Mendonca, Aubrey F. Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Potter, Norman N. Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Last reviewed:November 2016
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- Principles of food preservation
- Cooling and freezing
- Concentration and dehydration
- pH control
- Chemical preservative
- Combined preservation methods
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The branch of food science and technology that deals with the practical control of factors capable of adversely affecting the safety, nutritive value, appearance, texture, flavor, and keeping qualities of raw and processed foods. Food preservation methods involve the use of heat, refrigeration, freezing, concentration, dehydration, radiation, pH control, chemical preservatives, and packaging applied to produce various degrees of preservation in accordance with the differing use patterns and shelf-life needs of unique products (see illustration). The methods differ widely and are optimized for specific products because thousands of food products, differing in their physical, chemical, and biological properties, can undergo deterioration from such diverse causes as microorganisms, natural food enzymes, insects and rodents, industrial contaminants, heat, cold, light, oxygen, moisture, and dryness. The planned storage time can also dictate which methods are most appropriate. Apart from application of a single food preservation method, a combination of methods may be used to improve the safety and storage stability of foods. This concept is currently referred to as hurdle technology; it is also known as food preservation by combined methods, combination preservation, or combination techniques.
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