Methods of Preservation of Foods

Food Preservation Methods Various techniques exist for preserving food, with the choice of method dependent on factors such as the food’s nature, required preservation duration, available facilities, and intended dish. The following are different methods of food preservation: Drying: Drying involves reducing the water content of food, creating an unfavorable environment for enzymes and microorganisms. […]

Food Preservation Methods

Various techniques exist for preserving food, with the choice of method dependent on factors such as the food’s nature, required preservation duration, available facilities, and intended dish. The following are different methods of food preservation:

  1. Drying:

Drying involves reducing the water content of food, creating an unfavorable environment for enzymes and microorganisms. Examples include solar drying, oven drying, freeze drying, roller drying, vacuum drying, tunnel drying, and spray drying.

 

  1. Factors Affecting Drying Rate:

The rate of drying is influenced by the efficiency of the drying equipment, the arrangement of food on the drying material, the physical and chemical properties of the food, and the surface area exposed to dry air or heat.

 

  1. Low-Temperature Treatment:

This method entails keeping food at low temperatures, such as freezing below 0°C in a freezer or chilling at higher temperatures in a refrigerator. Examples include fish, meat, milk, fruits, and vegetables.

 

  1. High-Temperature Treatment:

Applying heat to food destroys enzymes and microorganisms. Pasteurization is a form of high-temperature treatment, usually done at temperatures below 100°C, as seen in the case of milk.

 

  1. Chemical Preservation:

Chemicals are added to food to inhibit enzyme action, create an unfavorable environment for microorganisms, and prevent chemical reactions. There are three types: natural chemicals, synthetic chemicals (e.g., benzoic acid, nitrites, BHT), and antibiotics (e.g., theabendazole, Nisin, tetracyclines).

 

  1. Canning and Bottling:

Aseptically storing food in cans or bottles involves sterilizing and sealing the contents in a vacuum or inert gases. Examples include fruit juices, meat, fish, and beverages.

 

  1. Irradiation:

This method employs radioactive elements like cobalt to destroy microorganisms and food enzymes, as seen in the preservation of potatoes, yam tubers, and onions.

 

  1. Fermentation:

An ancient preservation method, fermentation involves decomposing food components to produce acid, lowering the pH and creating an unfavorable environment for microorganisms. Examples include locust beans seed, melon paste (ogiri), wines, cheese, pitto, fermented fish, fermented plantain, garri, and corn paste/dough.

 

  1. Smoking:

Smoking, achieved by drying food over a fire or heated charcoal, produces smoke containing aldehydes and phenols with strong antibacterial effects. Examples include smoked fish and meat.

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