Preservatives inhibit the development of microorganisms in food, preventing bacteriological damage and thereby increasing the shelf life of products.
Each preservative has its own spectrum of action.
But they cannot compensate for the poor quality of raw materials and violation of industrial hygiene rules.
When developing a specific formulation for introducing preservatives into a product, the following should be considered:
- the acidity of the environment affects the effectiveness of preservatives
- the more acidic the product is, the less amount of preservative is required
- as a rule, low-calorie foods have a high water content and are easily spoiled, so the amount of preservative added to them should be 30-40% more than recommended for conventional foods
- if some alcohol, a large amount of sugar and/or other preservative substance is added, lower amount of preservative is required
- preservatives, except for sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, are heat-resistant
- if the technological process includes prolonged boiling in an open container, the dosage of preservatives needs to be increased, since they can partially escape with water vapor
The moment when a preservative is added to the product depends on the technology. Best time to add preservatives is immediately after pasteurization or sterilization, when, as a result of heat treatment, the level of contamination by microorganisms is decreased, so that the preservatives allow the product to be stored for a long time.
Preservatives can only be effective if evenly distributed in the product.
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