Food Preservation

Food Preservations Overview

Food preservation is sometimes mistaken for food storage. Even though they are interconnected, there are few differences between both concepts. Not all stored foods are preserved. Food preservation basically maintains the safety of food throughout its storage period. It is a process which requires the application of special methods to be successful. It ensures that the nutritional content of food products remain intact and void of contamination over a period of time. Before technological innovations, people relied on natural methods of food preservation like salting and drying to keep away microorganisms and reduce food moisture content respectively.
Microorganisms are known food contaminators. By spurring unfavourable biological reactions, they accelerate the process of food spoilage. Food preservation therefore applies physical and/or chemical techniques to slow down microbial infestation and subsequent spoilage of food products. It ensures that a variety of food types are available, safe and nutritious all year round. Different food types are preserved in different ways. Perishables like fruits and vegetables for instance can only be refrigerated under cold temperature for a short period. However, they can be processed into beverages with longer shelf-life. Fish and meat can be preserved by either freezing, drying or smoking to reduce moisture content. Non-perishables like honey and salt do not require any form of preservation because they do not spoil easily. This quality makes them additives used to preserve other food items.