Temperature and humidity are important parameters both in natural drying and in the industrial production of dried meat. To achieve an optimum level of maturation and drying, temperature and relative air humidity are therefore controlled continuously in drying rooms. For quality control of the dry meat product, the aw value, which is determined with water activity instruments, is of decisive importance as sufficient moisture must be removed from the meat before packing so that no bacterial growth sets in and no condensation forms in the cellophane wrapping.
The right level of drying is also worth hard cash; if too much water is removed from the meat, this has a direct ‒ in this case negative ‒ influence on the selling weight. The art therefore lies in achieving a water activity value that allows a maximum selling weight with minimal bacterial growth.