Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Methods of Preserving Foods

There are methods of preserving foods to extend the expiration and to prevent spoiling. Different foods require different preservation depending on the nature of the food spoilage. In preserving food you can either destroy the bacteria, check it and prevent their growth. Some prevent the food from its decay and some just protect food from bacteria. In any way you choose it preservation can also help the family in having a constant supply of the foods throughout the year. So here are the methods on how you can preserve your foods:

Drying is the most common method of preserving food both in rural and urban areas. It’s easy and cheap and requires less space. It preserves food from decay. Bacteria do not grow well on dried foods. Flour, biscuits and cereals do not soil because they are dry same with dried fruits. It should be kept in dry place to prevent the absorption of moisture which will give rise to growth of germs.

Sterilization is a process of destroying bacteria by strong heat. The strong bacteria may be killed by boiling at a specified boiling point temperature. Canning or sealing sterilized food in air-tight sterilized jars is a household method of food preservation. Boiling for 20 minutes will generally kill most forms of bacteria. Fruits, vegetable and meats are preserved by sterilization.

Refrigeration is preserving food by keeping the food at a low temperature. It’s the commonly used type in every household. We do it everyday to preserve our stored food and left-overs from meals. When you want to keep it for long periods you can freeze it or keep it in cold storage. If the food is to be kept for a few hours only it can be stored in ice boxes. Freezing checks the growth of bacteria as long as the foods is in a frozen condition but if it is taken out of it, it spoils quickly. Meat and fish are the most commonly frozen and done by people living in urban areas.

Excluding Air also helps in preserving some foods. Eggs may be coated with paraffin or Vaseline or put in a water glass. It prevents air from entering the pores of the egg shell which causes the eggs to stay long.

And the last but not the least Preservatives which do not kill bacteria but prevent their growth. Those used to preserve food should be harmless to the body. Common preservatives are sugar, salt, acids and spices.

Now you can start doing these methods and you’ll feel good about yourself when you do these things. You can stretch your family’s budget and spend it on some basic needs. And that’s being economical too!

Image from Wikipedia

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