The storing of food is common among mankind. It is a wise pursuit to put a little extra away when it is possible.
It may be that a person wishes to have vegetables or fruits available for consumption that do not grow during a certain time of the year. Keeping a supply of these fruits and vegetables allows them to maintain a healthy diet throughout the year.
Storing food is also a means of preventing it from being eaten by wild animals. In this manner the food is kept safe until it is consumed.
Some people store food to prepare in case there is a dearth in the future. Storing the necessary foodstuffs will allow them and their family members to survive in case of an emergency.
Another reason might be for use in a time of personal difficulty. Losing one’s job may decrease the amount of income that can be used to purchase groceries.
Having food on hand to use in such times becomes a matter of survival. When food storage is so vital it is important that it is properly protected.
Grains are most often put into cans or any kind of airtight container. This prevents any water or creature from causing damage to the grain.
Meats of any kind have a much shorter storage life than grains. These items should be consumed very shortly after they are harvested.
The issue of meat storage life makes clear the need for rotation of food storage stocks. You should be aware of how long the items you are storing have been on the shelf.
Items can go bad quite easily if not properly stored. Furthermore, any item stored for too long goes bad.
If an item has not been used after some time, use it, and replace it with a fresh item. This process of replacement ensures that your food storage is always ready in case of emergency.
New technologies, such as freeze-drying, have greatly improved the possibilities of food storage. Freeze-drying increases the shelf life of the item, and also decreases its relative volume and density, making storage of the item easier.
The process of freeze-drying is an interesting one. There are several steps involved.
First, an item is pretreated, but only if the theory of freeze-drying deems it necessary. The pretreatment phase usually is required only if the item needs to prepared so as to ensure its ability to withstand the rest of the process successfully.
The next step is freezing the item. The item is frozen by means of mechanisms which use dry ice or liquid nitrogen.
Items are frozen quite rapidly so that large ice crystals do not form in the items. If the formation of these crystals is not prevented, the crystals will damage the cells of the item.
Maintaining the cell structure is important. Destruction of cells causes the item to lose its nutritional value.
The next phase is the first phase of drying. In this phase the pressure around the item is decreased and just enough heat is applied so that sublimation occurs.
Sublimation is the process by which the ice crystals are removed from the item. The moisture collected from the food item is then collected and disposed of.
Another phase of drying is the final step in freeze-drying an item. This phase is necessary in order to remove any molecules of water that have not crystallized as part of the ice.
The benefits of this process are many. For instance, freeze-dried items, if properly protected from moisture, can be stored for many years.
The item does not even have to be stored in a refrigerator or below room temperature. Without the help of moisture, various parasites are unable to destroy the food.
Also, if properly executed, the freeze-drying process does not cause as much damage to the item. As a result the item retains many of its original properties.
One problem in regards to the freeze-drying process is the possibility of substances other than water during the sublimation process. This may negatively impact the results.
The process of sublimation does, however, allow for re-hydration of the item. The areas where the ice crystals were in the item can be infused with water.
In general freeze-drying is the best method for preserving food over the long term. With the help of technology, humans can maintain what is so vital to their survival for a long time. BOLA TANGKAS