Keeping food is an important way to prevent contamination of food. Food preservation is the process of avoiding spoilage and decay or stop the growth of microorganisms in fresh foods and storing it under prescribing conditions for future use. Without food preservation, you are unable to keep food for long periods. There are many ways to preserve food such as Dry, pickled, smoked, canning, fermentation, and refrigeration or freezing, which is familiar to many of us. Cooked meals, fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products under refrigeration are the best way to preserve food for a long time.
Method 1 of 3
Refrigerating and freezing food
• Refrigerate your food: Prevent food from many bacteria to grow by keeping food at low temperature, which slows down or stops microbes from multiplying. This process is known as refrigeration. It is the easiest, convenient, versatile method to preserve food properly and maintain more of their original color, texture, flavor, and more nutrients than other preserving food methods.
o Refrigeration is good for storing fruits, vegetables, meat for 3-5 days, and a weak for dairy products.
• Place food in an airtight container: Store food or leftover in an airtight container; it will preserve the freshness of food by blocking air and moisture, making crispy cookies soggy and oily, flour to become clumpy.
o Keep meat in the packages until you use them. You can keep flour, sugars, rice, beans, whole grains, and dried fruits in an airtight container.
o Do not store fruits (berries, plums, peaches, avocado) with vegetables. It can give off high levels of ethylene, which causes fruits and vegetables to ripen.
• Package food properly for freezing: Vacuum sealer is easy and the best option to preserve food. It helps to keep food fresh, dry and prevent freezer burn. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, try to get as much air out from the bags before sealing.
o Do not vacuum seal foods like mushrooms, soft cheese, freshly cooked or steamed vegetables, and garlic. Do not freeze glass containers and do not put hot food into the freezer.Do not re-freeze food; it will start to degrade quickly.
Method 2 of 3
Canning and preserving
• Can foods using a water-bath: Applying heat to food sealed in a jar to destroy microorganisms that can cause food spoilage is called canning. This process helps to preserve the food in an air-free environment. The water bath process involves submerged filled jars in the sterilized canning jars containing water and heated to an internal temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
o Use this method to preserve high-acid foods such as pickles, tomatoes, salsas, apples, peaches, pears, plums.
• Pressure Canning: This process involved the production of steam in a closed compartment. Keep filled jars in the kettle and attain an internal temperature of 240 degrees under specific pressure.
o Use the pressure canning method to preserve low- acid foods and vegetables such as corn, green beans, meat, poultry, fish, and soups.
• Pickle your food: Preservation of edible products in an acid solution, called pickling. This process usually involves fermentation and canning. Vinegar or salt solution generally involves in this canning process.
o You can use this process to preserve fruits and vegetables such as okra, cucumber, peppers, cauliflower, mango, lemon, ginger, eggplant.
Method 3 of 3
• Dehydrate your food: It’s a great food preservation method in which food is dried or take all of the liquid out. Drying food inhibits the growth of microbes through the removal of water.
o Use can use dehydrators, or oven, which has the same drying effect for food.
o You can preserve fruits, vegetables, and meat; Once they are fully dehydrated.
• Smoking Meats: Smoking food is one of the preserving methods for meats. It helps to remove the moisture from food, which prevents microbial growth. Smoking method of drying also impart flavor to the food and keep bacteria carrying insects away.
o Smoke meat for a long time at a hot temperature of about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
o You can also smoke meat through a cold method of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit temperature by sealing it. Use this cold smoke drying process if you cook the meat in the future.
• Curing Meats: It is another drying process; this process involves adding salt on meat, fish, and vegetables to draw out the moisture of the food through osmosis.
o You can leach the water out from the meat by rubbing it with salt and sodium nitrite or also placed meat in a brine solution.
to know more about how to cook food without losing nutrients, click here…