From the beginning of human settlement, the need to preserve food and limit food spoilage was essential for survival. Since then, many household methods of food preservation, such as the addition of spices and fermentation, have evolved. In today’s modern commercial food production, spoilage and contamination are preserved by a variety of methods.
We talked about food preservation in our previous post titled, Historical Origins Of Food Preservation and All About Food Preservations: The Most Common Methods Of Food Preservation That You Should Know
Here is an overview about the most use preservation methods chosen by food industry:
- Dehydration and freeze drying:
Dehydration methods, such as Lyophilisation, are used to produce freeze dried foods. It’s a common method that eliminates microbial growth. It works especially well on vegetables and pastas. For more information about this topic, you can read, “what is freeze-drying and when is it used for?”
Refrigeration temperatures (typically -2°c to 16°c) slows microbial growth but it can’t eliminate microbes completely. Thus, it is only used to preserve food for shorter periods of time.
- High Pressure Processing
HPP, is a novel food technology based on the use of high pressure. This process leads to an inactivation of bacteria, yeast, mold and most of the enzymes that are responsible for food deterioration. Discover more about HPP here.
- Vacuum Packing:
Food can be vacuum packed or preserved in an atmosphere with a decreased oxygen level or increased carbon dioxide level. For example, carbon dioxide storage is particularly effective for extending the shelf life of Apples.
Canning is the process in which foods are placed in jars or cans and heated to a temperature that destroys microorganisms and inactivates enzymes. This process creates a vacuum seal which prevents other microorganisms from re-contaminating the food in the jar or can.
Microorganisms can be removed from water, wine, beer and other beverages though a filtration process. Filtration allows for the flavors to be preserved and keeps the and product’s original aromas in-tact.
If food preservation is something that interests you, please also read The historical origins of food preservation.