Hurdles are obstacles in life. But today, we will be discussing a different perspective of hurdles.
Hurdle technology is also called combined preservation or a combination of technologies.
Now think of the Mario game, which was one of the favourite games, we all played. In every stage, there would be different challenges say a gunfire, or a water jump, or a dragon that super Mario has to overcome, as he proceeds to higher levels, there would be a combination of these obstacles put together to win the stage and go to the next one.
Now in hurdle technology, the same thing happens, but here we create obstacles for the pathogens in food. Food technologists create an intelligent mix of hurdles to ensure food is safe and shelf-stable with minimal loss in nutrients.
The different parameters like temperature, water activity, PH, redox potential, preservatives are maintained in such a way that it creates an environment difficult for pathogens to survive.
These hurdles or preservation methods are of three types.
- Physical – Heating, Cooling, Drying, Special packaging.
- Physicochemical – Ethanol, carbon dioxide, oxygen, salt, organic acids.
- Microbial – Antibiotics, bacteriocins, beneficial microbes.
The microbes respond in different ways.
Homeostasis is when the action of microbes is disturbed so that they dont multiply.
Metabolic exhaustion is when the microbes use all their energy to withstand the unfriendly environment, as a result, they die.
A stress reaction is when microbes become resistant and that leads to synthesis of stress shock proteins that helps the microbes to cope with the stressful environment.
Multi target preservation is when different preservation methods with different preservatives are used together instead of one prolonged treatment with only one preservative. For instance a particular microbe becomes resistant to heat, and we need freezing, the addition of acids or other mild techniques.
Application: It is used in the preservation of juices, pineapple slices, pickled fruits, and vegetables, paneer and other products.
The food becomes shelf-stable, taste, texture, flavour, and nutrients in food are retained, due to the use of different preservation methods, yet at a very low intensity.
Around the world with food technology
Fermented seafood in japan, is preserved using hurdle technology. The main hurdles used are the addition of salt and vinegar.
Antioxidants for health
Honey has some beneficial plant compounds or polyphenols that help strengthen our immune system. Add honey to your diet, and stay energetic. It has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that help in wound healing.
Hurdle technology for life
We should make an intelligent mix of hope, love, peace, gratitude, positivity, and optimism to win over every difficult situation in life. Gratitude and a positive attitude will make you stronger and more resistant to hard times.
An interesting piece of information
1. Prasadam made out of wheat, jaggery, ghee, cashew, and badam.
2. Godhi Huggi, a payasam like sweet made with wheat both developed by CFTRI, uses hurdle technology, so it has a shelf life of three months.
Categories: Food technology