How to preserve food safely?

Hi everyone! 

The great majority of people will experience a food-borne disease at some point in their lives. This highlights the importance of making sure the food we eat is not contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, toxins and chemicals. Besides that, proper food storage helps maintain food quality by retaining flavour, colour, texture and nutrients and prevent food waste, while reducing the chance of contracting a food-borne illness. 

Freezing is the most common way for perceiving food by lowering the temperature to inhibit microorganism growth in daily life. The images shown as below displays the basic idea for freezing food in freshness. It is important that packaging foods in small quantities and labelling them clearly. As for fruits, there are three ways to pack fruit for freezing: sugar pack, syrup pack, and unsweetened pack. Generally, unsweetened fruit loses quality faster than fruit packed in sugar or sugar syrups. Plus, in order to minimise colour and flavour changes, it would be better for freezing fruit as soon as possible, pre-treating with vitamin C and using high-quality containers.

Dried foods are tasty, nutritious, lightweight, easy to prepare, easy to carry and easy to use. Drying is perceiving food by removing water from the food so bacteria and yeast cannot grow. Through a dehydrator, oven, microwave or even air, you can obtain dried foods by yourselves. Of course, successful and safely drying takes time, also with the right combination of warmth, low humidity and air current. When finishing the process, store foods in the container that keep out moisture and insects. 

Except for those two methods, canning is the application of heating the food in containers and maintenance of a vacuum seal during storage. For producing the best canned foods, firstly, selecting high quality, fresh foods is an essential condition. Quality varies among different fruits and vegetables and it is good to examine food carefully for freshness and wholesomeness. Then after choosing the right food, there are two safe ways of processing food, the boiling water bath method (heated to a temperature of 212° F) and the pressure canner method (heated to a temperature of at least 240° F). A microorganism called Clostridium botulinum is the main reason why pressure processing is necessary. Botulism, a paralytic illness is caused by botulinum neurotoxin ( As I mentioned in the last blog, it is the sample applied for testing SPR signals. ), most commonly produced by Clostridium botulinum. In general, low-acid foods (e.g, vegetables) must be canned in a pressure canner rather than a boiling water canner to eliminate Clostridium botulinum spores. If we keep them improperly, in the absence of a pressure-canning step, Clostridium botulinum spores are not eliminated, and the closed jar creates an anaerobic environment allowing spore germination and toxin production.

Hopefully this blog will give you a bit useful information for preserving food and thank you kindly for your reading.

Until next time,

Best regards,

Chi

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