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Drying (food)

Drying is a method of food preservation that works by removing water, which is required for decay and the growth of microorganisms. Water is usually removed by evaporation (air drying, sun drying, smoking or wind drying) but, in the case of freeze-drying, food is first frozen and then water is removed by sublimation.

Many different foods are prepared by drying, including Parma ham, beef jerky, and fruits that normally have a high water content, such as prunes, raisins, figs, and dates.

Dried and salted reindeer meat is a traditional Lappish food. First the meat is soused. It is kept in saltwater for a couple of days to guarantee the conservation of the meat. Then the meat is dried in the sun in spring when the air temperature is below zero. The dried meat can be further processed to make soup.

See also: food preservation, freeze-drying, dehydration