The main methods of storing food
Storing foods well means knowing and contrasting the causes of their alteration:
• Microorganisms (bacteria, molds)
• Unfavorable environmental conditions (light, temperature, humidity, oxygen)
Here are some ideal methods for storing food:
It is temporary storage method to slow down bacterial proliferation and the alteration of the food.
The refrigeration takes place at a temperature that normally varies between 0-8°C. For optimal refrigeration of the different categories of food, the products must be placed in the appropriate shelf of the refrigerator.
It consists in bringing the food to a low (-5, -12 ° C) or very low (-30, -40 ° C) temperature. The freezing of food allows a conservation for a long period; it is supplied both for seasonal food in order to consume when it is not possible to find it, and to avoid food waste. Foods to be frozen should be collected in special containers and written on the freezing data packs. There are numerous foods that can be subjected to this procedure: fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and sweets. However, the freezing of foods such as eggs, egg-based sauces, yogurt or sausages is not recommended.
Drying is a very ancient method of conservation, which occurs by almost total elimination of water. This method could however cause inadequate as there may be a contamination necessary for pollution and dusts that can alter the quality and therefore the property of the food. For this reason, it is advisable to use special dryers, which guarantee greater safety and the respect of hygiene rules.
To isolate the products from the air, it is possible to use the vacuum packaging technique. With this method you can store almost any type of food: depending on the type, the period and storage temperature will vary.
Olive oil and seed oils are used to protect food from contact with the air and therefore to prevent the development of aerobic microorganisms. To avoid the dangerous microorganism Clostridium botulinum, responsible for botulism, the products in oil are subjected to heat treatments (pasteurization and sterilization).
The conservative action of vinegar is necessary due to its acid power, due to the presence of acetic acid (CH3COOH) which considerably lowers the pH, which inhibits the development of microorganisms. This conservative method is practiced according to pre-cooked vegetables.
The preservation of food for sale, also called "salting", is one of the oldest methods still used today and is based on the antiseptic properties of the sale. There are two methods to manage the food under sale:
• dry preservation, by sprinkling;
• conservation in brine, by immersion in an aqueous solution of different saline concentration.