As the world advances in technology, the way people do things also changes. Food is an essential need for human existence and its prolonged scarcity can hinder the continuity of life. This is why we need to prevent the little we are able to gather at a particular time from getting spoilt. This deliberate effort to ensure the continuous availability of food is known as food preservation.
There have been numerous methods adopted by man to preserve food which can be divided into the traditional and modern methods. The traditional methods do not require a lot of scientific intervention while the modern methods adopt the use of some technological and scientific approaches to preserve food. Some of these modern methods include the following:
Food vacuums are offered for food preservation by various manufacturers and websites such as Allgreatappliances.com. These machines make use of airtight and air-free containers, that is, there is no oxygen in them likewise they do not allow the passage of oxygen into them; to eliminate the growth of microorganisms on food items placed in them.
Addition of chemicals
Chemicals like acetic acid contained in vinegar also help to prevent food decay by rendering microorganisms useless and inactive, hence, stopping their growth. Some other chemical substances are also used to keep away pests from food crops.
This is one of the most common ways of modern food preservation. Virtually everybody owns a fridge or refrigerator in their houses to preserve food. A wide variety of food and fruits can be preserved using this method. Some of these food items are fishes, meats, spices, and fruits. Freezing can also be utilized to dry some food items through cold dehydration.
This is mostly used to preserve milk and beverages. This process is carried out by heating the milk or beverage to about 60℃ for 30 minutes or 70℃ for 15 seconds to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Pasteurized milk remains fresh for a longer period when refrigerated.
Use of inert gases
Inert gases such as nitrogen and helium which are obtained from atmospheric air are pumped into an air-tight container or room to replace the atmospheric oxygen, thus the atmospheric condition of such enclosed areas becomes unfavourable for the action of microorganisms and pests.
Use of Kilns
Kilns are modern day ovens that are specially made for drying food items especially fish. It is very common in outlets of fish-mongers who smoke fishes. These ovens have replaced the use of sun and reduce the risk of burning fishes when using wire gauze.
Bottling and canning
This is also becoming more predominant as people now tend to buy more sealed food items. Before food items are sealed in the air-tight containers, they are first heated to a very high temperature to kill the bacteria and fungi within them and sometimes, some chemical preservatives are also added.
So, that is the list of the modern methods of food preservation. You can see that these things are what we do at home and view on the TV. Food needs to be preserved to ensure they do not get spoilt and harmless to human health when eaten.