Best Answer

The basic premise of preservation is that it creates a hostile environment for microorganisms. The same way you couldn't live in a vat of acid, or in an environment that's very hot or cold, most bacteria can't. The salt would kill the microorganism by osmosis. Our cells need a certain concentration of salt and the same thing is true of other organisms.

Plant and animal cells must stay in a very specific range of measurements to maintain homeostasis. These include pH, electrolyte (salt, etc.) content, etc. to survive. When salt or another eletrolyte is added, The salt can kill the microorganism by creating an unsuitable environment and/or water become unavailable to support microbial growth. Sometimes chemical agents are added that do not allow bacteria and other microbes to colonize and grow on the food - microbes like bacteria and fungus that break down the food causing the spoilage. There are bacteria and other microorganisms which live in a wide range of environments. Some tolerate oxygen and some do not. Some tolerate salt and some do not. The same for alkalinity, acidity, pressure, and many other conditions. In fact, there are some bacteria, mostly from the group Archea, which live in very harsh environments- salt lakes, deep in the ground under high pressure, in hot thermal vents beneath the sea, deep down in petroleum deposits, and other places normally considered inhospitable to life. Archea are being studied for their ability to clean up pollution (they can eat oil and other chemicals) and possibly produce cheap fuels and other products. The solutions to many serious problems may very well be solved with the use of modified Archea.

There are certain limits or parameters outside of which most or all microorganisms cannot remain active, however this is theoretical. There have been microorganisms such as Archea living in thermal vents, hot springs, salt lakes, and other extreme environments for ages and ages. Some microorganisms create "spores" which are like hard seeds, which can survive for many years under harsh conditions, waiting until conditions are right to germinate and become active again. One example of this is Bacillus Anthracis, the bacteria which causes Anthrax.

User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2009-07-04 13:31:29
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: Why do preserved foods not spoil?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

What kinds of foods should be preserved?

Every kind of food should be preserved.Every food get spoil when not preserved.

Where are foods preserved?

Foods are preserved in friges baggies and or plastic containers.

What foods does like spoil the fastest?

There are quite a few foods that spoil very quickly. These foods that spoil quickly typically include a variety of dairy products.

What foods are preserved by oil?

Mushrooms are one of the foods that are sometimes preserved by oil. Other foods preserved by oil include garlic, fish, and vegetables.

What foods don't spoil and why they don't spoil?

Honey is the only food that doesn't spoil.

Is that true the foods did not spoil in pyramids of Egypt?

Only honey does not spoil.

Is it a fact that more foods were preserved in the past?

It is not a fact that more foods were preserved in the past. More foods are actually preserved now due to advanced canning and packaging techniques.

What foods spoil from bacteria?


What are nonperishable foods?

nonperishable foods are foods that don't spoil or rot such as canned foods .

What will spoil when it is left in the open?

Most foods will eventually spoil when left in the open.

What foods can be preserved by canning?

All fruits and vegetables can be preserved by canning.

Example of preserved food?

Examples of preserved foods include jams, dried fruits, and canned sardines. Beef jerky and pickles are also preserved foods.

What Microorganisms is most likely to spoil a freshwater trout preserved with salt?


How are foods preserved?

by cooling or frezzing

What foods are preserved by drying?


Why do canned foods not spoil?

There is no oxygen, or bacteria in the can.

What do some foods do if they are not kept cold?

They spoil

Can defrosted clams spoil?

Yes. Perishable foods will eventually spoil even under refrigeration.

What are the food that can be preserved?

There are many foods that can be preserved. Fruits, and vegetables can be preserved by canning, drying, or freezing. Meats can be preserved by freezing, curing, or smoking.

What does salt perserve?

Foods can be preserved with salt.

Does light affect how fast foods spoil?


What are two foods that don't spoil and why?

Sugar and Salt

What are some nutritious foods that can't spoil?


Why do the odor and taste of foods change when they spoil?

they get old

Are Packed Foods Healtheir than unpacked foods?