Our fast-paced lives have led us to devise ways to create things that would best compliment our busy lives. Everything is made readily available for us especially in food. Home cooking can now be considered only a luxury to some, as preparing a home-cooked meal requires hours of laboring in the kitchen. Therefore, we can only attend such activities during the weekends and on special occasions. Food is such a common necessity that people barely put any thought into how the food they are about to eat came to be.
Food Technology and Preservation
Food technology applies food science to the different areas of food production such as how food is processed, packaged, preserved, and distributed. Food scientists are the ones responsible for making keeping our food safe it by making it adhere to different standards and regulations.
Food preservation, meanwhile, is the process that allows food to be stored for long periods of time without spoilage. This process involves methods that allow the addition of bacteria or fungi in order to preserve food. Most preserved food requires that the food be sealed in order to prevent contamination from different bacteria.
Methods of Food Preservation
The oldest known process of food preservation is drying. In olden times, this is done by putting food where there is direct sunlight, reducing water content, which slows down the growth of bacteria. Nowadays, the equipment can be used for this process. Meat can be dried as well as fruits and cereal grains. Meanwhile, the most common form of food preservation at home or commercially is by freezing.
An effective way to keep flavor yet strip the food of bacteria is through a vacuum-packing. In this method, the bacteria cannot survive because of a lack of oxygen. Freshness therefore is maintained and food keeps its flavor. Food can also be preserved using sugar. Fruits, specifically, undergo this method. They are either preserved in sugar syrup or cooked with sugar until it crystallizes and then left to dry.
Those who hardly have time to prepare their food mostly rely on the next method which is canning and bottling. The process of canning allows the cooking of food and sealing it in sterile containers such as a can or a jar.
The fruits require no preservatives; therefore they can be cooked at a lesser time and then stored through canning. Meanwhile, meat, as well as vegetables, needs to undergo the process of pressure canning. Canned or bottled food should be immediately consumed as they are susceptible to spoilage once the can or bottle has been opened.
Recent developments in food technology have also led to great advancements. For instance, Pulsed Electric Field processing is also used in food preservation. This method processes fruit or vegetable cell through the use of a strong electric field. The substance is placed between two electrodes and then applied with PEF. This technology is still being developed. When established, this will make way for easier pasteurization of fruit juices.
With the application of technology in food technology, we will never run out of ways to keep our food safe and fresh.