What we eat is how we feel. Eating healthy foods is touted as the best antidote for all diseases. But sometimes we unknowingly eat spoilt food and end up being sick.
Food poisoning is quite a common problem and it is caused due to the consumption of spoilt food. The food gets spoiled by some kind of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, etc. These organisms release toxic substances making the food poisonous and causing serious illnesses and even death. This is why it is extremely important to preserve food. Our kitchens are filled with common things that can help preserve food and avoid the attack of these organisms. These easy hacks can be easily followed at home, which can keep your food items fresh for longer durations.
5 Ways to Preserve Food
Our elders have been using salt as a food preservative for decades. This natural food preservative is used to preserve fish, meat and many vegetables. It is used to keep in check the growth of bacteria in these foods. It is also used to preserve raw mangoes and amla. Salt is also a great preservative for pickles, and has been a part of the Indian household for years together.
Almost every kitchen has this ingredient. Sugar is more than just a sweetener, it is a natural preservative that protects the food from spoilage. Sugar inhibits the growth of bacteria by reducing the moisture which spoils food. So, coating a little sugar to your citric fruits can enhance the taste and keep the fruit fresh for a longer duration. This works well for fruits with a thick skin.
Meats and vegetables are preserved by using edible oils such as olive oil. The oil prevents the attack of microorganisms on the food by providing insulation to the food. Olive oil has multiple health benefits so it is extremely beneficial to use olive oil as a food preservative.
Food is spoiled when it comes in contact with microorganisms and oxygen. Vinegar has acetic acid which helps kill these microbes and other bacteria causing food spoilage. One of the reasons why it is used in pickles. It keeps vegetables and other foods preserved for a long period and also enhances the taste by adding a tinge of tanginess to the dish.
Lemon juice contains citric acid and vitamin C which makes it difficult for bacteria, yeast, microbes, etc. to breed on the food. Since lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, it inhibits the oxidation process of food preventing food spoilage. But this ingredient can preserve the food for only a short time.
Also read: Benefits of Liquorice Aka Mulethi
Methods to Preserve Food
Freezing is a common preservation method in many households. Low temperature prevents the growth of microbes that can kill our food. This method can help preserve meats and vegetables.
Storage and Packing
You must have seen that a few food items come in sealed airtight packaging. This is done to avoid the attack of microbes. Foods when packed in an airtight container or a packet leaves no space for oxygen killing the bacteria present in the air. This prevents the food from getting spoilt.
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