Food Preservation

Food Preservation has become an integral part of the food processing industry inIndia. FMGC is the 4th largest sector in theIndian economy and with the potential of growth in this sector, there is immense need for food preservation products.

Another major reason why food preservation is in demand is that there is a long gap between production and the actual consumption of food commodities.

As there is rise in demand for food preservation,India is on the look out for more long lasting methods of preservation which will be effective in maintaining the quality and freshness of the commodity. The common and most effective preservative products used in the process are:
 

  • Antioxidants
  • Antimicrobials

As such, due the recent upgradation of preservation techniques, the preservation industry is also growing almost at the same rate as the food industry. Food preservation, however, has its own challenges inIndia. These challenges come from the domestic market themselves. Currently, there are two main issues faced, given as follows:
 

  • Quality and safety of the commodities in the organized market
  • Lack of the need for preservatives in the unorganized market


The good news is that multinationals are looking forward to invest in the food preservation market. Nevertheless, food preservation industry inIndia is based on the fact that food should be effectively preserved for future use, even during the so-called off-season.

The two principles used for food preservation inIndia are:
 

  • Preventing spoilage - Food has to face the onslaught of spoilage agents and hence preventive measures are taken for avoiding such problems.
     
  • Retarding spoilage - Sometimes, the spoilage agents may have already ruined the food items, so special measures are taken to minimize the damage and prevent the agent from further damage.

Basically, the food preservation industry has to fight against factors such as:



  • Non-enzymatic chemical reactions
  • Enzymatic chemical reactions
  • Insects and rodents
  • Microbial decomposition

Based on the above two principles, food prevention is done through two methods, viz, temporary preservation and permanent preservation. These methods are applied depending on the time lag between production and consumption of the food commodities. The different kinds of processes involved in food preservation are slow freezing, quick freezing, dehydro freezing, pasteurization, canning, dehydration, high osmotic pressure, freeze drying, sun drying, osmosis, mechanical drying, spray drying, foam mat drying, smoking, and radiation.

For purposes of preservation, only the following chemicals agents are permitted to be used inIndia:
 

  • O-chlorobenzoic acid
  • Benzoic acid
  • Salicylic acid
  • Esters of p-hydroxy-benzoic acid
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sorbic acid

Food preservation inIndia is becoming a major contributor to theIndian petrochemicals market and is looking forward to a major growth this year.

Last Updated on 13 December 2011