7 Methods of preserving food

7 Methods of preserving food

Food preservation is the process of keeping food safe for immediate or future use. Food storage is the act of keeping the food in a safe place, container and so on to prevent spoilage by microorganisms. Food preservation and storage is the process of keeping food safe from contamination.

Methods of preserving food

  1. Drying
  2. Pasteurization
  3. Salting
  4. Smoking
  5. Canning
  6. Bottling
  7. Sterilization

Why food is preserved

  1. Food is preserved in order to maintain total or near nutritional levels.
  2. Food preservation makes food safe for human consumption.
  3. It makes the food supply constant.

Drying:

There are types of drying: Sun drying, mechanical drying and freeze-drying. Sun-drying is the use of the hot sun to dry certain food items like okra, pepper, etc. They are usually spread on a tray and turned in the drying process. Mechanical drying is a method that air is passed with a controlled relative humidity over the food to be dried. Freeze drying is the reduction of water from food by means of a vacuum plus heat applied at the drying. It is used for meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables.

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Canning

This is the preserving of food in a sealed container. The method of canning food was discovered first by Nicolas Alpert (1795 – 1810). He is fondly known as the father of canning. Caning is made in tins and cans. The size could be rectangular or cylindrical in shape. They are made of tin-coated steel or in a glass container. Tomatoes, processed fish, baked beans, etc. Canning is carried out in a place called Cannery.

Pasteurization:

This method of preservation uses heat to kill part of the microorganisms present in the preserved item. The heat must be below 100 degrees Celsius. The heat might be through hot water, steam, dry heat or electric currents. The item must be cooled after the heating method. Pasteurization is used to kill pathogens. Milk is usually preserved in this method.

Smoking

This has to do with placing food items on a close to a low burning flame with smoke. The heat from the fire kills microorganisms that might cause decay and decreases the water content. Fish is the most smoked food item. Smoking can on local oven made with mud using either charcoal or wood fire.

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Refrigerating

It involves the storing of food in a refrigerator with a temperature below 10 degrees Celsius. Fresh meat, fish, eggs and even soup are kept in the refrigerator or the coolest part (deep freezer).

Frying

This is done by frying cleaned fish, especially in hot oil. The oil could be palm oil, groundnut oil, coconut oil, etc. Frying help preserves fish for a long period of time.

Bottling

This is a method of preserving food items using glass, plastic or strong paper. The bottles come in different sizes; no matter the size, they must have a cap. Oils(palm oil, groundnut oil, coconut oil), milk, juice made from different fruits and butter are preserved in a bottle.

Bagging

Here, bags are used for items like the cocoa seed, maize, beans that have been properly dried. The bags are made from jute plant or kenaf fibre called jute bag.

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Do you know other methods of preserving food? Kindly use the comment section to let us know.

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