Temperature and Food Preservation

Storage of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses at refrigeration temperatures (approximately 4°C) retards food spoilage because it limits the growth of otherwise fast-growing mesophiles. Psychrophiles and psychrotrophs, however, can still multiply at these temperatures, and consequently spoilage will still occur, albeit more slowly. Because of this, foods and other perishable products that can withstand below-freezing temperatures should be frozen for long-term storage. Microorganisms, which require liquid water to grow, cannot multiply under these conditions. It is important to recognize, however, that freezing is not an effective means of destroying microbes. Recall that freezing is routinely used to preserve stock cultures. ■ low-temperature storage, p. 124 ■ food spoilage, p. 811

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