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Salt is used as a common preservative of many household food items. Which of the is a role of salt in food preservation?
A) Salt absorbs water from foods, making the environment too dry to prevent harmful mold or bacteria
B) Salt slows the oxidation of fats
C) Salt enhances the taste of food
D) None of the above

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Last updated date: 11th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: Food preservation is defined as a term that means increasing the shelf life of the food, in other words, it can be defined as the storage of food in such a way that it does not spoil in a shorter time. Many methods and chemicals are used for the preservation of foods.

Complete answer:
In order to slow down the spoilage process of our food and so in order to keep the food fresh for a longer period, many preservation methods have been discovered and are applied to foods. Preservative food additives help to decrease microbial spoilage.

These preservatives are essential to keep the food in fresh attributes and nutritional quality. UV-C radiation, dehydration, freeze-drying, and refrigeration are some physical techniques used for the preservation of food. Sometimes both modes of preservation i.e. chemical preservation and physical preservation are performed simultaneously. Some common food preservatives such as salt, sugar, edible oil, vinegar, etc. Salts and edible oils are generally used as a preservative to keep a regulation on the growth of microorganisms.

Now let us find solution from given options :
A) Salt absorbs water from foods, making the environment too dry to prevent harmful mold or bacteria : Salt is hygroscopic in nature, that is it is water absorbing so it provides dry habitat to food and does not give conditions to bacteria for growth.
B) Salt slows the oxidation of fats: Nitrogen gas slows down the oxidation of fats by the microorganisms. This is the reason that chips packets are flushed with nitrogen gas.
C) Salt enhances the taste of food: Salt is use to give taste to the food but this has no relation with the prevention of food from spoilage
D) None of the above : as one of the options is correct, this cannot be correct.

Hence the correct answer is option ‘A’ i.e, Salt absorbs water from foods, making the environment too dry to prevent harmful mold or bacteria.

Note: Nowadays, there are many more processes that are needed for preservation one of them is defined as vacuum packaging, as food is stored in packets from which all the air is removed leaving a vacuum, as this is an effective method for food preservation.