Beef jerky is a popular snack food that has been around for centuries. Jerky was originally made from lean, dried meat, and the word comes from the Quechua language of South America meaning “dried salted meat”. Modern beef jerky can be found in many different shapes and sizes including strips, sticks or slices. Beef jerky is usually very high in protein and low in fat making it an ideal snack to include on your diet plan. This article will take you through how beef jerky is produced commercially!
How It’s Made
When beef jerky is produced commercially, it’s a little bit different from when you make it at home. First, beef is purchased from a supplier who has been federally inspected. Next, the beef is trimmed and then ground up with added ingredients like soy protein concentrate or textured vegetable protein to give it more flavor. It’s mixed using high-speed machinery in order to get a consistent product that will continue to cook evenly after being sliced thin for packaging. The next step involves how much salt the meat should be seasoned with before it goes through curing – this varies by brand but usually ranges between 33% moisture content (low) and 42% moisture content (high).
Aging happens last, when each piece of jerky gets placed onto racks which are shaken every few hours so their surfaces can dry out faster while reducing its overall water content. Then they’re finally placed in a dehydrator for an additional eight hours.
This process takes 12 to 14 days, but the meat is usually kept on racks inside plastic bags sealed with zipper closures before being shipped off to food distributors who will then package it into individual servings of jerky sticks or strips. The shelf life can last up to five years if stored correctly and unopened.
In our modern world of mass production, beef jerky has become one of the most common snacks in America. This is largely due to the way that it’s made on a commercial level- as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. Jerky companies are able to use this assembly line style process because they can rely on machines for much of the work (cutting, shaping, heating). They also have access to a large number of workers who need jobs at any given time (due to unemployment rates), so labor isn’t too expensive either. The result? Cheap food with relatively few ingredients that’s easy to produce in bulk quantities!