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Subject: Food And Nutrition
Topic: Food Storage
Lesson Objectives: By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:
1. Define the term ‘food storage’;
2. Distinguish between food storage and food preservation;
3. Mention and explain two methods of food storage with examples;
4. Choose suitable storage methods for their foodstuffs at home.
Lesson Summary / Discusse
Food storage and preservation are often erroneously used interchangeably. Food storage should not be confused with food preservation. They both mean different thing. While food preservation entails keeping food for a longer period before consuming such foods, Food storage on the other hand can be defined as the art of keeping food for some time before consumption. In most cases food preservation may involve the addition of other substances such as chemicals or changing the form of the foodstuff to another food through processing.
Factors That Can Influence The Choice Of Storage Methods
- The nature of the foodstuff.
- The facilities available in the house.
- The length of storage required.
- The ultimate use of the foodstuff.
Methods of Food Storage
There are two broad methods of food storage, these are:
1. traditional method and
2. modern or improved method.
Long before the advent of modern technology, our forefathers had been storing their food by different methods. In fact, some of the methods are still being practised today. The method of storage is however determined by the nature of the food For example meat and fish products are usually stored in wire cages or strung on wood or metal bars and displayed over the fireplace. The heat emanating from the fireplace during cooking, especially in the morning and evening, is used to heat the meat or fish and hence able to keep it until ready for use. Dried fish or meats are also kept in dry containers with lids With respect to cereal grains, there are different traditional methods of storing them. These include:
1. Storing in buts: Placed in platforms built over a hearth. The heat generated from the fire helps in drying the cereal and keeping it warm thus making it uncomfortable for pests and insects. Example of cereal usually stored in this form is maize.
2. Local silos or cribs: These are round mud buildings with a root, usually of palmfronds, and raised a little from the ground. Sometimes planks or wood can be used in erecting the cribs. The grains are then stored inside the cribs.
3. Gourds or Pots:Usually shelled cereals or legumes are stored in gourds or pots with a cover. At times some dried peppers are added to the grains inside the gourds or pots. The pepper, through the aroma emitted, assists in suffocating any insects that might find their way into the container.
4. Burying underneath the ground: Some times grains are kept inside the pits. These pits are usually fumigated with red pepper.
Tubers are however, stored differently. for example, yams are stored in barns on the farm. In the house, they are stored on platforms. Another method often used is manual removal of the sprouts. prevents further growth and loss of weight of the yams. Tubers are also stored input immediately after harvest.
B. Modern Methods
This is also known as improved methods of food storage. Due to advancement in Science and technology, more sophisticated methods of storing foodstuffs have been developed. The most important piece of household storing equipment is the refrigerator. The refrigerator is capable of creating a very cold environment which is uncomfortable for most destructive
organism. The refrigerator is very common within our community today. By keeping our foodstuffs in the refrigerator, they can be stored for a reasonable length of time before use. The freezer compartment in the refrigerator can be used to store our foodstuffs, like meat and fish for longer periods than the chilling section.
Grains such as maize, can also be stored in specially built structures called ‘silos’. These silos are made in such a way that the inside temperature and humidity are not affected by varying external climatic conditions. With silos, grains can be stored for a longer period of time.
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Lesson Evaluation / Test
- Distinguish between food storage and food preservation.
- Describe the various methods of storing grains.
- Name two methods of food storage.
- Discuss the traditional methods of food storage.
- Giving specific examples, compare and contrast traditional and modern methods of food storage.
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