is a method of food preservation that combines the techniques of drying
Vegetables dried at home normally have had 90 percent of
their moisture removed; fruits 80 percent.
By removing only 70 percent
of the moisture and storing the fruit or vegetable in the freezer, the
low temperature of the freezer inhibits microbial growth, food takes up
less room in the freezer, vegetables and fruits are much tastier, have
good color and they reconstitute in about one half the time it takes
traditionally dried foods.
is not technique of freeze-drying. Freeze drying is a method that forms
a vacuum while the food is freezing and it is costly commercial process
which can't be done in the home.
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of food is the exposure of food to ionizing radiation; either
high-energy electrons or X-rays from accelerators, or by gamma rays
(emitted from radioactive sources as Cobalt-60 or Caesium-137). The
treatment has a range of effects, including killing bacteria, molds and
insect pests, reducing the ripening and spoiling of fruits, and at
higher doses inducing sterility. The technology may be compared to
pasteurization; it is sometimes called 'cold pasteurization', as the
product is not heated.
Irradiation is not effective against viruses or prions, it cannot
eliminate toxins already formed by microorganisms, and is only useful
for food of high initial quality.
The radiation process is unrelated to nuclear energy, but it may use
the radiation emitted from radioactive nuclides produced in nuclear
reactors. Ionizing radiation is hazardous to life; for this reason
irradiation facilities have a heavily shielded irradiation room where
the process takes place. Radiation safety procedures ensure that
neither the workers in such facility nor the environment receive any
radiation dose from the facility. Irradiated food does not become
radioactive, and national and international expert bodies have declared
food irradiation as wholesome. However, the wholesomeness of consuming
such food is disputed by opponents and consumer organizations.
It is estimated that about 500,000 tons of food items are irradiated
per year worldwide in over 40 countries. These are mainly spices and
condiments with an increasing segment of fresh fruit irradiated for
fruit fly quarantine