Talk:Food preservation

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In the Irradiation section there is a part that says "and at higher doses inducing sterility". Is this vandalism? If it is not, then I don't understand its meaning and suggest that someone re-word this! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2008 (UTC)


Sorry, I'm not trying to edit-war here! The links you put in do work, but underscores in text are very ugly (they may be hidden by the underlining on your monitorlbut they're not on mine; some people's stylesheets won't underline links at all). Food irradiation is almost always preferable to Food_irradiation (I don't even know why the other one works). As for the other link, I prefer the sentence without a capital letter in the middle, and I think "radiation treatment" fits the sentence better than "food irradiation" (and I linked to the same place). I apologize, though, for my first edit, which broke a link because I misspelled "irradiation". --Andrew 18:18, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)

Well I fine with you titling the links "food irradiation" or "Food irradiation" instead of "Food_irradiation" but not "radiation treatment", as radiation treatment sounds like and usually refures to radiation therapy in cancer treatment and would be confusing to readers. --BerserkerBen 14:41, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

urine flavor?[edit]

can somebody document the claim that "The addition of urine at the time of packing the fish into the ice is said to assist in preservation and to improve the flavour of the food when eaten"? i guess it could be true, but it sounds like a prank. assuming it's true, how many people are "saying" this? 2.5? thanks. SaltyPig 14:54, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

i googled the claim a bit, and found no corroboration. removed. SaltyPig 17:35, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well if Google contained all knowledge then we wouldn't need Wikipedia. Urine doesn't improve the flavour of fish. However, for rural coastal communities in northern Scandinavia, white fish caught in the Autumn is preserved by placing it in holes dug in the snow. The fish is then available throughout the time the sea is frozen over. To preserve it urine is added which increases the pH and helps to reduce the damage that freezing causes to fish flesh. This process is mimiciced in more urban Norway by the practice of treating cod with caustic soda (lye for american readers) which produces what the Norwegians regard as a delicay and the rest of the world has yet to develop a taste for. As to verification, the best way is to travel to north Norway and talk to the inhabitants. Don't denigrate knowledge because it isn't Googled. 20:09, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

where did i denigrate knowledge because it wasn't googled? i simply reported on what i'd done so far to verify the claim. perhaps you could share how you came by what you wrote above, and modify the article accordingly. however, i don't believe that what you wrote justifies putting the text in as it stood, nor am i bamboozled by your "as to verification" comment. i didn't mention anything about the best way to verify anything. i thought the claim might be a prank, and i removed it because nobody said anything in support of it. please don't build rabbit trails for a simple issue. SaltyPig 20:31, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
never mind. i'll leave this page to the wiki/urine aficionados. "it is said" i didn't have my Ps and Qs in order (egads), so i've reverted back the wonderful claim that "it is said" blah blah blah. let the experts handle this crucial issue. :P SaltyPig 21:38, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of taking it out again because it's original research if it doesn't cite a reliable source. See WP:V. - Taxman Talk 15:45, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

High pressure food preservation[edit]

There is still another method commercially used to preserve food products using high pressure treatments. This may warrant addition to your list. 04:32, 9 September 2005 (UTC)MikeG

What about smoking? Rossfi 03:36, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


I believe the statement about lye under the pickling section is wrong. In none of the mentioned foods is lye used for preservation. Instead, lye is used to modify the food's taste and texture. In the case of olives it is used to remove the bitter flavor. Notice that the lye is then removed by multiple water baths. In the case of Lutefish and hominy the food is preserved by drying and the food is only soaked in lye, usually right before cooking, to modify its characteristics, but not for preservation. Alephone 03:20, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

aromatic plants[edit]

I think there is something useful that could be said about rosemary, etc. added to a sealed sack of carrots, potatos, etc., which seems to work for me.

These plants also seem to keep aphids, etc. from attacking leafy vegetables during growth.


