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Food Biotechnology

Techniques to prevent
food spoilage

Micro-organism Growth
Reminder that optimal conditions
for micro-organism growth are:
- warm (usually 25-37oC)
- good food supply
- moist

How can we prevent


food going bad?
To some extent we can stop or delay the
spoilage of food.

Mainly this is done by stopping

decomposers or microbes getting to the


food or changing the conditions to slow or
eliminate microbe growth.

This is the basis of food preservation.

How can we prevent


food going bad?
There are four main ways to preserve food:

Cold treatment: eg deep freeze, refrigeration.


Drying: eg dehydration
Heat treatment: eg sterilisation, UHT (ultra
heat treatment), bottling, canning,
pasteurisation.

Chemical treatment: eg pickling, smoking,


salting

Cold Treatment
Freezing does not kill microbes, but it
stops them from multiplying and slows
their action; the colder it is the slower
they get.

As soon as the food thaws the microbes

(previously dormant) start up again and


food begins to go bad.

Freezing
Meat decays particularly quickly because the

freezing process breaks open the cells and the


microbes can invade quicker.

Depending on the type of food and the freezing

temperature food can be stored for up to a year.

Most freezers operate at -24oC or -18oC


Freezing food is important these days for
transporting.

Refrigeration
Refrigerating operates at just above freezing
temperature.

It slows bacterial action down but does not


stop it.

Therefore food can only be stored in the fridge


for a few days.

Food should be defrosted in the fridge. The


outside defrost first, allowing bacteria to
multiply while the inner part of the food
continues to defrost.

Refrigeration

Drying
Microbes need moisture they go
dormant in bad conditions.

Even if spores land on dried foods


they cannot germinate if there is not
moisture.

Dried food lasts indefinitely.

Dry
Storage

Reducing the water helps to


eliminate a favourable
environment for bacteria to
multiply.

Common methods
include
Evaporation
Dehydration
Adding salt
Adding sugar
Freezing
Freeze drying

Jam
Anchovies
Water not
accessible
Milk
Fruit

Dehydration
Removing moisture from food is called dehydration
Usually it is done by having hot air blown over it.
Milk, eggs, potato, fish can all be dehydrated; as
soon as you add water it can be eaten.

Dehydrated foods are compact and light and can be


easily transported eg space travel, camping etc.

Once water is added it can go bad in the usual way


as microbes becomes active again

Dehydration

Heat
Treatment

When you cook food,

the heat kills many of


the microbes that
make food go bad.

Heat can sterilise the


food

A pressure cooker

boils water under


pressure at a higher
temperature than
normal cooks the
food quickly and kills
the microbes.

Bottling
Fruit can be
preserved by bottling.

A special jar with a lid


and rubber rim is
used.

The jar is filled with


fruit and syrup.

Bottling
The jar is then heated and allowed to cool.
As it cools the air inside shrinks and it
creates a vacuum.

The lid pulls on tightly & the rubber ring


makes it airtight.

Canning
Food is place in metal
cans

The air is sucked out of


the cans and they are
then sealed

The cans are then

heated under pressure


until all the microbes
are killed.

Ultra Heat Treatment


(UHT)
Heat is used to kill bacteria in milk
Milk is heated to a very high
temperature and then it is sealed.

It can alter the flavor so most people


prefer pasteurised milk.

UHT milk can last quite a long time.

Pasteurisation
Pasteurisation is named after Louis Pasteur
When milk is pasteurised it is heated enough to kill

dangerous germs but not so much that it changes the


flavour.

In one method, the milk is heated to 70oC for 15 mins,


it is quickly cooled, put in a sterilised carton and then
sealed.

Another method, milk is heated to 135oC for 1 sec. and


then sealed.

Some bacteria survive but they are not the ones that
cause disease.

Pasteurisation

Chemical Treatment
Add a chemical to the food which
kills bacteria but is harmless to
man.

Includes;
- pickling
- smoking
- salting

Pickling
When food is
pickled it is put
in a preservative
such as vinegar.

The acid in the


vinegar kills the
bacteria and
prevents it from
going bad.

Smoking
The food is held
over a wood fire

The smoke
contains
substances which
kill bacteria as
well as giving the
food a delicious
flavor.

Salting
The food is either soaked in salt brine or salt is rubbed
into it

The salt draws the water/moisture out of the bacterial


cells using osmosis, hence killing them.

In hot countries, local people often put fruit or fish out in


the sun.

This dries the food and reduces the moisture content and
leaves a high concentration of sugar or salt.

This kills any microbes present and this is why dried fruit
lasts so long.

Salting

Preservatives
A specific category of food additives.
Protect consumers when using multi-use
containers

Concentrated tomato paste


Examples include; salt, sugar, sulphur dioxide,
smoke

Reduced Oxygen
Many microorganisms require oxygen to
survive. We can limit oxygen by

Controlled atmosphere packaging


MAP modified atmosphere packaging
Barrier packaging, vacuum packaging, gas
packaging

Hot fill, high fill


Use of anti-oxidants

Food Irradiation
Last resort if no other method of preservation
available.

Food is not radioactive.


It destroys bacteria.
Parasites, moulds and yeast that spoil food.
Salmonella.

Food Irradiation
Is used to
Treat herbs and spices
Unwanted pest in traded food
Varying doses are used
Low dose destroys moulds
High doses kill bacteria that cause
food poisoning