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UCCE Master Food Preservers of San Joaquin County

Why Preserve Food?

Food spoilage refers to the deterioration of food, rendering it unsafe or unsuitable for human consumption. This degradation typically results from the proliferation of microorganisms within food items. Additionally, natural processes within fresh food tissues, such as enzymatic activity, contribute to quality losses, exemplified by excessive softening in overripe fruit.

Efficient food preservation methods play a pivotal role in mitigating spoilage and controlling quality deterioration in food. Food preservation, as a practice, involves maintaining the safety and nutritional integrity of food over an extended duration. This encompasses various techniques, including proper packaging for refrigeration, freezing, canning, and drying.

Key objectives of food preservation include:

Preventing Spoilage: The fundamental goal is to safeguard food from spoilage, especially when there is an abundance of produce that exceeds immediate consumption capabilities.

Year-Round Availability:  Preservation methods enable the availability of a diverse range of foods throughout the year, breaking free from seasonal limitations and ensuring a constant and varied food supply.

Economic Considerations:  Beyond the benefits of prolonged freshness, economic factors drive the practice of food preservation. Preserving fresh produce, whether from personal gardens, farms, or markets, becomes a means of saving money while aligning with individual preferences.

However, it's essential to recognize the multifaceted nature of the costs associated with home food preservation. These costs encompass not only the materials and equipment required but also factor in fresh produce, human energy, and the energy expended in processing and storing the preserved food. An understanding of these variables contributes to a comprehensive evaluation of the economic aspects of food preservation.

Preservation Notes

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