When it comes to choices available for preserving foods, the option goes on and on. It helps and provides longevity of food used for the home purpose or business, which can be reserved by either freezing, sugaring, refrigerating, salting, canning, or vacuum packing, which also happen to be a combination of the oldest and modern method of reservation.
Although most food experts are still looking out for new and more advanced ways to preserve foods and expand them with many options, over time, there has been a lot of trial and error done by researchers to discover new ways or methods of preserving food better. It is this prioritized because it would help retain the food’s quality and hygiene even when reserved.
Food preservation is known to be the process that deals with preventing spoilage and decaying of food but protecting it to still be in good fit until it is needed in the future. Preserving food enables it to retain its edibility, nutrition value, and quality to keep the food and help it remain intact and prevent moisture from causing microorganisms, fungi, bacteria, etc. The preservation process ensures it is safe from discoloration.
Three primary reasons for food preservation;
- Funds managing: wasting funds is very costly and expensive both at home and in a commercial setup. It is important to avoid buying excessively or more than needed. However, there are a lot of ways to preserve it if that be the case.
- Food remains of good quality: well, food over time deteriorates due to spoilage. There are cases of mild spoilage, which does not mean that the food is entirely a waste. It just might not remain in its same texture, look and taste. That is what preservation is to do, is to help retain the nutrition qualities of the food all through its period of been preservation.
- Less exposure to pathogenic bacteria: most times long time storage puts the food at risk of deteriorating because it gets affected by bacteria like salmonella, e.coli, and other pathogens. All these pathogen bacteria needs are moist, warm, and time to gradually spread all over the food. Still, a suitable preservation method will definitely help top the pathogens from growing at all.
Methods Of Food Preservation And Examples
- To chill: A refrigerator is now the usual storage place, always a go-to anytime there is a need to store food; it is the simplest, safest, and best way to store food. It is suitable for storing different types of food, although under low heat temperature. The fridge provides the food with preserving the quality and keeping it safe from bacteria growth or spoilage of any kind. It can last at least days to few weeks before the taste and texture change depending on the type of food.
- It is best to store food in the fridge under a temperature between 1°C and 4°C, while you must store food for commercial use in the refrigerator under 8°C.
- It best to separate the raw food from the ready-to-eat food to reduce the high risk of cross-contamination, or possibly just be separated by shelves. Note- you should always store ready-to-eat food above the raw food at all times.
- Do not store food in front of the cooling unit or overload the fridge. Create space for unrestricted airflow for air to circulate correctly for the food.
- When refrigerating canned food, transfer the content to another container before putting it in the fridge. If you store it in the refrigerator with the can, some metal particles can transfer into the food. Although it is not poisonous or that harmful but it might give you a hilarious taste.
- This element is similar to sugar content; it helps draw water out of food and does not allow bacteria growth in them. It even destroys bacteria set, although, at this stage, it’s like lost its taste.
Two forms of salting:
- Dry when you apply salt to the food. For example, with meat, put the salt and leave it to draw out the water.
- Wet: this style is commonly known as brine; add and mix salt with water and add it to the food to the liquid to preserve it; most times, it stays together with canning.
- Freezing: With this method, you can store food for months because bacteria cannot survive or grow when frozen. Safe to eat for a longer time or indefinite period. Although in the end, it finally deteriorates and depreciates in quality and tasteless, so it is best to use frozen foods with months or years of the top.
To safely freeze food, you should do the following;
- The freezer is meant to be at -18°C and -22°C temperature.
- You should keep the food in air-tight containers or freezer bags before freezing.
- Well, wrapping is ideal for meat because it might get freezer burn and non-edible.
- It is best not to freeze an already defrosted food; it might spread bacteria and allow it to grow.
Other ways to store food are canning, sugaring, vacuum packing, smoking, bottling and pasteurizing, sterilization, dehydration, and lyophilization.
Here are few benefits you get for storing food properly:
- Reduction of wasting food, which helps to save money, and best for the environment.
- It keeps fruits and vegetables stay fresh for a more extended period.
- Of course, buying things in stock or bulk can be better cos you get them cheaper and save some money; you get to can them for a more extended period without rushing, which reduces the stress of going to the market for a while.
- Get a treat with fruits and veggies any time you crave it.
In conclusion, it is best to preserve your food correctly, so they sustain you and last long. With this guide, you will understand that knowing how to protect food would help you save time and money, reduce the way you waste food, and instead enjoy the newly discovered kitchen hobby.