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food preservation

Food Preservation
Image: iStockphoto.com/paolozawa

Food Preservation

Care to eat a pork chop that's been sitting at room temperature for 8 years? You could, actually — scientists have learned how bacteria, fungi, oxygen, and enzymes spoil food and they've come up with some highly effective kitchen countermeasures.

But do we really want freeze-dried food filled with chemical preservatives? Explore the pros and cons of food preservation here.

The Open University
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Greatest Inventions: Frozen Foods

Greatest Inventions: Frozen Foods

Meet Clarence Birdseye, who in the 1920s patented a quick freezing process. By the 1950s, he had made frozen vegetables, fish, and meet popular with consumers. More...

Profile
Discovery
Science of Pickles: Fermentation and Food

Science of Pickles: Fermentation and Food

Fermentation means encouraging the growth of microorganisms. Yet people love to eat fermented foods like pickles, bread, and cheese. And such foods are resistant to spoiling, too. More...

Article
Exploratorium
Space Food

Space Food

Astronauts can't go to Mars unless space chefs devise foods that keep for years. Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson sample an 8-year-old pork chop. More...

Video
NOVA/PBS
Decay: Bacteria and Fungi

Decay: Bacteria and Fungi

Food spoilage doesn't just happen. Bacteria and fungi are responsible for most of it. This site explores decay, as well as our methods for dealing with it. More...

Article
BBC
Doomsday Preppers: Food: Preservation

Doomsday Preppers: Food: Preservation

Food preservation is a key skill for anyone who hopes to survive after "doomsday" (in other words, the end of civilization). More...

Article
National Geographic
Focusing on Preservatives: How They Keep Food Fresh

Focusing on Preservatives: How They Keep Food Fresh

Preservatives protect foods against bacteria, yeast, and fungi, but also against oxygen and enzymes. More...

Article
Science Daily
Food Preservation: The Case for Irradiation

Food Preservation: The Case for Irradiation

Would you eat food that had been zapped with radiation? It certainly wouldn't contain living bacteria. Here's an argument in favor of this form of food preservation. More...

Article
University of Rochester
Food Science Technician

Food Science Technician

Some food science technicians protect us from contaminated meats, while others help design candy bars and even prepare meals for astronauts. Find out about a food science technician's work here. More...

Profile
Science Buddies
How the Army Made a Sandwich that Stays Fresh for 2 Years

How the Army Made a Sandwich that Stays Fresh for 2 Years

How do you build a battle-ready sandwich that can hang around for years? The army has taken aim at bacteria. More...

Article
NPR
Mold Terrarium

Mold Terrarium

Tired of eating leftovers for dinner? Then turn them into a food preservation experiment. Observe colorful mold growth on food containing different amounts of preservatives. More...

Activity
Exploratorium
The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life

The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life

Bread gets moldy, apples turn brown, but honey can last for thousands of years and still taste great. Find out how. More...

Article
Smithsonian
What Processed Food Looks Like During Digestion

What Processed Food Looks Like During Digestion

Natural food behaves quite differently from preserved food after it slides down your throat. We know this thanks to researchers who swallowed "camera pills" along with their meals. More...

Video
Scientific American
What’s in Your Wiener? Hot Dog Ingredients Explained

What’s in Your Wiener? Hot Dog Ingredients Explained

A typical ball park hot dog contains several kinds of preservatives, as well as other ingredients you may or may not want to read about. More...

Article
Scientific American

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