Food preservation can be quite a tricky subject especially if you do not know the science behind how different foods react to the environment and triggers causing it to go off. In the most basic sense, food left out in the open in high temperatures is bound to get spoilt. However, understanding how this happens provides useful insights into how an effective air conditioning can help prolong the life of foods.
One of the most common reasons for food spoilage is the growth of microbes and bacteria in foods. For example, even if milk is pasteurized, it is bound to spoil after a given amount of time due microbiological activity. The nature of life is such that in normal temperatures, life will thrive in one form or the other.
Similarly, even the ripening of fruits follows a similar pattern. The same enzymes that help fruits ripen and make them fresh as we would describe it later leads the fruit to rot and deteriorate. The same enzymes that bring fruits to ripeness is also the cause of spoiling them. Similarly, bacteria, yeast and molds cause many foods to turn sour and lend them a texture can be described as anything but appetizing.
Microorganisms known as spoilage bacteria eat into foods that are unprotected or stored at an inappropriate temperature. The waste created by these bacteria lead to the foul smell that is characteristic to spoiled food.
Using air conditioning and cooling to increase the life of foods
Cooling food and keeping it in a controlled temperature is helpful in prolonging the life of foods. However, one thing you must understand that air conditioning or even refrigerating foods will only increase the life of any food product but once this food is exposed to higher temperatures (such as room temperature), there is bound to be some spoilage or the start of it. On the other hand, freezing foods can help you preserve foods for much longer but then there is always the question of freshness – whilst some argue that frozen food can be fresher, this is only applicable to certain types of food, fruits and vegetables, to name two.
Most markets selling fruits, vegetables, meats and other food products need to use air conditioning to ensure that their stock will have a longer shelf life. Similarly, even when these foods are purchased and taken home, an air conditioned atmosphere along with refrigeration or freezing can be useful in increasing the life of food products. This is in fact, one of the only few ways to ensure that your foods remain fresh for longer.
Finally, you must also remember that the temperature to preserve food products differ from one food item to the other. While air conditioning or refrigeration may be sufficient to preserve leafy vegetables of fruits for a short period of time, you cannot expect to preserve meats at the same temperature. An effective air conditioner or a cold room will allow you to have different temperature controlled areas making this possible.
It helps to gather information about the life of various food products and use air conditioning and cooling for the same. In fact, many food products do not even give any foul odors when they spoil but they are harmful to one’s health nevertheless.
So make sure you gather all relevant information on food products and their longevity under different temperatures before considering air conditioning for preservation.