How Food Can Be Preserved.

Preserving food ensures that it lasts longer. This saves money in the long run as well as reducing unnecessary waste!

No food has an indefinite shelf life. But there are several ways with which you can preserve food for quite a while and stock up on it. Nowadays, people mainly work in the household with physical processes such as cooling, freezing or boiling. There are also chemical processes such as lactic acid fermentation, salting, sugaring, curing and smoking as well as soaking in acid, alcohol or other preserving solutions.

Below you can read an overview of the most common methods for preserving some popular foods and their possible storage times.

ProcedureType of conservationFood CategoryRecommended Storage Time
CoolHeat removal to +2 to +15 ° C, inhibition of microorganism growthButter, eggs, milk, fish, meat, fruit, vegetables1 day to several months (3-4)
FreezeRemoval of heat down to -18 ° C or colder, interruption of microorganism growth and reduction of enzyme activityVegetables, fish, meat, fruit, baked goods, home-made dishesA few months to a year
Boiling downHeat exposure between 75 ° C and 100 ° C, partial killing of microorganisms, inhibition of microorganism growth, reduction of enzyme activity, partial killing of sporesFruit and vegetable juices, jams, jams, jellies, chutneysUp to 1 year
Drying (drying)Heat supply, dehydration, inhibition of microorganism growth and enzyme activityDried fruits, legumes, herbs, cerealsUp to 1 year
SugarAdded sugar, exposure to heat, dehydration, inhibition of microorganism growthJam, jam, jelly, fruit syrup, candied fruitsFrom a few months to a year
SouringAdding vinegar or acetic acid, lowering the pH value, inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, killing microorganisms at high concentrationsCucumbers, mixed pickles, fish, sweet and sour pickled fruits and vegetablesSeveral months (3-4)
Soaking in alcoholAddition of alcohol, inhibition of microorganism growth, microorganisms die at high concentrationsRum pot, fruits in alcoholSeveral months (3-4)
Soaking in preserving solutionsPreventing the ingress of air (e.g. with lime, water glass, oil), inhibiting the growth of microorganismsEggs, herbs, sheep cheeseWeeks (2) to months (3)
Lactic acid fermentationFormation of lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria, inhibition of the growth of other microorganisms, lowering of the pH valueSauerkraut, sour beans, cucumberSeveral months
SaltAddition of table salt, inhibition of the growth of microorganisms by removing water and partially killing microorganisms by nitriteFish, meat, meat productsWeeks (3) to months (3)
CuringAdding curing salt, dehydration, inhibition of the growth of microorganisms and, in some cases, killing of microorganisms by nitriteMeat, meat productsSeveral weeks (4)
SmokingAddition of smoke and heat, dehydration, inhibition of the growth of microorganisms by dehydration and partial killing of microorganisms through bacteria-killing smoke ingredientsMeat, fishWeeks (4) to months (4-6)

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