OCR F212 Food and Health

Microorganisms and Food


How do we prevent food spoilage?

To prevent spoliage you have to kill any microbes on the food or prevent them from reproducing and then packaged to prevent further contamination.

Treatment methods to kill microorganisms or prevent reproduction include:

  • Cooking - Heat denatires enzymes/proteins killing the microorganisms
  • Pasteurising - This invovles heating to 72 degrees for 15secs and cooling rapidly at 4 degrees, killing harmful microorganisms
  • Drying/Salting/Coating in Sugar - These dehydrate any microorganism as water leaves by osmosis
  • Smoking - Food develops dry hardened surface and smoke contains antibacterial chemicals
  • Pickling - Uses acid pH to kill microorganisms by denaturing enzymes/proteins
  • Irradiation - ionising radition disrupts DNA structure, killing microorganism
  • Cooling/Freezing - Doesnt kill but retards enzyme activity so growth and reproduction is slow

Methods to prevent further contamination include: Canning and vaccuum wrapping.

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