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Food processing is the process of making food to be edible and palatable.  Food preservation means the process used to prevent deterioration of food or preventing growth and development of microorganisms which might lead to food decay. Food storage means keeping reserves of food for the future use.

Traditional methods include the following;

1. Smoking; This involves drying of food using smoke to reduce the activities of microorganisms which usually need moist environment in order to survive. Smokings reduce the moisture content of food to prevent growth of microorganism Grains, meant and fish can be dried slowly over a smoking wood fire.

2. Drying the sun; This method used to preserve rice, maize, karafuu (cloves), bananas, pears, meant, fish, cassava and green leafy vegetable. The food is left in the sun for long periods of time in order to reduce its moisture content which discourages the growth of microorganism.

3. Cooking; Traditional method of cooking are simple and including boiling, steaming, baking in hot ash and roasting. These process help to soften food, improves flavor or preserve food. Example potatoes, bananas and maize can be boil before being dried.

The modern methods include the following.

1. Canning; Canning is the process of applying heat to food that’s sealed in a jar in order to destroy any microorganisms that can cause food spoilage. Proper canning techniques stop this spoilage by heating the food for a specific period of time and killing these unwanted microorganisms

2. Refrigeration; Refrigeration this method slows the processes of spoilage, but is less effective for foods with high water content. This process cannot kill micro-organisms, nor stop their growth completely, and a failure to realize its limitations causes many cases of food poisoning

3. Pasteurization; Pasteurization, a method of heat treatment, is used mainly for milk. By holding the milk at 72°C/162°F for 15 seconds, then cooling it rapidly to 10°C/50°F, all disease-causing bacteria (pathogens) can be destroyed. Less harmful bacteria survive, so the milk will still go sour within a few days.

4. Dehydration; Dehydration is the process of removing water or moisture from a food product. Food dehydration is safe because water is removed from the food.

There are various methods of food preservation and storage which are very important so as to preventing growth and development of microorganisms. It is therefore very important that the community is educated how to use them so that to prevent foods wastage.

Past-Paper Questions.

NECTA – 2007

Qn 13. Food preservation is very important in human life. Discuss its importance under the leading;-

(a) Need for food preservation

(b) Local food preservation methods and their biological effects

(c) Advantages of local food preserving methods.

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