Natural food preservatives have been used and known to mankind since long time. These are used in both raw as well as cooked food to increase the shelf value of food so that aroma, taste and the food itself can be stored for a longer period of time. Also food decomposition is prevented by them. Apart from the preservatives, in natural preservation, freezing, pickling, deep frying, salting and smoking also come.
Food preservatives whether natural or artificial work in three different ways as antimicrobial, antioxidants and act on enzymes. In antimicrobial, growth of microbes like bacteria and fungi is inhibited. In the second one the process of oxidation is either delayed or stopped. And the one that acts on enzymes stops the ripening or aging of foodstuff.
Methods of natural preservation include salt, sugar, vinegar, rosemary extracts etc. Salt is a natural preservative that with the process of osmosis dehydrates the microbes. With this the growth of bacteria is inhibited that otherwise causes the spoilage of food. Protection from yeast and molds is also given by salt.
In many other food items sugar is mainly used as preservative. It also works like salt and through the process of osmosis inhibits the growth of microorganism. The process of osmosis draws the water out of bacteria so either sugar kills it or inhibits its growth thus protecting the food. To preserve food with sugar either sugar syrup or powder is used in the food.
Vinegar is another very important natural food preservative that is acidic. It is produced by the process of fermentation of sugar and water. Microbes and bacterias are killed by the acetic acid in vinegar that are responsible for food spoilage.
Advantages of Natural Food Preservatives
Artificial preservatives are responsible for causing many health problem pertaining to respiratory tract, heart, blood and other. Although if you have the problem of blood pressure and sugar the over consumption of salt and sugar should be avoided. But besides this there is no major health concern associated with them.
These naturally do the process of osmosis that is safe and economical. Also these are absolutely safe for consumption. It does not alter the color of the food and gives the required flavour. Different methods of preservations are used for to preserve the food through these.