How refrigeration can help to prolong the life of foods
In the most basic sense, food left out in the open in high temperatures is bound to get spoilt. However, understanding how this happens provides useful insights into how effective refrigeration can help prolong the life of foods.
One of the most common reasons for food spoilage is the growth of microbes and bacteria in the food. For example, even if milk is pasteurised, it is bound to spoil after a given amount of time due microbiological activity. The nature of life is such that, in normal temperatures, life will thrive in one form or another.
In the ripening of fruits, the same enzymes that bring fruits to ripeness is also the cause of their deterioration. Similarly, bacteria, yeast and molds cause many foods to turn sour and lend them a texture could be described as anything but appetising.
Microorganisms known as spoilage bacteria eat into foods that are unprotected or stored at an inappropriate temperature. The waste created by these bacteria lead to the foul smell that is characteristic to spoiled food.
Using refrigeration and cooling to increase the life of foods
Cooling food and keeping it at a controlled temperature is helpful in prolonging the life of foods, whereas, freezing foods can help to preserve foods for much longer.
Most markets selling fruits, vegetables, meats, and other food products need to use refrigeration and air conditioning to ensure that their stock will have a longer shelf life.
Similarly, when foods are purchased and taken home, refrigeration or freezing can be useful in increasing the life of food products. This is one of the few ways to ensure that your foods remain fresh for longer.
The temperatures required to preserve food products differ from one food item to another. While refrigeration may be sufficient to preserve leafy vegetables or fruits for a short period of time, you cannot expect to preserve meats at the same temperature. An effective cold room will allow you to have different temperature controlled areas, making this possible.
It helps to gather information about the life of various food products and use refrigeration and cooling for the same. In fact, many food products do not even give any foul odours when they spoil, but they are harmful to one’s health nevertheless.
So, make sure you gather all relevant information on food products, and their longevity under different temperatures, before considering refrigeration for preservation.