History & Evolution of Food Preservation Techniques

Timeline created by Muhammad Areez Larik
In History
  • 200,000 BCE

    Primitive Heating & Smoking Techniques

    Primitive Heating & Smoking Techniques
    When early humans gained control of fire it provided them with heat, warmth, protection and a method to cook food. Cooking the meat made it easier to chew and digest as well as provided more calories.
    Smoking food adds flavor to the meat and discourages bacteria carrying flies as well as drying the moisture from the meat.
  • 12,000 BCE

    Drying & Dehydration Methods

    Drying & Dehydration Methods
    When nomadic wanderers began settling near the river banks they started farming and fishing. In ancient Egypt near the river banks of Nile food was dried under the hot sun. This included fish, wild game, fruits and vegetables. They were stored in great silos to be preserved.

    Drying and Dehydrating removes moisture from the food; therefore, inhibiting microbial growth
  • 6000 BCE

    Early Fermentation

    Early Fermentation
    Fermentation is the process of breaking down of starchy ingredient to produce alcohol with the help of micro-organisms. It lowers the pH of the food and creates an acidic environment for bacteria.
    In the Fertile Crescent-and nearly every civilization since has developed a fermented food in its history. In China, alcohol was produced by the fermentation of rice, millet, barley etc. [https://foodandnutrition.org/winter-2012/history-health-benefits-fermented-food/](https:www.timetoast.com)
  • 6000 BCE

    Salting & Curing

    Salting & Curing
    Although salt was used in ancient times to preserve fish, the earliest records were found in Shanxi the province of North China where salt was extracted from salt lakes.
    Salt itself was a great preservative as it had properties to remove moisture which prevented bacterial growth and food spoilage.
  • 2400 BCE

    Pickling-Food Preservation

    Pickling-Food Preservation
    Pickling was a method of storing/preserving food in a solution of
    brine; salt & water or vinegar.
    Although the exact origins are unknown, it is believed food was being pickled in Mesopotamia and several centuries later, cucumber the local food of India was pickled in Tigirus Valley.
  • 1700 BCE


    Freezing was a viable technique of preserving food as it slows down the enzymatic activity in food and slowing down growth of bacteria.
    Freezing food was common in the cold regions but around 1700 B.C. one of the first ice houses was built near the Euphrates. These were huge structures with a subterranean compartment to store ice and food.
  • Father of Canning

    Father of Canning
    Nicolas Appert was a Frenchman notorious for his idea of placing
    food in a bottle and remove the air before sealing it. This way he can put the bottle in boiling water and preserve its contents.
  • Tin Cans

    Tin Cans
    The first true caning technique was invented by Englishman Peter Durand, where the tin was earlier made out of wrought iron. As tin cans popularity increased many brand adopted them for preserving food.
  • Pasteurization

    Pasteurization was another heating process developed by French
    scientist Louis Pasteur, who demonstrated - fermentation can be prevented by heating the food or beverage to about 57 Degree Celsius for few minutes to kill the pathogenic bacteria.
  • Initiative of Irradiation

    Initiative of Irradiation
    Irradiation refers to the process of exposing items to radiation in order to kill any harmful microbes.
    The first time US and UK patents were issued for the use of ionizing radiation to kill bacteria in 1905. It gained a lot of popularity when sterilization of food and meat was possible, which gave it the potential to preserve food.
  • Artificial Food Preservatives and Chemicals

    Artificial Food Preservatives and Chemicals
    In 1954, the first chemical artificial food preservative was approved to be used by the FDA. These chemicals in a way increase acidity, prevent discoloration, spoilage and maintains quality of the food for a long period of time.