Biltong drying success with Condair & JTR
Specialist South African food supplier, The Savanna, is using Condair dehumidifiers to dry its award winning biltong at its production facility in London. Two Condair dehumidifiers were installed by John Todd Refrigeration (JTR) to help in the production of this traditional South African product.
Biltong is a dried and cured meat, with a rich and dense flavour, which is cut into strips and often eaten as a snack. The Savanna’s biltong is produced using grass-fed beef from the Scottish highlands and a traditional South African curing method. Silverside beef slabs are sliced into strips and then marinated before being mounted on hooks for air drying, which is where Condair’s dehumidifiers assist in the process.
Matt Gough, Refrigeration Engineer at JTR commented, “The Savanna approached JTR wanting to improve the consistency and efficiency of their drying rooms, whilst also gaining better control over what was happening inside. The rooms need very tight environmental control but the previous strategy introduced outside air to help lower temperatures when needed. This external factor meant that the internal room conditions, and therefore the drying process, were influenced by the seasons and weather.”
“JTR redesigned the drying rooms and installed Condair DC-N dehumidifiers. The dehumidifiers, located in the rooms, both dry and heat the air to the required condition, resulting in a fully sealed area and a consistently controlled drying process.” Matt concluded.
Lisa Gardshol, founder and CEO of The Savanna, commented, “We have been very happy with the performance of the Condair dehumidifiers JTR installed to comply with our drying approach. It has not only allowed us to increase production efficiency but also produce our award-winning biltong. We have full control over the entire process and can make decisions based on the data that we recieve. This is something which we couldn’t do as well before.”
“The Savanna now operates several drying rooms at our London production facility and we are able to monitor the entire activity accurately. During the drying process, the beef will lose around 50% of its weight in moisture loss, so the dehumidifiers are each removing several hundred litres of water per cycle. We’ve found that this ratio leads to the best-tasting biltong” Lisa concludes.
As well as manufacturing, The Savanna imports and distributes a wide range of South African food and drink products in the UK. It operates eight retail outlets at train stations across London, including Victoria, Liverpool Street and Paddington, and delivers nationwide via its websites at thesavanna.co.uk and m-eat.co.uk.
John Todd Refrigeration specialises in design and planning of bespoke refrigeration installations, which are supported by 24 hour service and maintenance back-up. The Exeter-based company was established in 1998 and serves the UK's food, hospitality and retail sectors.
The Condair DC-N dehumidifiers installed by JTR at The Savanna, are part of an extensive range of dehumidifiers offered by Condair. The company supplies both condensing and desiccant technology, with a wide range of capacities and many pre- and post- drying features, to ensure process air delivery precisely matches an application’s requirements.