As discussed in our previous post, perishable food items can easily get spoiled or decayed due to chemical or microbial actions. So, it is very important to avoid perishable foods from getting spoiled making it unpleasant and unhealthy for consumption. Perishable foods can be avoided from getting spoiled in several manners. Foods such as dairy products and meats should be kept refrigerated. This will check the growth of microbes in the foods. Preserving perishable foods becomes a challenge if the perishable food products aren’t handled and stored properly under safe and hygienic conditions. As most of the food products can easily come in contact with the microbes, thus it is very important to preserve the food items to make them stay fresh for longer time.
Methods of Preserving Perishable Foods
Perishable food items can be easily spoiled by several factors. One basic and common factor is, if the food comes in contact with any microbes (e.g. bacteria), it will lead to food contamination and the food will be spoiled. Any change in the chemical and physical environment can also lead to food spoilage such as rise or fall in the room temperature. Preserving perishable foods is a science which everyone should know so that the wastage can be avoided. Food preservation is an important task everyone should have knowledge of.
Perishable food items can easily deteriorate and are not safe for human consumption. As food costs greatly in our budgets monthly and if the foods get spoiled every now and then, it is not economic. Fruits which are very costly and dairy products often get deteriorate, so preservation of perishable food products is a need and it should be worked upon.
You must have some foods and fruits start to rot within a day or two. Food items such as tomatoes, avocados and bananas are such foods which can deteriorate soon due to the presence of ethylene, a natural hormone. Preservation of perishable foods can be done by heating, storage at low temperature, using food preservatives etc.
Preserving perishable foods also depend on the nature of the food items. For example, meat (also fish and shellfish), all dairy products etc. should be properly refrigerated to avoid the microbial growth. In the summers the milk should be properly boiled as during the summers, the bacterial growth rises in milk and other dairy products thus leading to fermentation and food spoiled. Boiling milk above the room temperature kills bacteria thus leading to no bacterial growth in the food item.
Avoid handling the perishable food items without proper sanitation. Wash hands completely, also wash the kitchen wares and the utensils which will be in touch with the food products, such as bows, spoons, and knives etc. as microbes can be transferred from these kitchen wares to the food. This will lead to the microbial growth in the food. Everything should be properly cleaned with disinfectants. Avoid the food coming in contact with insects and rodents.
Most perishable foods decay or spoil if we don’t store them at 4.4°C or below. Perishable food items can also be frozen at – 17.8°C to preserve and avoid microbial growth. Keeping food preserving for long time increases the shelf life of the food products and thus makes it healthy and fresh for consumption. Most of the time the food can be spoiled by a group of bacteria such as spoilage bacteria which cause the food to spoil, deteriorate and turn the food unpleasant for eating. Another group of bacteria which is harmful for food is pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria leads food contamination and foodborne illness.