Storing food is an everyday task, and it is an important task, as food wastage is irresponsible. Storing food is a necessity in every kitchen of every household, restaurant or hotel. The motive behind storing food is keeping it fresh for consumption at a later date.
There are many methods, both conventional and modern, involved in storing food. However, there are a few essential tips which must be kept in mind in order to store food more effectively, which hold true regardless of the storage method or facility. These are helpful in maintaining the quality of food which is stored for longer periods of time. 13 do’s and don’ts for food storage are given below.
An ever popular choice, vacuum bottles or thermal flasks provide a liquid storage option, which prevents heat loss, by rigid insulation, that is, prevention of heat transfer from outside to inside or vice versa. Keeping the liquid fresh and just the way it had been prepared, vacuum bottles come extremely handy for storage, be it long term or short term.
Aluminium foil has several properties which make it an excellent choice for short-term food storage. Aluminium foil is impervious to bacteria, water as well as harmful chemicals. It possesses excellent resistance to environmental factors which spoil food. Along with this, it also regulated heat loss due to it being a good insulator. Aluminium foil is widely used to store hot foods to be consumed shortly.
Optimum fridge usage
Using the space provided in the fridge to an optimum level is beneficial for the sake of order, as well as for the necessary hygienic conditions for food storage. Storing different kinds of edibles too close to each other leads to spoiling due to the transfer of bacteria and fumes emanated by the foods. Storing the food not too closely packed but bearing in mind the full capacity of the refrigerator is crucial in order to maximise food storage efficiency.
Food is easy to spoil. Being organic matter, microbes such as bacteria are quick to act upon food in order to decompose it. However, using preservatives such as salt and sugar can be extremely helpful in protection of food from bacterial action, and help it last longer. Salt and sugar increase water concentration in cells which deplasmolysis the bacterial cells, preventing them from affecting the food.
The right place for things
Storing food in the appropriate section in the refrigerator is of paramount importance. For example, the fruit must be stored in the crisper so that it retains its crunch. Seafood must be stored with ice, and the varying types of protein must be stored in special boxes. Every food belongs somewhere in a fridge, and keeping it in its place increases its chances of retaining its quality.
Water is a key element in food storage for two primary reasons. Hygiene and temperature regulation. Water has a high heat capacity and it can preserve the temperature of a food for a long time. Also storing food in water helps in maintaining the sanitation of the food and keeping it fresh for a longer period of time. Water provides multiple benefits for long-term food storage.
Last but not least, picking the right storage method for different kinds of food is important as different foods have different characteristics, and the appropriate methods, storage equipment and storage space must be allotted for the food. The variety and complexity of food ensure that proper etiquette must be followed during this allotment process.
A sudden change in temperature of a food is harmful to the food. Hence we must ensure that there is no drastic temperature drop as we put a food into the refrigerator. A room temperature must be attained by the food for safe and effective freezing, after which the food stays nutritious and fresh.
Many a time, foods stored are exposed to chemical substances or fumes from other substances that are stored, often carelessly, with the food items. This must be avoided at all costs as the spoiling of food is after all a chemical reaction and exposure to alien chemicals will change the constitution of the food.
Forget to date
Dating the foods that are stored for future use is a practical habit, as many a time we forget about a food that is stored in the fridge and it passes its expiry date. Storing food is a timed process, and cannot be used for an overly long period even with the best quality of storage equipment.
Inappropriate Vacuum Packing
Vacuum sealers must be used with caution and consideration, bearing in mind the type and size of food to be stored. The type of vacuum sealer that is used is worth thinking of as it has the ability to maximise the storage quality and water retention of the food stored.
Store unfavourable leftovers
Storing foods which are unwanted only leads to wastage of space and spoiling of that food which is to be thrown away. Leftovers which are unfavourable are best discarded as the spoiling of food while in storage is harmful to the useful foods which are in proximity to it.
Being stingy and conservative with storage allocation and equipment is a bad move. Inappropriate storage techniques can ruin a perfectly good food in the blink of an eye. Ignorance and stinginess is the worst habit when it comes to storing food.
Food storage requires proper etiquette and method to its procedure, which if not followed, leads to the spoiling of food, and hence wastage. We must preserve our food judiciously and carefully so that whenever we need access to it, it remains fresh.
Jessica is completing her Ph.D. in Cell Biology and works as a lab tech for Foxxlifesciences.com. She contributes content on Biotech, Life Sciences, and Health.