Found this info for you:
Salt has been used through the ages for the preservation of food. Many people will be familiar with products such as bacon, ham and pickled vegetables. All of these products use salt as the preservative. So why does it work? And how can salt be used as a preservative in natural products?
Salt is considered to be an antibacterial. That is why it is good at preserving products as well as food stuffs. Why is this so? Well, anything that is called antibacterial is called so because it inhibits the growth of bacteria. These bacteria feed off your product and cause it to spoil. Bacteria need a wet environment to grow in. Salt prevents the watery environment the bacteria need to thrive. This is because salt is very good at dehydrating and absorbing the water from anything it comes into contact with. Upon contact with a bacterial presence, salt will start to absorb water from through the cell walls and effectively kill the living organism.
Salt can also be used when you are preserving a product via fermentation. The salt will inhibit the growth of moulds and yeasts. While some moulds and yeast are certainly needed during the fermentation process, by using small amounts of salt, it is possible to regulate and stabilise this process.
It is only possible to do this though if you are using salt that does not contain ‘free-flowing’ agents or iodine. Both of these chemicals will prevent the salt from doing its job correctly. Therefore, when you are shopping for a salt to use as a preservative, it is important to use a salt that is listed as being free of both chemicals. By purchasing ‘pickling salt’ or ‘kosher salt’, you can be free in the knowledge that neither will contain these chemicals as both of these products are free from any additives. Once again, salt is effective in the fermentation process because of its dehydrating effects. This time though, it is used not to dry the product, but to help let any juices fun free, which are needed in fermentation.
Sugar: Sugar, an organic compound in the form of carbohydrate, has been used as a natural food preservative in many of the food items. Sugar sweetens the food product and inhibits the growth of microorganisms through the phenomenon of osmosis. Foods can be stored either in sugar syrup or in crystallized form, where the food to be stored is cooked in sugar till the point of crystallization. Sugar acts by drawing out water from the bacteria and other microorganisms, which either kills the bacteria or inhibits their growth.
· 10 years ago