How to Preserve Food at Home
Food refrigeration, drying sterilization, and pickling can be done by artisanal means.
Conservation by adding salt or sugar is also commonly used and is based on the principle of extracting water from food and microorganisms. This prevents its growth and reduces the activity of water by increasing the concentration of a solute in the liquid phase of the product. Its humidity is reduced and with it, the actions of pathogenic germs and the progress of enzymatic reactions. Typically, concentrations of 15 to 20% salt or 70% sucrose constitute a highly effective preservative.
Salted or Cured
It has been used in meat, poultry, and fish since 2000 BC and can be done in three different ways:
· Dry salty
· Wet Balance
· Immersion in brine.
Any of them must be performed in three initial steps
1- Select, clean and eliminate the inedible parts of the product
2- Cut as desired and wash with plenty of water
3- Have a tank with polished walls, of wood, glass, stainless steel, plastic, or concrete, with perforations in the bottom for dry salting.
Then proceed as follows:
· Place alternate layers of food and salt, so that the last one is salt.
· Cover the container with a tarp or blanket. Invert the pieces every two or three days.
· After five days, extract and dry them in the sun for five or ten days, protected from water and moisture.
· In the tank, without a hole in the bottom, place successive layers of the product and salt, so that the first and the last are salts.
· After a few days, extract and dry them in the sun.
· Portions should be periodically inverted to facilitate the process.
Immersion in Brine:
· Submerge the pieces cut in a supersaturated brine (2 kilograms of salt are added per liter of water).
· After 48 hours, extract them, drain and dry in the sun.
· To facilitate drying, turn them from time to time.
Tips: The product obtained by any of the three ways described above is stored in impervious containers, at room temperature, and in ventilated premises. To consume these foods, soak them in water and drain them, on occasion more than once, which causes the loss of the preservatives used.
It is known that primitive humans used honey and sugar as a preservative, however, it was not until after 1750 that the worldwide availability of sucrose began to increase and with it the use of the method. It is currently used to make canned fruits, jellies, jams, candied caramel products, and many others which often require subsequent thermal treatment. Depending on the procedure used, they can be stored in sealed containers or without them. In the latter case, preservatives are added to control mold growth and protect against moisture
The addition of sugars raises the energy value of the final product and allows some insipid or low-acceptance fruits to become more palatable. There are many recipes described on the subject, including the cream of fruit—guava, mango, tamarind, etc—which, given how popular it is in the world, one should:
· Chose ripe fruits and wash them carefully.
· Pulp and separate the seeds and inedible parts.
· In a suitable container, place the three parts of pulp and 16 tablespoons of sugar and add water. For low acid fruits, citric acid or lemon juice is added.
· Give heat and stir with a wooden palette so that it does not stick. When the desired consistency is obtained, pour into molds lined with cellophane paper or something similar.
· Once cooled, remove from the mold, wrap and store in a dry and cool place
If in doubt, remember that:
-Microorganisms are microscopic living things found in food with the nutritional elements we need to live.
– reactions are those that continue to occur in living beings after their sacrifice or harvest and cause their deterioration.
-Aqueous activity is the relationship between the vapor pressure of food divided by the vapor pressure of pure water at the same temperature and allows it to determine its conservation capacity and microbial proliferation.
-Molds are multi-cellular filamentous fungi, which are very widespread in nature.