.
Sausages use water activity(aw) to increase their shelf life as lower water activity means lesser availability of water for microorganism growth.
Water activity is in fact an vital determinant for stability because food stuffs that have very low water activities have little water for microorganism growth. Most meat products with lower water activity levels utilize salt to bind water as well as drying techniques to lower the total moisture content of the product which in turn lowers the water activity.
In the beginning of the drying process, the RH can be as high as 97%. After that, the RH must be reduced so that the drying rate at the surface is kept as low as possible. “The RH has to be regulated according to the decrease in water-activity value of the product. Thus, the air RH should be more or less 4% lower than the value of water activity of the product.”.
During the entire cycle of drying , it is essential for sausage drying rooms to be equipped with a fan, and with facilities for dehumidification. Bry-Air desiccant dehumidifier are capable of maintaining dew point as low as -60ºC regardless of ambient conditions. It also helps in retaining the nutritional value of sausages while retaining flavor.