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Food storage techniques 3/3

Lately, we talked about heat and cold preservation techniques. In this blog article, we would like to inform you about the other existing ways that allow you to preserve your food safely and avoid going shopping too often during this period of confinement.

Vacuum Packaging

is a modern industrial process that removes most of the air present in the packaging and then hermetically seals. By removing the present oxygen, vacuum packaging prevents certain bacterias from growing and thus, extends the shelf life of products. This technique can be used for most products and is useful to reduce the storage size of food products.


Modified Atmosphere Packaging

although this technique also reduces the oxygen inside the food packaging, it differs from vacuum packaging. It actually doesn't remove oxygen but modifies the level of oxygen and CO2. In other words, it creates a tailored atmosphere to extend the shelf life of specific food products. This technique blocks the development of microorganisms that cause the spoilage of the product and avoid oxidation reactions from occurring. The product in question must be labeled as "packaged in a protective atmosphere."


If you cook your products before vacuuming or placing your products in a modified atmosphere packaging you will preserve the integrity and organoleptic qualities of your food products and optimize your cooking organization.

Drying and Dehydration

is a process that dries food products to avoid their spoilage. In other words, it removes partially or totally the water from the food, which prevents the proliferation of microorganisms and slows down the chemical or enzymatic actions of deterioration. There are different ways to dry food products such as for instance air drying, sun drying, or oven drying. These drying methods can be used for most food products (meat, vegetables, and fruits).

Freeze-drying

consists first of freezing food products and then placing them in airtight containers. By doing so, the moisture is removed and the aromatic quality is preserved. All you need to do is to pour a little bit of hot water to revitalize the flavor and nutrition of the product. This technique is often reserved for products with a high added value such as soluble coffee, mushrooms, instant soups, and breakfast cereals.



Salting & Brining

As its name suggests, this ancestral preservation technique uses salt, either directly on the surface of the product (it draws out the water and dries the product) or by immersing food products in a saltwater mixture (spices, flavorings, sugar, and herbs) and leaving them to macerate (absorbs the brine). These techniques are mainly used in cheese making, delicatessen, for the preservation of certain fish (herring, salmon, etc.) or condiments (gherkins and pickles). Salt preservation confers a unique and delicious taste to food.



Confit

is a process that slowly cooks food products in fat (usually pork, goose, or duck), oil, or sugar (candied fruits) at a low temperature. Food products are then preserved in jars and placed in a cool room for long-term storage.

Smoking

There are two different ways to use smoke to preserve food products: cold-smoking and hot smoking. The drying and antiseptic actions of smoke kill the present microbes, prevent bacterias from growing, and enables the preservation of foods. These methods are mainly used for meat and fish to add flavor and give them a rich brown color.

Fermentation

Fermentation tends to be a forgotten technique but it is very useful to preserve food products. It naturally converts food products into alcohol and organic acids and enhances the flavor, nutrition, and digestibility of foods. Alcoholic fermentation (wine), lactic fermentation (sauerkraut cheese) and acetic fermentation (vinegar) are three common examples.

Food preservation holds no more secret for you now! Stay tuned, our next blog posts will provide you simple and original recipes to put in practice the different preservation techniques.

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