Let’s talk about a subject that concerns us all: food preservation. This is an important subject because storing your food properly means ensuring that it retains all its taste and nutritional qualities.
And above all, it is a guarantee of security for our family. Whether you are a budding cook or a parent concerned about your children’s nutrition, this guide is for you.
We’ll talk about different preservation methods, organizing your fridge, making good packaging choices, curing, drying, fermenting, smoking, and we’ll even talk about modern technologies like vacuum sealing and dehydration.
I will also share with you advice from great French chefs for preserving your fresh fruits and vegetables, your meat and your fish. And finally, we’ll talk about managing your food inventory to ensure freshness.
So, are you ready to become true food preservation experts?
Let’s go !
I. Understanding the Basics of Food Preservation
A. Different types of food storage
When it comes to food preservation, several methods are used. We have cold preservation which includes refrigeration and freezing. Then there are traditional methods such as salting, drying, fermentation, smoking.
And finally, we have modern technologies such as vacuuming and dehydration. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages which vary depending on the type of food.
B. Importance of temperature in food preservation
Temperature plays a very important role in food preservation. One of the secrets to success is ensuring you respect the right degrees. For example, for refrigeration, you would need a temperature between 0 and 5°C to better preserve your food.
C. Food preservation and nutritional quality
It should be noted that not all preservation methods equally preserve the nutritional quality of foods. Some can even destroy certain nutrients. Hence the importance of choosing your preservation method carefully depending on the type of food.
II. Secrets for optimal preservation of fresh food
A. The refrigerator: an essential ally
1. Setting the ideal temperature
To properly set your refrigerator, note that the coldest zone is the top one. In fact, the cold is falling, so the lower part is less cold. The temperature is therefore adjusted according to this detail.
2. Organize your refrigerator
Organizing your refrigerator is not a detail. The least perishable foods should be at the bottom and the most perishable at the top. Also be sure to separate raw foods from cooked foods.
B. The importance of packaging
1. The different types of packaging
In terms of packaging, we have airtight boxes, storage bags, cling film and even aluminum foil. Each type has its specificity and must be chosen according to the type of food to be preserved.
2. Choice of packaging depending on the food
To properly preserve your food, you must adapt the type of packaging to the food. For example, meats should be vacuum-packed, while vegetables can be stored in airtight containers.
C. Tips for Storing Fruits and Vegetables Fresh
Fruits and vegetables should preferably be stored at the bottom of the refrigerator. Certain fruits such as apples, bananas or tomatoes should be stored at room temperature.
D. Tips for Keeping Meat and Fish Fresh
For meat and fish, they should ideally be placed at the top of the refrigerator, the coldest place, and in airtight containers to prevent the proliferation of bacteria.
III. Food preservation using traditional methods
A. Conservation by salting
Salting is a traditional method based on the preservative role of salt. Salt helps remove water from food, which inhibits the growth of bacteria responsible for decomposition.
B. Conservation by drying
The principle of drying is to remove all the water present in the food to prevent the development of micro-organisms. It is a very old method that allows food to be preserved for a long time.
C. Conservation by fermentation
Then we have fermentation, a natural method that not only preserves food but also improves its nutritional qualities and taste.
D. Conservation by smoking
Smoking is a preservation method that involves exposing food to smoke produced by the combustion of non-resinous organic materials.
IV. The use of modern technologies for food preservation
A. Freezing: an effective but often misused method
1. The benefits of freezing
Freezing has many advantages: it allows food to be preserved for a long time without losing its nutritional value.
2. How to freeze correctly
To freeze correctly, you must respect a few essential principles such as the freezing speed which must be rapid to maintain the texture of the food.
B. Vacuum packaging: a popular technique
1. The benefits of vacuum packaging
Vacuum packaging is a modern technology that offers many advantages such as extending the shelf life and maintaining the flavor of foods.
2. How to use a sous vide machine
Using a vacuum machine requires a certain knowledge: how to position the food in the bag, how often, etc.
C. Dehydration: for long-term storage
1. The benefits of dehydration
Dehydration is an interesting solution for preserving food over a long period. It offers benefits such as reducing the volume of food, making storage easier.
2. Correct use of a dehydrator
Using a dehydrator also requires respecting a few principles: balanced distribution of food, ideal temperature, dehydration intervals, etc.
V. Managing your food stock to ensure freshness
A. How to organize your kitchen and your food
It is important to organize your kitchen well: have a dedicated place for each type of food and in particular a cool, dark place to store certain foods such as garlic, onion, etc.
B. Inventory rotation: a necessity to avoid waste
Consider rotating your foods in your refrigerator: foods closest to their expiration date should be used first.
C. Understanding and checking expiration dates
It is imperative to understand and check the expiration dates of foods to avoid waste but above all for health reasons.