Food preservation

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Food preservation methods are necessary to protect harvests of food crops from spoilage due to fungal or bacterial colonization (and/or insect and rodent infestation) as well as preventing oxidation, especially of fats.


Main methods of food preservation are:

  • Desiccation through drying or through osmotic pressure across the cell walls of microbes through salting, and candying (or preserving in syrup).
  • Fermentation either by the activity of acids such as acetic acid or alcohols.
  • Alkali - by addition of lye such as in hominy or lutefisk
  • Canning - sterilizing and maintaining food in a sealed sterile environment
  • Smoking


Drying is one of the most common methods of food preservation in use today. One of the primary advantages of cereal grains, oil seeds, nuts and pulses is that they easily and readily dry for long-term storage in grain bins or silos. Drying is also effective for the preservation of herbs.


In animal feed production hay is dried forage (primarily grasses and forage legumes) collected and stored for fodder for grazing animals.





Pickling (acid)

Silage and Haylege (acid)

Ensilage is a common form of fermentation for the preservation of silage for animal fodder, it is frequently used in areas where rainfall and humidity make it difficult to produce hay. (how to make silage) Silage is commonly kept in silos, ether of the upright type or horizontally on the ground or in pits. On a small scale a barrel with a tightly sealing lid can be used. main article making silage

Preservation in alcohol