The process of food conservation comes from the period of 50,000 BC, where man hunted and collected food and there was a need to store food, because on some days, hunting was not so good and in some periods, food was not abundant.
At first, primitive man collected only food and used the coldest, darkest part of the cave to stockpile them.
Low temperatures have allowed to delay or inhibit chemical reactions of natural deterioration and enzymatic activities on food components, decreasing or inhibiting the growth and activities of microorganisms.
Another feature used was drying the food, exposing it to the sun. In drying, it was noticed that some fruits, even after dried, were still edible and the meat lasted longer. Drying removes part of the water from food, so microorganisms present in food, which need water for their vital functions fail to have their actions.
Smoking is one of the oldest processes of food conservation, being used in meat and derivatives, such as sausages, bacons, hams etc. The process consists of exposing food to smoke and heat for a certain time. The duration depends on the type of food you want to smoke. The smoke, formerly, misses obtained by burning wood or sawdust, today it is produced outside the environment where the food is found and conducted through pipes. Smoke is a mixture of various substances, containing even bactericides, capable of preventing the growth of microorganisms.
In addition to the examples cited, there is also pasteurization and sterilization, processes used in the industry that use heat to conserve food. Pasteurization consists of eliminating most microorganisms present in food, exposing food to temperatures up to 100°C. Sterilization, on the other hand, aims at the destruction of microorganisms, using temperatures above 100°C. Outside the use of heat for food conservation, we can use freezing or cooling methods. Microorganisms when exposed to temperatures close to or below 0°C tend to keep their activities decreased and inhibited from reproduction. In freezing, food water freezes and so we can further increase the shelf life of food. Microorganisms will have no activity.
Food can also be stored with the use of salt and sugar. Both are widely used for food conservation. Salt is most commonly used in meats and derivatives, while sugar in jams, fruits and jams. When sugar or salt is put in contact with food, an osmosis occurs. Osmosis is when the water present in the cells that make up the animal and plant tissues, cross the cell membrane, dehydrating the food. With the decrease in available water, there is a decrease in the activities of microorganisms. In addition, cooks usually use some spices such as clove and cinnamon, not only for their flavors and aromas, but also for being excellent preservatives. Clove contains eugenol, a powerful antioxidant that conserves food. Phenols have antioxidant properties because they have the ability to donate hydrogen to free radicals, making this radical stabilized by resonance. Cinnamon, in turn, contains in addition to eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, a good preservative and flavoring, besides presenting excellent fungicide and insecticide activity.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Referências” color=”vista_blue” el_width=”50″][vc_message icon_type=”pixelicons” icon_pixelicons=”vc_pixel_icon vc_pixel_icon-balloon”]– SILVA, Eduardo Roberto da, HASHIMOTO, Ruth Rumiko. Food Conservation. São Paulo: Scipicione, 1990.
– AMADO, Janaina, FIGUEIREDO, Luiz Carlos. The Food Trips.[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]