Virtual Open Schooling Online courses available at Virtual Open Schooling (VOS), for more details kindly click here!
NIOS Silver Jubilee Year

Food Spoilage

Revision as of 07:29, 29 January 2013 by Pramodkumartk (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Mindmap.pngConcept Map

Conceptmap food spoilage2.png


This OER enables you to:

  • explain the meaning of food spoilage
  • give the reasons for the food spoilage and describe the signs and consequences
  • suggest ways to prevention of food spoilage
  • make use of the prevention methods in day to day life


World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security.It is stated that “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. (World Food Summit, 1996)
Webpage of FAO 29-1-13.png
For more information visit

Tools.gifActivity -1

What do you think are the major issues related to Food security? Jot down three most important issues related to food security in your note book or the space given below for the time being.

Your Answer
Check your answer and see you have mentioned "Food spoilage " as one of the concerns. You can very well understand that ''Food spoilage is a major issue to be tackled for realization of the dream of a world without hunger as envisaged by United Nations.

Tools.gifActivity -2

Now let us see your power of observation.


Identify the fruit in the picture shown above.

Score =
Correct answers:

The image given above shows ‘food spoilage’ . I am sure that you will not consume an apple of above quality to keep a doctor away.

         Spoilage is the process in which food deteriorates to the point in which it is not edible to humans or its quality of 
         edibility becomes reduced.

Reasons for food spoilage

Now let us see the reasons for food spoilage. Before that ,find out the cause of food spoilage in the case given below.


Select the correct alternative from the options given below.
None of these

Score =
Correct answers:

Home.pngHome work

         Find out three spoiled food items from your house and note down the reasons for spoilage.

You must have realized that Various external forces are responsible for the spoilage of food due to undesirable changes occurring in food due to the influence of air, heat, light, moisture, which foster the growth of microorganisms. Foods take different period of time to lose their natural form though spoilage.
Foods are spoiled by the action of: (1) Micro-organisms (2) Enzymes and (3) Insects.See the following presentation for more details
image:reasons for food spoilage.swf
Now as you have understood the reasons , write down the signs and consequences of food spoilage based on your observations that you have made during the home work you have completed earlier.

Your answers:

Signs of Food Spoilage

Signs of food spoilage may include an appearance different from the food in its fresh form, such as a change in color, a change in texture, an unpleasant odor, or an undesirable taste. The item may become softer than normal. If mold occurs, it is often visible externally on the item.

Consequences of Food Spoilage

Some spoiled foods are harmless to eat, and may simply be diminished in quality. But foods exhibiting certain types of spoilage may be harmful to consume. Uncooked or under-cooked animal flesh that spoils is typically quite toxic, and consumption can result in serious illness or death. The toxic effects from consuming spoiled food are known colloquially as "food poisoning", and more properly as "foodborne illness".

Tools.gifActivity -3

Once we have understood the consequences we must try to find out the methods for prevention of the same. Select any one of the following activities before proceeding further.

  • Visit a professionally managed retail store of Vegetables and study the methods employed for reducing food spoilage .
  • Visit a hotel and find out the ways and means used for reducing Food spoilage.

Prevention of food spoilage

A number of methods of prevention can be used that can either totally prevent, delay, or otherwise reduce food spoilage.

  • Preservatives can expand the shelf life of food and can lengthen the time long enough for it to be harvested, processed, sold, and kept in the consumer's home for a reasonable length of time.

  • Refrigeration can increase the shelf life of certain foods and beverages, though with most items, it does not indefinitely expand it.

  • Freezing can preserve food even longer, though even freezing has limitations.

  • A high-quality vacuum flask (thermos) will keep coffee, soup, and other boiling-hot foods above the danger zone (140F/58C) for over 24 hours.

  • Canning of food can preserve food for a particularly long period of time, whether canned at home or commercially. Canned food is vacuum packed in order to keep oxygen out of the can that is needed to allow bacteria to break it down. Canning does have limitations, and does not preserve the food indefinitely.

  • Dried foods can last a long time, sometimes nearly indefinitely.

See if you can find any more.


Inkpot.png Assignments

Peopleicon.pngGroup Work

  • “FDI in Retail will help in reducing food spoilage”. Debate on this issue with your friends.
  • Discuss the scope of food processing industry by considering the food spoilage in our country

Sunny.pngQualitative Study

Find out the impact of any one of the food spoilage prevention methods you have learned, on a food item of your choice. Write down the qualitative difference on same amount of food items kept under different situations.