Topic 4.4: How to store food in a safe manner

The food sector offers a wide range of items, each with a distinct shelf life and needing certain microclimatic storage conditions. However, the primary factor affecting the separation of storage subgroups is the range of temperature and humidity required for the storage of a given product.

  • Flours, salt, groats and pasta require a storage moisture content of up to 65% and should be stored at 12-15ºC.
  • Flour and grains should be kept away from walls and salt when being stored on pallets. Table salt absorbs moisture from the air, changing its flowability and crystallinity. Its storage period shouldn’t be longer than 4 months, and 7% humidity is ideal.
  • Groats are more susceptible to oxidation since they have a bigger surface area. A rise in their acidity is the first indicator of rotting. These goods can be kept for a long time if the proper temperature and humidity conditions of 12–15% are fulfilled, along with stringent pest control standards.
  • Flour easily absorbs water and oxygen. As it matures, it improves its technological properties, but having inadequate conditions can easily spoil. As a storage product, flour lasts up to 6 months. However, for this lifespan to come to fruition it needs a temperature of up to 18ºC and humidity of up to 75%. It should be stored on pallets that allow adequate air circulation.
  • Concentrates, candies, baked goods, sugar, compotes, wines, vodkas and confectionery baked goods require 60-70% humidity and 12-15ºC temperature for storage. For the storage of such products we need a closed room, protected from sunlight, mechanically ventilated.
  • Indoor storage conditions for fruits and vegetables should have a relative humidity of 80-85% and a temperature range of 2–7°C. Fruits and vegetables do best when kept in refrigerated warehouses. Maintaining correct distances between various fruits and vegetables is important. It’s a common blunder to keep produce in close proximity that interferes with each other’s fragrant qualities. Lemons and oranges should not be kept in the same refrigerator as apples, potatoes, onions, brassica vegetables, or root vegetables.
  • For storage, items such as baking yeast, vinegar, preserves, mustards, and vegetable preserves need a temperature between 4 and 10ºC and a relative humidity of up to 70%. Storage areas should be dark, cold, well-ventilated, and shielded from changes in temperature and light. Cans puff up and release gases at too high a temperature. Due to the detrimental effects of acetic acid bacteria, vinegar and fruit and vegetable preserves should not share storage space. Yeast can be stored for up to 14 days at 2ºC. They are not favoured by light and temperature fluctuations during storage. Without maintaining the right temperature, we can store them for up to 4 days at most.
  • Milk and dairy products, mainly cheese and cottage cheese, are products that require a temperature of 2-6ºC in storage, which is the standard temperature found in our home refrigerator.