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Food Prservation Essay

639 words - 3 pages

There are several methods used to prevent food from spoilage. There are certain preservatives used to prevent food from spoiling. Now you may all be wondering what are in these preservatives that keep our food nice and edible. Well the answer to that question would be several different chemicals and compounds. You can also freeze and keep food cold to prevent spoilage but the reason some food’s shelf lives are so long and food is kept in perfect condition is the additives and preservatives the manufacturers add to the foods.
There are many different chemicals and compounds used in food preservation and each one serves its own purpose. One of the most known about preservative is none other than salt. The chemical formula for salt or sodium chloride is NaCl. Salt is used to draw out the moisture from foods such as meat. Nitrates and Nitrites (NO3 and NO2) are also used and they cure meat and provide that pink color. Another preservative we have ...view middle of the document...

There are also additives such as calcium propionate (C6H10CaO4), sodium nitrate and nitrite (NaNO3/ NaNo2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), sodium bisulfite (NaHSO3), potassium hydrogen sulfite (KHSO3) and disodium EDTA (C10H16N2O8). All of these are said to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold and prevent food from oxidizing. There is also BHA (C11H16O2), BHT (C15H24O), Formaldehyde (CH2O), Glutaraldehyde (CH2(CH2CHO)2), and methylchloroisothiazolinone (C4H4ClNOS). All of these prevent the growth of bacteria and preserve the food.
There are also various acids used in food preservation. These are acids are sorbic acid, citric acid, and ascorbic acid. Sorbic acid is a natural preservative that prevents the making of yeast and mold and is used in foods such as wine, cheese, baked products, fruit, vegetables, meat, and is sometimes used in cosmetics. Sorbic acid has antifungal and antibacterial properties. In some places sorbic acid is banned but the derivatives, or what is made when sorbic acid reacts to another chemical, are usually allowed. Citric acid is a natural preservative and is used to add a sour taste to foods and drinks and is an antioxidant which preserves fats. Ascorbic acid is another natural preservative that stops the further ripening of foods which slows the aging process.

Preservatives are not always natural, though they make it seem that way. Preservatives can be natural, chemical, and artificial. Natural preservatives can be sugar, salt, vinegar, and anything else similar to that. Chemical preservatives are usually dangerous health wise and are things like benzoates, nitrites, sulphites, and sorbates. Artificial preservatives are things like antimicrobial preserves, antioxidants, and chelating agents. There are many advantages to using these preserves in our foods. One main advantage is it keeps mold and bacteria from growing on our foods and it increases the shelf life of foods. Also, preserves remove toxins and sometimes preservatives enrich our food with necessary components like vitamin C. However, there all also many bad things about preservatives. For example, preservatives can cause allergic reactions ad hav been linked to cancer on several occasions. Some preservatives are also harmful to our bodies.

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