There is an orphaned image Preserve classification.JPG that should be considered for addition in this article. A knowledgeable editor should look and the image; it should be deleted if it is not included. Jon513 12:23, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


The present text is ridiculous, full of speculation, needs to be replaced by a factual description. Dieter E 08:34, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Please don't add metacommentary to article bodies, as you just did with the "preamble" you added. I've reverted this edit as it doesn't present any sources and reads like personal commentary (which it is).
From the look of your user page, reading WP:EXPERT would probably be beneficial. Expert editors are greatly appreciated, but the difficulty in establishing personal credentials on the anonymous Internet means that they need to follow the same editing procedures as other editors. Chris Cunningham 11:27, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
References on consumer groups and opponents' opinion are best provide from such people. If I would propose a reference to eg 'Food Irradiation Watch', other more moderate groups as Consumer International might be disappointed. Dieter E 12:27, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Please note also that 'processing by ionizing radiation' is a neutral and general, technological term; 'bombardment' is technically false and also misleading. Dieter E 12:27, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
It's a bland and imprecise euphemism. Bombardment is a neutral term in this context which describes the process, although I suppose we could make do with "exposure" if you really think it's important. It isn't "technically false" unless there's no radiation exposure at all. Chris Cunningham 12:58, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I cannot accept the terminology 'bombardment', as it is technically false and loaded with emotions. For your consideration: Is a patient under X-ray exploration bombarded? Are people sitting under some light bombarded? Are people tanning in the sun bombarded? This is all photon irradiation, the same as the treatment or processing of food by ionizing radiation as gamma-rays and X-rays. Furthermore, also the treament by copuscular radiation is not considered as bombardment. For your consideration, are patients in tumor therapy bombarded by high-energy ekectrons, neutron, or even pions and other high-energy corpuscules. Finally, in radiation processing the essential effect is not the impinging of corpuscular or photonic particles, however the dissipation of ionizing energy as a consequence of the incoming radiation. And also the terminology of 'exposure' is technically false, as the beneficial effect is related to the absorption of energy. I am trying a different version and hope for your insight! Dieter E 17:50, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

As far as I'm concerned "bombardment" is neutral in every one of those cases, yes. "Processing", by comparison, is an utterly meaningless phrase (I can think of a good few examples of "processing" being used as a euphemism, and that's its obvious use here).
You've re-added the "not a panacea" text. This is not encyclopedic: it's commentary. We should not patronise readers by assuming that they need to be told that irradiation isn't a wonder-solution to preservation. It was obvious enough from the text. Chris Cunningham 05:59, 6 August 2007 (UTC)


I have to come back to the discussion about the most appropriate terminology in explaining the technique of food irradiation. 'Bombardment' is neither technically correct nor explains it the fundamentals of the process, it is just basically misleading. A bomb or a shell is a massive entity which is thrown or dropped to hit and damage by explosion. And bombardment is the activity of using a cannon in the field or an airplane in a bomb-raid. And the terminology of bombardment does not include the description of the damage caused.

The only appropriate terminology for food irradiation is processing food by ionizing radiation. Radiation processing is the terminology accepted in science and industry; and there is an International Meeting on Radiation Processing ( The clue in radiation processing is that in the matter irradiated ionization is caused which in consequence effects a range of material changes including the beneficial effects in food irradiation.

The general technical term for describing the production, handling, manufacturing of food and other materials is processing and engineering. Hence we understand food processing and food engineering, but not food bombardment. There is no 'radiation bombardment industry'.

The terminology of 'bombardment' might be used for the generation of X-rays (bremsstrahlung) where a target material (tungsten or tantalum) is 'bombarded' by high-energy electrons, the kinetic energy of which is converted mainly into heat and a fraction of X-rays. Gamma rays from radioactive isotopes and X-rays are photons which propagate as viasible light. And it is not suitable to state that sun-tanning is effected by the bombardment by UV-photons.

