Savannah Valley District

Preserving Foods for Later Use

Gayle Williford, Food Systems & Safety Agent, Berkeley County

The goal of preserving should be to keep food safe while retaining nutrition and quality. There are numerous methods available to complete this task. A good preservation method must: 1) Keep the food acceptable, 1) safe, and 3) retain nutrition.

Dehydrating or drying has been around for much of human history. It makes food less perishable by decreasing moisture content. Freezing requires the least amount of preparation and if certain conditions are present, provides the best nutrition, texture, and flavor retention. Fermenting vegetables converts sugars to acids to create pickled foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. It may require weeks to complete the process. And finally, there are water baths ( for high-acid foods ) and pressure ( for low-acid foods ) canning methods that require special equipment. HGIC Factsheet 3000 – Preserving Foods provides an overview of food preservation methods available for use by consumers. The complete list of HGIC Factsheets relating to preserving foods can be found here, beginning with Factsheet #3000.

Contact your local county extension office for more information.

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