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Activity Discussion Science & Technology MICROORGANISMS Reply To: MICROORGANISMS

  • Shibalik

    December 29, 2023 at 4:32 pm
    Not Helpful

    Preservatives are chemicals that are applied to goods like food, cosmetics, and medications to stop them from going bad, decomposing, or growing microorganisms. They contribute to the products’ longer shelf life and long-term quality preservation. Preservatives are primarily used to stop the growth of microorganisms that can lead to spoilage or degradation, such as molds, bacteria, and yeasts.

    Reasons why these are added to food products:

    1. Microbial Control:

      • Reason: To inhibit the growth of bacteria, molds, and yeasts, preventing spoilage and foodborne illnesses.
      • Examples:
        • Benzoates (e.g., sodium benzoate) inhibit the growth of yeast and molds.
        • Sorbates (e.g., potassium sorbate) are effective against molds and yeast.
    2. Antioxidant Properties:

      • Reason: To prevent the oxidation of fats and oils, which can lead to rancidity and a decline in food quality.
      • Examples:
        • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) are antioxidants that prevent lipid oxidation in oils and fats.
    3. pH Control:

      • Reason: To create an acidic environment that inhibits the growth of bacteria and extends shelf life.
      • Examples:
        • Citric acid is added to many products for pH control and preservation.
        • Vinegar (acetic acid) is a natural preservative that contributes to acidity.
    4. Prevention of Enzymatic Browning:

      • Reason: To prevent browning caused by enzymatic reactions, maintain the appearance of fruits and vegetables.
      • Example:
        • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is used as an antioxidant to prevent browning in fruits like apples and potatoes.
    5. Prevention of Spoilage in Dried Foods:

      • Reason: To prevent spoilage in dried fruits and vegetables.
      • Example:
        • Sulfites, including sulfur dioxide, are commonly used to preserve the color and quality of dried fruits.
    6. Inhibition of yeast in baked goods:

      • Reason: To control the growth of yeast and mold in baked goods.
      • Example:
        • Calcium propionate is often used in bread and bakery products to prevent mold growth.
    7. Extension of Shelf Life:

      • Reason: To extend the time during which a product remains safe and suitable for consumption.
      • Example:
        • Nitrites and nitrates are used in cured meats to prevent bacterial growth and extend shelf life.

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