MOST COMMON TECHNIQUES TO PRESERVE FOOD

  1. Dehydration
    1. Additives used in dehydration
  2. Salting
  3. Fermentation
    1. Additives used for fermentation
  4. Conservation in a bain-marie
  5. The importance of conservatives
  6. Find the raw materials you need at Pochteca
  7. Leave a comment Cancel reply
Estimated reading time: minutes

Nowadays, with the use of refrigerators and preservative additives, it seems unnecessary to know food preservation techniques. However, in the food industry, in commercial kitchens and at home, they continue to be used due to the quality of nutrients and flavors that can be obtained.
Today on the Pochteca blog we will tell you the techniques to preserve the most important foods today and that allow them to maintain their properties such as smell, flavor and nutrients.

DEHYDRATION

One of the most prominent options in food preservation is dehydration. It can be used on both fruits and vegetables and meat products. In any case, techniques are used to concentrate the flavor of the food, causing it to lose all the juiciness caused by decomposition and, in some cases, an additive such as sulfur dioxide or sulfites can be added.

In addition to additives, conventional ovens or dehydrators are used to speed up the food dehydration process. Among the dehydration techniques we find:

  • Drying. Drying is one of the oldest food preservation techniques. It can be done outdoors to preserve nutrients and make the flavors of foods such as chilis, tomatoes, grapes, apricots or herbs more intense.
  • Drying with hot air. It consists of applying air at a certain temperature to accelerate dehydration, although enzymes and vitamins in foods such as fruits can be destroyed in the process.
  • Drying by vacuum freeze drying. This technique consists of removing the water from the food by freezing it at around -57°C, then heating it slightly and subjecting it to a vacuum to dry it. It is used for fruits such as strawberries, with the advantage of less alteration of vitamins.

 

ADDITIVES USED IN DEHYDRATION

  • Sugar
  • liquid paraffin
  • Vegetable oils
  • Acrylamides

 

SALTING

Salting is an ancient technique. Its effect is the partial dehydration of food, in addition to reinforcing the flavor and inhibiting the growth of bacteria. It can be used on fruits and vegetables, although it is most commonly used on meats and fish.

Frequently, in addition to iodized salt, sodium nitrate and nitrite are used to obtain foods such as hams, sausages, fish, charquicán and Chilean valdiviano, among other meats.

 

FERMENTATION

Ferments are increasingly attractive in contemporary diets because they may contain probiotics, which contribute to intestinal health.

Food fermentation is a food preservation technique used for hundreds of years to obtain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, as well as pickles.
To obtain fermented foods, processes such as:

  • Alcoholic fermentation to obtain drinks such as wine, beer, whiskey, cognac, rum, brandy, vodka, among others.
  • Lactic fermentation for the production of foods such as cheese, yogurt, kefir, pickles, vinegar (by lactic fermentation of wine) and bread yeast.
  • Acetic fermentation for the production of beverages such as wine, beer, cider, among others.
  • Malolactic fermentation for red wines.

 

ADDITIVES USED FOR FERMENTATION

The additives used for fermentation processes are known as biotechnological methods such as the cultivation of microorganisms such as lactobacillus, molds or proteases that degrade proteins and make cheeses more appetizing.

 

CONSERVATION IN A BAIN-MARIE

This is another of the oldest food preservation techniques. Preservation in a bain-marie, or home pasteurization, is used for the production of jams or homemade sweets. It consists of heating the jars in a pot with water, which eliminates the microorganisms in the food and, at the same time, creates a vacuum inside the jar to prevent air from entering that contaminates the product and carries oxygen that causes degradation.

Now, the most suitable foods for these preserves are acidic, such as fruits with a high simple sugar content that prevents microorganisms from growing. For their part, vegetables and meats such as tuna should be cooked and preserved in oil or vinegar.

Preservation in a bain-marie is an easy method to carry out, it is useful for taking advantage of surplus seasonal fruits or vegetables and can reduce the use of conservative additives, although without them the shelf life of the food is around one year.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSERVATIVES

Canning in a bain-marie carries the risk of developing botulinum toxin, which causes the disease called botulism. It is found in preserves that contain spores of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria and which are activated, generating the toxin. Therefore, the use of preservative additives is key to prevent the development and proliferation of microorganisms harmful to the health of the consumer.

 

FIND THE RAW MATERIALS YOU NEED AT POCHTECA

In the Pochteca catalog you will find raw materials and additives for the food industry that you need for the production of safe, durable and delicious foods that earn the preference of your customers. Purchase them through our quote , or request more information through the online chat where we will gladly assist you.

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