Food Preservation

Laura K. Thompson Dr, Furman University


This laboratory is one in a series that I use in Biology 401: Applied Plant Science. This course is designed for students who have had at least one introductory Biology course, either for a major or a non-major. The goal in the course is to give the student an appreciation for the importance of plants to human society. Each laboratory session is designed to give the student an appreciation for how plants contribute to society and an experience in original processing of plants for their use. In this laboratory session we look at different methods for preserving food, primarily canning and drying. In the fall term this laboratory session occurs the week after we visit a local pick-your-own apple orchard where the students learn about the development of the orchard industry in the United States. If the class is conducted in the spring term, I purchase the apples at the local market. Combined with the visit to the apple orchard the students also watch the apple segment of the PBS presentation based on Michael Pollan’s book Botany of Desire. During this laboratory session the students prepare and process the apple butter. They also dry apple rings in a dehydrator.