White Crystals or Powder on Jerky
Meat Fact Friday - White Crystals or Powder on Jerky
Join us every Friday when we share an interesting and helpful fact about meat or meat processing and how that can effect your product!
What are the White Crystals on Jerky?
Most of the time this isn’t really something to worry about as all it is is the salt, sugar or tyrosine which is an amino acid being pushed out of the interior of the meat as the jerky dries. The salt is soluble in the water and oils of the meat so as the water is removed from the meat the salt no longer has anything to be bound up in and it is deposited on the outside of the meat in the form of dry white powder or crystals.
How to Prevent it from happening
To prevent this from happening you can make sure that you are using the correct amount of seasoning or salt in your jerky as an overabundance of salt is the main cause of this. Another common reason for this to happen is overdried jerky, so if you are seeing this all of the time try adjusting your drying times.
Also, you can make sure your jerky is at or below room temperature before packaging it.
What else could it be?
Now, there is also a small chance that this could be mold. A good way to make sure it is not mold is to vacuum seal your product after it has been dried, mold needs the presence of oxygen to grow so if you see the white crystals or powder on the surface of the meat while it is vacuum packed you can be assured it is not mold.
You can wipe it away with a damp towel if the appearance is something that really bothers you. This might be somewhat difficult depending on the level of dryness and texture of your jerky.
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