One major reason for food preservation is to have foods that are out of season all year long. Sometimes you just need to keep the food for a couple more days or weeks. Food preservation is essential to survival and prudent living. This is why it is never a bad thing to learn. There have been ancient ways of preserving food, and these ways have somehow been improved on and adapted by science. Science has also created new ways to preserve food over the course of the years.
The following are various scientific ways to preserve food.
SMOKING – Although this is mostly seen as a primitive method of preserving food, it has not lost its value at all. Scientists have discovered that the smoke that comes out of burning wood has a sort of microbial actions on the organisms that cause spoilage or rot in food. Practically, this smoke kills those organisms in foods like fish, meat etc.
In more recent times, smoking has been developed into hot and cold smoking, to meet the right conditions that will keep the food in the best shape for a long period. Scientific improvements like electrostatic precipitators have eradicated the stress and trouble of smoking by burning wood.
DRYING – Fruits and vegetables were mostly preserved this way in the ancient times. Meats and fish were also sometimes preserved through drying. For the ancient humans, the sun and the wind were the most effective instruments for drying.
The scientific explanation for this method is that most organisms that cause rot or spoilage only survive and reproduce in moist environments. So, drying the food will kill them and give no chance for multiplication.
The technology of drying has improved with time, from ordinary wind and sun drying, to boiling and drying on sheets, to modern dehydration technologies like the use of fans and heaters, and more recently; vacuum drying and freeze drying.
CURING – This is the use of salt or sugar as preservatives. While the process and science can not be explained in details, it has been one of the effective food preservation methods since ages past, especially salting. More recently, salting has been improved into the use of brine, which is a salt solution; as opposed to the conventional way of rubbing salt on foods like meat or fish.
Dipping food items like meat and salt in brine has been the most recent way of curing. However, curing has been said to not have enough effects on food with a lot of fat.
FREEZING – This is when food items are subjected to a very cold temperature for a long time, until it freezes. It is believed that pathogens may not survive in cold conditions. However, boiling has been said to be more effective as it kills the pathogens instantly. Freezing most times only deactivates the pathogens or slow down its growth.
It is not enough to know how to preserve food, buy one must take time to learn how to preserve what food. This is the only way this knowledge can be effective.