How can you extend the shelf-life of your food at home?
There are a wide variety of established methods that manufacturers can use to maximise the shelf-life of food. For the end consumer, there are also methods you can utilise to try and extend shelf-life further. The most common methods include:
- Vacuum packing
- The inclusion of oxygen absorbers
- Airtight, absolute or functional barrier packaging
- Dehydrating - lowering the moisture content of the food, either through a specialist dehydrator or utilisation of ovens or sun-drying.
- Pickling - storing foods in edible liquid such as brine, vinegar, alcohol or vegetable oil
- Curing Foods
- High sugar levels
- High alcohol content
- Chilling - storing foods at a low temperature in order to slow the growth of micro-bacteria
- Freezing - storing foods below zero (in a freezer) to stop the growth of micro-bacteria
Optimal home storage conditions
In order to maximise the shelf-life of any pre-packed food purchased it is important to follow the storage guidelines detailed on the packaging.
Storage conditions that affect shelf-life:
- Impact damage
Controlling the storage environment is a critical element for anyone building a longer term food supply - the optimal store would be cool, dry, dark, secure and protected from rodents and insects.
To extend the shelf-life of foods at home using oxygen absorbers, just visit our long life foods page.