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What are the methods to preserve food items?

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Old Methods of Food Preservation Techniques

Some of the oldest methods of food preservation techniques are listed below:

  • Using spices as preservatives
  • Candying
  • Salting/pickling
  • Controlled fermentation
  • Sun drying
  • Smoking
  • Baking
  • Roasting

New Methods of Food Preservation Techniques

With the industrial revolution, new methods of food preservation techniques have been developed. Food processing uses principles of microbiology, sensory analysis, nutrition, chemistry, food science, good manufacturing practices, and statistics.

Food Processing – Purpose & Concept

Extending the shelf life of food products is the purpose of many food processing operations. Reducing/eliminating microbial activity are the concepts associated with food processing.

Basic concepts in food processing methods to prevent food spoilage are:

  • Lowering of temperature during storage
  • Application of heat
  • Controlling the availability of oxygen
  • Reduction of pH
  • Removal of water moisture

Processed Food – Classification

Minimally processed foods:

In order to retain the quality of fresh foods, they are processed as little as possible. Shelling, slicing, cutting, trimming, cleaning, and storage at refrigeration temperatures are the processes involved for minimally processed foods.

Preserved foods:

Frozen vegetables, frozen fish, frozen meat, and canned fruits are examples of preserved foods.

Manufactured foods:

Examples are marmalades, jams, and pickles. Here some basic methods of preservation are used as chemical preservatives or using various ingredients such as oil, sugar, and salt.

Food derivatives:

Examples are oil from oilseeds, and sugar from sugarcane. In this type, components of foods may be obtained from the raw product through purification.

Medical foods:

Examples are lactose–free milk and low sodium salt. These types of foods are used in the dietary management of food.

Formulated foods:

Shelf-stable food products such as biscuits, cakes, bread, kulfi, and ice cream.

Functional foods:

Examples are probiotics and lycopene. These can have a beneficial effect on human health.

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