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Microorganisms in a Macro World (part 3)

mbeall

CHIN, Gatineau, Quebec

Food preservation : a horror story for microorganisms

For centuries, man has been fighting problems of food preservation.

Some pathogenic microorganisms can develop in food and be subsequently ingested by humans. To avoid consumption of spoiled food, numerous techniques have been developed to preserve the freshness of food longer and ensure a better control of its quality.

Food preservation methods, old and current, were established according to one or several of the following principles:

  • Prevent contamination
  • Inhibit microbial growth and metabolism (microbiostatic activity)
  • Kill the microorganisms (microbiocide activity)

Here are seven preservation techniques that rely on one or the other of these principles.

  1. Aseptic manipulation and treatment
  2. High temperatures
  3. Low temperatures
  4. Dehydration
  5. High osmotic pressure
  6. Chemical additives
  7. Irradiation

Armand-Frappier Museum


© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: Our defenses against germs
Institution: RCIP-CHIN