How does sodium chloride help in food preservation
Preserving with salt (Pickling) has been known for a long time. The wealth of the German Hanseatic League was ultimately based on two bases: On the one hand, on the catch of the herring, which at that time still existed in abundance in the Baltic and North Sea, and, on the other hand, on the salt production for pickling these very fish. (P kel was formerly called the brine.)
There are many causes for spoilage in food and preparations. Above all, these are primarily endogenous processes, i.e. those that set in when dead tissue spoils even without the action of microorganisms - they say: it rots. This is due to the activity of the body's own hydrolases. Preservation also relates to protection against attack by microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi (mold and wild yeasts).
In the end, pickling is all about physical effects. Microorganisms and meat's own enzymes need water to react, and the addition of salt restricts their activity. The salt competes with them for the water. They say it's the Water activity in the food because the water-binding capacity of table salt is particularly high.
Today it is permitted to add other substances to the pickling salt - e.g. B. Sodium nitrite (E 250) or potassium nitrate (E 252). Your part in this Nitrite salt however, should not be more than 0.4-0.5% of the total salt. Nitrite ensures that the meat stays nice and red (chemical reddening). Nitrate serves as a nitrite reserve because it can be reduced to nitrite. Both salts are not without controversy. Click here.
The soaking of boiled eggs in brine is also known. These Sol eggs can be found in every real corner pub in Berlin. We report how eggs can be preserved in the answer to question 1724.
Table salt does not have a preservative effect against attack by oxygen, as it does not compete or react with it - unlike, for example, ascorbic acid or polyphenols. Click here.
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