For this article we should accept the established terminology! Dieter E 16:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)


Help wanted: Who could help to make visible the references incorporated in the text for 'irradiation' in a collection at the end of this WIKI-entry?? Dieter E 17:38, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. It's Template:reflist.
AVRS 18:12, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge - Food storage containers[edit]

Merge from Food storage container into this article

Completing another user's merge.

  • The benefit of merging depends on how it is done. Overall, I don't support it. Food storage portrays a discussion on the optimal ways of holding food in defined spaces. The discussion centres on suitable space, and environmental conditions within that space. There are elements of preservation in that discussion. The art and science of food preservation deals with the properties of the food. The food's reaction to the storage environment is just an element in this discussion. If well merged, the discussion thread can flow smoothly and the transfer of knowledge will be complete to the learners. Otherwise let us not merge them. EddieGH —Preceding unsigned comment added by EddieGH (talkcontribs) 18:45, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I support the merge. Shadowjams (talk) 04:22, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • disagree. Food storage is not the same as preservation (which often involves biochemical processes). The tone and focus of the two articles are different. Similarly, Food packaging (suggested elsewhere) is about commercial packing, not storage. FiveRings (talk) 08:22, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I support the merge. Although food storage is not technically the same as preservation, it's important to think of the readers and what they are looking for in terms of information. I would also suggest adding some information about how long each preservation method keeps the food edible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

I do not support the merge. Food preservation is mainly concerned with the underlying mechanisms of extending the shelf-life of foods while food storage come under food packaging.( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Jam, etc[edit]

Why is there no mention in the article of preserving fruit in the form of jam/jelly? There is a section on sugaring, ie crystalized fruit, but this isn't the same thing at all. Obscurasky (talk) 08:38, 21 September 2010 (UTC) I disagree with the notion of merging food storage section with food preservation. In food preservation, we deal with the underlying principles of extending shelf-life of food while food storage containers comes under food packaging section. ( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:22, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Water Activity in Food[edit]

Water Activity in foods should be a brief section of this article with a proper link to the wiki of "Water Activity". Activities such as Drying, Salting, Sugaring, Jamming, and "adding preservatives" are all based on reducing Water Activity in food. See links for more information:

or simply google "water activity food spoilage" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

What's the point of the table on the right hand side?[edit]

The table on the right seems very out of place as it merely replicates (albeit not fully) what's already written in the text. The last paragraph of the lede also seems like overkill and would be better pared down to just the most common types of food preservation. Comments anyone? Obscurasky (talk) 18:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

ok, I've removed the table, for the reasons given above. I'll stick it here for now, in case any one want's to salvage anything from it - and I'll remove it in about a week. Obscurasky (talk) 22:00, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Method Effect on microbial growth or survival
Refrigeration Low temperature to retard growth
Freezing Low temperature and reduction of water activity prevents microbial growth, slowing of oxidation reactions
Drying, curing and conserving Reduction in water activity sufficient to delay or prevent microbial growth
Vacuum and oxygen free modified atmosphere packaging Low oxygen tension inhibits strict aerobes and delays growth of facultative anaerobes
Carbon dioxide enriched and or modified atmosphere packaging Specific inhibition of some micro-organisms
Addition of weak acids; e.g. sodium lactate Reduction of the intracellular pH of micro-organisms
Lactic fermentation Reduction of pH value in situ by microbial action and sometimes additional inhibition by the lactic and acetic acids formed and by other microbial products. (e.g. ethanol, bacteriocins)
Sugar preservation Cooking in high sucrose concentration creating too high osmotic pressure for most microbial survival.
Ethanol preservation Steeping or cooking in Ethanol produces toxic inhibition of microbes. Can be combined with sugar preservation
Emulsification Compartmentalisation and nutrient limitation within the aqueous droplets in water-in-oil emulsion foods
Addition of preservatives such as nitrite or sulphite ions Inhibition of specific groups of micro-organisms
Pasteurization, thermization and appertization Delivery of heat sufficient to inactivate target micro-organisms to the desired extent
Food irradiation (Radurization, radicidation and radappertization) Delivery of ionising radiation to disrupt cellular RNA
Application of high hydrostatic pressure (Pascalization) Pressure-inactivation of vegetative bacteria, yeasts and moulds
Pulsed electric field processing (PEF treatment9) Short bursts of electricity for microbial inactivation

