Course:FNH200/Lessons/Lesson 06/Page 06.0

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Thermal Preservation of Foods

6.0 Overview

To understand the concepts that form the basis of thermal preservation of foods, you must become familiar with the associated terminology. In this lesson you will learn the meaning of terms such as blanching, pasteurization, commercial sterilization, z-value, F-value, hermetically sealed containers, decimal reduction time and 12D concept of safety in the context of thermally processed foods. You will also learn about the containers that are used to package thermally processed foods.


The overall goal of this lesson is that you gain an appreciation of how various food commodity groups are preserved through the application of thermal energy. More specifically, you will be able to:

  • interpret the basis of thermal food processing
  • compare and contrast thermal processing categories: blanching, pasteurization, and commercial sterilization
  • discuss the thermal death curves
  • apply the thermal death curves to predict the rate of death of a particular microorganism under a specified set of conditions
  • differentiate between conduction and convection heating of foods during thermal processing of foods; and
  • list the fundamental requirements of packaging materials used for thermally processed foods

Optional Reading

Required Video

Dairy processing:

  • milk (6:46 min)
  • butter (2:50 min) The links for these videos will be indicated later in the lesson.