Friday, August 06, 2021

Extension of shelf-life by thermal processing

The various forms of microbiological spoilage are preventable to a large degree by a wide range of preservation techniques, most of which act by preventing or inhibiting microbial growth.

Canning involves packing a food in a container and supplying sufficient heat treatment to kill spoilage organisms or pathogens that may present. It is a method of preserving where food is placed in airtight, vacuum-sealed containers and heat processed at 121 °C.

Thermal processing like canning process is a suitable method to prolong the shelf life of fruits, such as date fruit, which has some benefits, including: artificial maturation, destroying insects, reducing the microbial load, inactivation of enzymes (e.g. pectinase), and reducing tannin.

Commercial canning is done under tightly controlled conditions — careful sanitation and the necessary time and temperature under pressure, but there are still limits to how long it will preserve food. There are several factors that limit the shelf life of canned foods. First, cans can rust over time. Shipping accidents, where cans fall and dent or are crushed, also cause container problems.

Heat preservation (canning) provides a shelf-stable product, but usually at the cost of colour, flavour, and texture. Heat treatment, however, leads to destruction of freshness and nutrient losses.
Extension of shelf-life by thermal processing 

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