food preservation


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to food preservation: food spoilage, Food processing

food preservation,

methods of preparing food so that it can be stored for future use. Because most foods remain edible for only a brief period of time, people since the earliest ages have experimented with methods for successful food preservation. Among the products of early food conservation were cheese and butter, raisins, pemmican, sausage, bacon, and grain.

As scientific investigations regarding the causes of food spoilage were undertaken, they pointed the way to a wider application of methods already in use and to the discovery of new ones. Before 1860 changes in food were explained on the theory of spontaneous generation. Pasteur demonstrated that ferments, molds, and some forms of putrefaction were caused by the presence of microorganisms widely distributed in the environment. Since these microorganisms are the main cause of food spoilage, food preservation depends on rendering conditions unfavorable for their growth. Processes of preservation may be generally classified as drying, heating, refrigerationrefrigeration,
process for drawing heat from substances to lower their temperature, often for purposes of preservation. Refrigeration in its modern, portable form also depends on insulating materials that are thin yet effective.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (see also frozen foodsfrozen foods,
products of the food preservation process of freezing. This process has been employed by people in the Arctic from prehistoric times. Eskimos throw fresh-caught fish on the ice to freeze, and naturally frozen fish have been a trade staple of the Great Lakes region
..... Click the link for more information.
), and the use of chemicals or other particular agencies.

Drying and Heating

The most ancient method is drying, and it was employed early for fruits, grains, vegetables, fish, and meat. It was sometimes combined with parching, as in the oatmeal of Scotland or the corn of the Native American. Modern applications of this ancient device are seen in dried or dehydrated fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, and eggs. A more recent variation, known as freeze-drying, is now being used on such foods as instant coffee, meat, orange juice, and soup. The early method of drying was by direct exposure to the sun's rays; in modern industry the process is hastened by complex apparatus and by chemical agencies. The use of sugar was early combined with drying. Smoking, a method used mainly for fish and meat, combines the drying action with chemicals produced from the smoke, which form a protective coating. The process of heating was used centuries before its action was understood (see canningcanning,
process of hermetically sealing cooked food for future use. It is a preservation method, in which prepared food is put in glass jars or metal cans that are hermetically sealed to keep out air and then heated to a specific temperature for a specified time to destroy
..... Click the link for more information.
). One of the most important modern applications of the heat principle is the pasteurizationpasteurization
, partial sterilization of liquids such as milk, orange juice, wine, and beer, as well as cheese, to destroy disease-causing and other undesirable organisms.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of milk.

Preservatives

In modern food preservation, preservatives function in two ways. One is by delaying the spoilage of the food, while the other is by ensuring that the food retains, as nearly as possible, its original quality. The first method includes the use of sugar (see jelly and jamjelly and jam,
gelatinous, sweet food prepared by preserving fresh fruits. Since most fresh fruits contain about 80% water and from 10% to 15% sugar, they are subject to fermentation. They may be preserved by adding sugar and reducing the water content.
..... Click the link for more information.
), vinegar for pickling meats and vegetables, salt (one of the oldest preservatives), and alcohol. Good wine will keep almost indefinitely, and fruit placed in a 15% to 20% alcohol solution (brandying) is well preserved. The second method includes the use of ascorbic acid (which prevents color deterioration in canned fruits), benzoic acid, sulfur dioxide, and a variety of neutralizers, firming agents, and bleaching agents. The excessive or unacknowledged use of these chemical agencies has been legislated against by most governments.

Exclusion of Air

The exclusion of air, nowadays accomplished by hermetic sealing, is an old device, formerly practiced by pouring hot oil over potted meat or fish, by coating or mixing food with melted fat, as in pemmican, or by burying vegetables in the earth or in sand. The use of melted paraffin achieves the same result. Eggs may be preserved by preventing air from penetrating their porous shells, usually by coating them with an impervious substance.

Irradiation

Irradiation has also been used successfully to destroy many of the microorganisms that might cause spoilage in food. Irradiation has been declared safe by the Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization. Thus, despite opposition from those who fear that health hazards from its use will be discovered later, this method is gradually gaining acceptance.

Bibliography

See G. Borgstrom, Principles of Food Science (2 vol., 1968); N. W. Desrosier, The Technology of Food Preservation (3d ed. 1970); S. Thorne, The History of Food Preservation (1986).

food preservation

[′füd ‚prez·ər‚vā·shən]
(food engineering)
Processing designed to protect food from spoilage caused by microbes, enzymes, and autooxidation.
References in periodicals archive ?
Some Master Food Preservers even use the program to inspire new business ventures, such as developing their own food preservation course, writing a cookbook, or starting a specialty food business.
Additives used at food industry level include vitamins, mould inhibitors, bactericides, emulsifiers, minerals, food colouring, synthetic flavours and sweeteners.There are several traditional ways of food preservation used at the household level that can be classified as chemical methods.
He lauded the efforts of Thardeep Organization for launching a comprehensive program for promoting of modern agriculture and teaching the farmers new methods of food preservation. Hamza Rodnani, Councilor from Union Council Sawro said that, his UC Sawro is one of the worst affected area in drought, he said that more needs to be done to mitigate the effects of recurring drought.
The two parties will study the feasibility to conduct a pilot educational program at schools in Jubailin the Eastern Province with a view to increasing the awareness of the younger generation on the importance of food waste reduction, food preservation and "healthy eating," and to promote the use of "healthier products" by homes and restaurants for healthier diets and to reduce obesity.
Utilising a proprietary production technology, Calabrian provides environmental and supply chain solutions to customers in the water treatment, personal care, mining, food preservation, oilfield, and disinfection markets.
The fermentation processes for these products constitutes a vital body of indigenous knowledge used for food preservation, acquired by observations and experience, and passed on from generation to generation (Aworh,2008) [1].
Sunday at Elkton Community Education Center, 15850 Highway 38W in Elkton; learn about food preservation practices and equipment, as well as tips to enjoy eating locally produced foods year round; class costs $15 and is limited in size; reservation forms available at the education center or at the Oregon State University Extension Service; 541 584-2692 or info@elktonbutterflies.com.
"China's diet is changing and refrigeration is replacing salt for food preservation," the study stated.
The ECA is also offering workshops to teach traditional food preservation methods to ensure food security during times of disaster.
More than just a recipe collection, it documents the daily operations of various producers, artisanal food manufacturers, and more, and pairs the 125 recipes with insights on producers and classic Japanese food preservation methods.
At a recent event in New York to launch its newest catalog, Ikea representatives highlighted some of the biggest trends in food and dining--including urban gardening, food preservation and sustainable and traceable food options--and introduced products that capitalize on those trends.
Currently, food preservation, food safety and food security have become more scientific and global concern.