The recent pandemic has been significant not only for public health, but also for employment. Companies have to operate at a limited capacity due to social distancing measures. They earn less than they did pre-COVID, and a lot of them had to let go of their workers. This leaves people clamoring for alternative ways to make money.
Although it may seem risky, starting a business is actually viable. But it depends on the company you’re planning to create. A food business is always a safe choice. And if you want to stand out from a crowd, try starting a food preservation company.
Food preservation involves handling and treating food to slow down or even stop its spoilage. When done right, it can maintain a food item’s nutritional value and flavor without causing foodborne illness. There are various ways to preserve food, too. It’s a convenient way to store and consume food, what’s not to love?
If you’re planning on starting a food preservation business, here are important things you should consider.
Your Preservation Specialty
Just like any other career, you need to specialize. After all, it’s easier to get better at one thing than to try to do everything. It also saves your business a lot of time and money. You only have to buy and learn a specific set of equipment and nothing more.
Here are food preservation specialties to choose from.
- Chilling — This is the most commonly used method, as anyone with a freezer or fridge can do it. However, there are more effective ways to do it, making the food last longer than it would if it was just left in the fridge. One great method is flash freezing, which involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze a food item quickly. An advantage of this method is that it doesn’t cause the liquids inside the food to turn into ice crystals. These pieces of ice can break the fiber inside the meat or fruit and force nutritious juices to flow out of it.
- Salting — This involves using salt to draw water out of your food, ultimately minimizing or even stopping bacterial growth. Salt can also kill the germs on the surface of the food item. Salt can be applied dry, directly on the surface of the meat, vegetable, or fruit. It can also be mixed with water so that it can completely cover food. This process is called brining.
- Sugaring — This works similarly to salting, only that you use sugar to reduce a food item’s water content. This is often used to create irresistibly delicious marmalade and jams. There are a variety of ingredients that you can use to preserve something in sugar. This includes honey, syrup, and sugar granules. You may also need alcohol like rum to improve preservation.
- Canning — This preserves food by depriving some bacteria of the oxygen they need to survive. It also seals the product and protects it against outside bacteria. This process is often combined with salting and sugaring to ensure the freshness and quality of the food being preserved.
What’s great about starting a food preservation business is that it’s friendly to beginners. You don’t really need anything other than the stuff you already have in your kitchen. If you plan on salting or sugaring something, you just need a food-safe container, like a steel pot or large plastic bin, to let the food sit in during the process. Planning on pickling something and canning it? Your old jars with airtight lids are perfect for it.
If you plan on expanding your business, however, you’ll need advanced tools, like piston fillers and automated canning equipment. These use electronic circuitry, hydraulics and stainless steel pipes in large diameter to prepare and pack food quickly and efficiently. This way, you can create more products for significantly less time compared to doing it by hand.
The biggest influence on how good your preserved food is going to be is the quality of its ingredients. There’s nothing wrong with trying to preserve food that’s mildly spoiled. However, you may be losing out on the taste and nutritional benefits it had when it was fresh. Make sure you’re getting your produce fresh, from meats to spices, like dry mustard and pepper, every time you’re crafting your preserved treats.
If you’re going to start a business, your safest bet is food. And if you want to stand out from the crowd, making preserves like jams, pickles, and even corned beef, is the way to go. Stick to a specialty, use equipment that’s efficient for your business’ size, and utilize fresh ingredients every time and you’ll be on your way to building your preserves empire.