Food preservation includes food processing practice which prevents the growth of microorganism, such as bacteria or fungi on the food, and slows the oxidation of fats that cause rancidity. Food preservation may also include processes that inhibit visual deterioration, such as the enzymatic browning reaction in apples after they are cut during food preservation. In preserving food, food waste can be reduced, which is an important way to decrease production costs and increase the efficiency of food systems, improve food security and nutrition and contribute towards environmental sustainability. For instance, it can reduce the environmental impact of food production.
Many processes designed to preserve food involve more than food preservation method. Preserving fruit by turning it into jam, for example, involves boiling to reduce the fruit’s moisture content and to kill bacteria.
Women initiative Gambia (WIG) is working with rural women groups in the Gambia, training them on nutritional programs and gardening. Sometimes the women harvest more than they can consume at home. They used to face big losses because they don’t have a cold storage which leads to the destruction of many vegetable gardens. WIG introduces a new system to the women, the food processing. The food processing training has a great impact to the women.
- It helps in preserving the vegetables from rotting
- Women generate income from the food processing
- It preserves nutrients that would otherwise be lost during storage