How to Preserve Food Items at Home?

Date: 4-June,2021Last Updated: 26-September,2022
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Hello everyone! Today we have brought before you something very interesting "How to preserve food items at home?"

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Have you ever thought about excessive food in your racks?

How can you preserve them without sparing them for the dustbins?

About your favourite food items rotting to death because you have no clue how to safe keep them at home? If yes, you have been thinking about it of late, and we got you covered in this article.

According to Spencer Woolley Kimball, "Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life". We are exploring the crux of the same in the food domain in this article.

Firstly, let us go through some important types of food preservation methods that you can try at home!

Freezing as a food preservation method

  • One of the commonly and easily used method. Freezing at a lower temperature inhibits microbial growth.

  • Not just ice-creams! You can freeze your veggies and fruits– carrots, apples and peaches in the refrigerator.

Pro Tip: While you freeze, make sure you give the headspace, which accounts for expansion, once the food freezes. Also, you need to keep in mind that some foods can lose their flavour if you freeze - say fried foods and fruit jellies. Other alternative methods need to be checked for the same.

Drying as a food preservation method

  • Drying is an age-old practice of food preservation. Researchers hold the opinion that the sun-drying technique of food preservation existed from about 12,000 BC!

  • Both sun drying, as well as wind drying can be done. You can also use a household oven for the purpose. The reduction of water content restricts bacterial activity. You can dry – meat and fruits like mangoes. You can also try making dry pickles!

Pro Tip: Give attention to storing dried food items. You can place them in an airtight container at room temperature – popularly termed as vacuum packing. Once a week, you can shake the items in the container and close them again without air gaps.

Pickling as a food preservation method

  • Pickle making is an important way by which you can do the preservation of fruits and vegetables. These can include – beetroots, mangoes, lemon, shrimp etc.

  • The placement of the food items in an edible liquid like vegetable oil or brine inhibits bacterial growth. Salting is a kind of curing method that helps remove moisture content in food items like meat.

Pro Tip: The food items can be either preserved in a salt solution, or they can be marinated using vinegar. You can do both chemicals as well as fermentation pickling.

Jellying as a food preservation method

  • Jellying is a type of food preservation method where a jellying agent called pectin is added along with sugar. If you are overrunning on fruits, jellying is the best option to preserve them!

  • Both sugar and heat work towards making jams and jellies. Jellies are generally made out of the juice of the fruit. Jam making, however, involves both juice and flesh of the fruit.

Pro Tip: The preservation techniques in a jam works through two processes: the filling of hot cooked fruits in the jar and the addition of sugar content. The microbial growth is restricted when you cook the fruits, and both sugar and acidity will further keep them at bay.

Canning as a food preservation method

  • Canning, also known as bottling, is yet another important type of food preservation method. In this technique, food is put in jars and then heated to prevent microbial infestation.

  • Canned food can have a shelf life for years! This is the industrially preferred type of food preservation method. The filled cans are heated at a temperature of about 212°F for a specified time, according to the recipe.

Pro Tip: Boiling Water technique of heating cans, maintaining a temperature of about 212°F is adequate to destroy the presence of yeast and moulds. Low acid foods are better suited for pressure canning, while high-acid foods do better with boiling water bath canning.

So, that was some significant types of food preservation methods that you can try at home.

Let us now run through some important pointers on ways of preserving food domestically that is being practised over time. And see how transformations have happened to the techniques in the domain of food preservation.

Quick info on ways of preserving food, from then to today –

  • Root cellaring – Even though some people term it old-fashioned, this type of food preservation is the best for winter food storage. This technique involved storing food in unfinished basements in conditions relatively humid and cold. However, the condensation on the walls, even in the presence of humidity, was checked by the provision of sufficient airflow.

  • Ground burial - Another ancient way of preserving food is the ground burial method. However, it is still practised in rural areas, as people stand by the statement that the flavours are not lost while using this technique. Food burial in the ground, say, for instance, cabbages - preserves it because of the absence of oxygen, pH level and adequately cold temperature.

  • Indoor cellars and refrigerators – Times have surely changed. Modern construction does not include account spaces for practising techniques like root cellaring. Instead, the same effect on food preservation can now be achieved using indoor cellars and extra energy-efficient refrigerators. Indoor cellars practically need a temperature in the range of 32°F to 60°F. Refrigerators are a more comfortable option to switch to since they aid in food preservation in the modern world on a day-to-day basis.

As George Bernard Shaw, the famous playwright and political activist, says, "There is no love sincerer than the love of food." There need not be any room for dilemma in your brains regarding the keeping of your favourite food items now! You can always rely on one of the above-said techniques hands-on!

So, that sums "How to preserve food items at home?"

Do you know more techniques? Well share it with us in the comment section!

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