Curing and Smoking Meats for Home Food Preservation
Literature Review and Critical Preservation Points
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Contents | References
1. Introduction to Curing and Smoking
Preservation of foods with the use of salt has been practiced throughout
human history. Simple necessity determined that cuts of meat could
be preserved by treating them with a salt solution or by packing
them in dry salt. Salt inhibits most spoilage by reducing the amount
of water available for microbial growth.
Salting as a means of preserving foods antedates written history.
The Mesopotamians (3000 B.C.E.) generally used salt to preserve
meat and fish. Early Roman writers such as Cato (234-149 B.C.E.)
clearly explained the need to salt perishable meats and vegetables
to preserve them (Pariza
Smoking meat imparts an attractive and appealing sensory property,
in addition to preserving meats. Smoking has three preservation
mechanisms: (1) heat, (2) chemical, and (3) surface dehydration.
Heat from smoke cooking can kill microorganisms, depending on time
and temperatures used. Some chemical compounds in wood smoke have
an antimicrobial effect, contributing to food preservation, but
these compounds are generally insufficient by themselves.
For more information, please refer to the following resources:
- Food Preservation in the Roman Empire
- The Art of Preserving: How Cooks in Colonial
Virginia Imitated Nature to Control It (Eden
- Secrets of Salt Curing: The Oldest Food
Preservation Technique (Campbell
- The Importance of Salt (Cowen
Document Use | Preface | Table
of Contents | References