I don't work in this field, however, a table such as this could serve as a useful summation and quick reference (as a Nutrition Information table has a role elsewhere). Someone may have suggestions to improve it with extra columns e.g. risk/benefits, economics ,climate ? SignedJohnsonL623 (talk) 02:43, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

food storage optimum temperature[edit]

"Optimum temperature range for perishable food storage is 3 to 5 °C (37 to 41 °F)."

It seems that for most food the ideal optimum storage temperature would be just above freezing, about 1C, 33F. Is this true? Where can one find detailed facts, tables and graphs of storage time as a function of temperature for various foods? What temperatures are used for ideal commercial storage of various foods?- (talk) 14:31, 19 November 2011 (UTC)


The article doesn't seem to explain how sugar preserves food. Does it remove moisture, or does it prevent moisture re-entering previously desiccated food? Best Regards DynamoDegsy (talk) 19:29, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Each method should include average storage times and effect on nutrients[edit]

I think this article is only half as useful as it could be if it included some average storage times. How long do canned (home jars) foods last? How long does dehydrated food last if sealed? What about sealed with a desiccant packet? What about meats vs vegetables? Which methods are best for preserving nutrients? For someone searching for a "Food Preservation" article, that's probably the information they're most looking for. Perhaps a table comparing all of these things would be useful, much like tables on software articles that compare features. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

What? No fermentation?[edit]

See the article on fermented foods for a long list of people places, and foods that are fermented. (talk) 20:00, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Dr. Ari Brynjolfsson[edit]

A page noting the passing of Dr. Brynjolfsson as a decorated expert in the fields of food preservation has been created and those familiar with the subject matter are invited to contributed. Ari Brynjolfsson Orrerysky (talk) 18:05, 30 November 2013 (UTC)


Shouldn't potting have its own section? It's storing something in fat rather than jelly, it's different to jellying though they are similar.Gymnophoria (talk) 17:00, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Traditional & Modern Sections[edit]

So last month I split up the methods into two sections: Traditional and Modern techniques. This was a major improvement in the ordering of information on the page, as modern industrial techniques have little in common with traditional techniques, are impossible for the average Wikipedian to implement, and chronologically succeed the traditional methods in every case.

Unfortunately someone misidentified the section headers for more indices, reverted the formatting to match and wrote a description for traditional. I am about to revert the revert. The new text would not normally be reverted — no real problem in presenting additional information generally — but in the case of this page it is already very long and the paragraph doesn’t contain any information that isn’t presented otherwise. Please message me if you have any concerns regarding this edit. — Muckapedia (talk) 16e avr. 2014 13h36 (−4h)

Just noticed this Wikipedia Section formatting so edited my edits to conform. Hope this helps. — Muckapedia (talk) 16e avr. 2014 13h55 (−4h)


"Many processes designed to preserve food will involve a number of food preservation methods."

This is stating the same things twice. It's obvious that different food preservation methods involve many food processes.


"Many processes designed to preserve food will involve a number of food preservation methods."

This is stating the same things twice. It's obvious that different food preservation methods involve many food processes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:7:8500:982:11CF:D850:2190:EA86 (talk) 23:24, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Sugar can preserve without boiling or "antimicrobials"[edit]

Sugar has the ability to preserve fruit without boiling first for jam or mixing it with an "antimicrobial" solution. This needs to be stated. It does not say how sugar works and an antioxidant. Preservation is in fact antioxidation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:7:8500:982:11CF:D850:2190:EA86 (talk) 23:24, 28 May 2014 (UTC)