Food preservation has been around since before the common era. On the surface, the purpose seems obvious – to prolong the life of perishable foods.
However, the value of this exercise is reduced if you cannot receive an adequate level of nutrition when you finally consume the stored food.
Some foods can lose their nutritional value during preservation based on how they were handled beforehand.
This is especially the case if you are attempting to preserve food for not just yourself but also your pet. Keep reading to find out the best way to preserve foods while maintaining a high level of nutritional value.
How You Start Will Impact How You Finish
The best way to preserve food and still maintain a high nutritional value is to ensure high-quality ingredients when you begin the preservation process.
With fruits and vegetables, that means paying attention to things like ripeness. The fresher the original ingredient is the longer it will maintain its quality in a preserved state.
Unless you own your own farms, you have no way of knowing how long your foods have been harvested. It is therefore always best to start storage as soon as possible to maintain freshness.
If storage becomes necessary, ensuring cold temperatures will assist you to keep your products as fresh as possible.
Also worth considering is your storage container. Choose an option that limits moisture and humidity to ensure the best quality product is used and the highest level of nutrition is received.
If you wish to engage in preservation for the sake of your pet, it is very important to choose the right food.
Like you, your pet needs adequate nutrition for proper growth and development. Attempting to preserve an inferior product will only serve to decrease the benefits upon consumption.
Dehydrating Food as Opposed to Freeze Drying
When you dehydrate fresh food it tends to lose some of its nutrients. This is mainly due to the heat. It damages the outer membranes causing fruits and vegetables to leak their valuable vitamins and minerals. The loss becomes even more severe if these foods are blanched before being dried.
Another factor to consider is the calorie increase. Heating and drying fruits and vegetables make the natural sugars contained in them more concentrated.
This can result in a calorie increase of almost 3 times the original value. Although there is no denying the convenience of dehydrated foods, the nutritional loss of around 40% cannot be completely ignored.
This is what makes freeze-drying so alluring. This process allows foods to retain up to 97% of their original nutrients.
The speed at which the freezing is done makes it easy to remove the water without compromising the integrity of the food being preserved. The added benefit is that you also maintain the original textures and flavors.
With the expansion of industry, it is possible for households around the globe to have a mini version freeze drier that can be used at home.
Another pat on the back for freeze drying – you can use it to preserve just about anything. If you’re looking to preserve food for your pet, freeze-drying is definitely an option.
Unconventional but Effective Food Preservation Methods
Pasteurization is a common enough method of food preservation. It’s mostly used with dairy and is excellent at removing the threat of bacteria and extending shelf life.
The idea is to create a semis-solid product that maintains its nutritional quality.
Pulsed Electric Field is an unconventional method used in pasteurization. It uses high-voltage electric notes to carry out this process rendering microorganisms inactive while preserving the composition of the original food source.
It’s just as effective as the original version but certainly carries itself with an exceeding measure of flare.
High Hydrostatic Pressure is a newly emerging technology where microorganisms are removed from meats and dairy without having to use heat.
Yet another innovative way of increasing shelf life without a high level of processing. This high-pressure system may even improve taste and can be a more sustainable option for industry providers.
Irradiation is very unique in that it is one of the few preservation methods that happen after food is packaged.
Its deep penetrating ability allows this process to eliminate the microorganisms that cause poisoning and decay. All without altering the quality of the contents inside.
Cold Plasma Technology has been used to sterilize foods such as meat. Used in conjunction with other methods, meat products are safer and free from chemicals and similar additives which make the end product much healthier. It also helps to preserve the nutritional value of the meat.
This technology can also be used in a similar way to irradiation in that it can be used to sterilize even the packaging of industrialized foods. In addition, there is increased ecological benefit including a reduction in waste.
We’ve experienced this before with products such as smoothies and baby formula. You add water and boom! A fully nutritious meal right at your fingertips.
This innovation has really allowed consumers to store things like spices and beverages in bulk for long periods of time.
It’s also a great purchase option for your pets. You can not only get high-quality foods but supplements that your pet will love in bulk which frees you off doing the hard processing work yourself.
Pulling Back the Layers on Longevity
There are already numerous ways to preserve your food using heat, salt, oils, and alcohol.
New technologies and methods are being developed to help industrial companies to produce high-quality foods with a minimum amount of processing.
Whether you are preserving foods at home for yourself or making use of what the industry has to offer. All these methods work to ensure long-lasting, bacteria-free, high-nutrient foods.
Best of all – with many of these methods – you can also ensure the same level of quality for your pet.
The Daily Buzz combines the pursuit of interesting and intriguing facts with the innate human desire to rank and list things. From stereotypical cat pictures to crazy facts about the universe, every thing is designed to help you kill time in the most efficient manner, all while giving you something to either laugh at or think about!