Preservation Of Foods

Food commodities contain a variety of nutrients essential for the human body to perform various functions. Unfortunately, this characteristic also renders food highly susceptible to spoilage, as the same nutrients beneficial to humans are equally valuable to microorganisms that thrive on our food, consuming it and rendering the remnants unsuitable for human consumption. Consequently, the […]

Food commodities contain a variety of nutrients essential for the human body to perform various functions. Unfortunately, this characteristic also renders food highly susceptible to spoilage, as the same nutrients beneficial to humans are equally valuable to microorganisms that thrive on our food, consuming it and rendering the remnants unsuitable for human consumption.

Consequently, the concept of food preservation involves treating food in a manner that ensures its long-term preservation in good condition.

 

Motivations for Food Preservation:

  1. Extending shelf life.
  2. Preventing spoilage to prolong the duration of edibility.
  3. Minimizing wastage, especially during peak seasons.
  4. Enabling the utilization of foods during off-seasons.
  5. Ensuring a diverse range of food options for emergencies.
  6. Avoiding the purchase of expensive foods during their peak pricing.
  7. Introducing variety into the family menu.

 

Causes of Food Spoilage:

Food spoilage refers to undesirable changes in food leading to rejection and wastage. Causes include:

  1. Micro-organisms (bacteria, yeast, and molds).
  2. Food enzymes.
  3. Chemical reactions in the food.
  4. Physical changes such as freezing, burning, drying, and pressure.

 

Classification of Food Spoilage:

Food can be categorized into three major groups:

  1. Perishable Food or High-Moisture Foods: Spoilage occurs rapidly due to their high-water content. Examples include milk, meat, fish, seafood, fruits, and vegetables
  2. Semi-Perishable Foods or Intermediate Moisture Foods: These foods can be preserved for a certain period before deterioration, with a lower water content. Examples include root vegetables and tubers.
  3. Non-Perishable Foods or Low-Moisture Foods: These foods can be stored for an extended period due to their low water content. Examples are nuts, dried legumes, and cereals. The primary distinction among these groups lies in their water content, with perishable foods having high moisture content, while the firm covering of nuts, cereals, and legumes provides protection.

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