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«A summary of overall deterioration reactions in fruits and vegetables Produced by: Agriculture and Consumer Protection Title: Fruit and vegetable ...»

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Rats and mice gnaw to reach sources of food and drink and to keep their teeth short. Their incisor teeth are so strong that rats have been known to gnaw through lead pipes and unhardened concrete, as well as sacks, wood and flexible packaging materials.

Proper sanitation in food processing and storage areas is the most effective weapon in the fight against rodents, since all packaging materials apart from metal and glass containers can be attacked by rats and mice.


Major causes of food deterioration include the following:

a. growth and activities of micro-organisms, principally bacteria, yeasts and moulds;

b. activities of natural food enzymes;

c. insects, parasites and rodents;

d. temperature, both heat and cold;

e. moisture and dryness;

f. air and in particular oxygen;

g. light;

h. time.

Extrinsic factors controlling the rate of food DETERIORATION reactions are mainly:

a. Effect of temperature;

b. Effect of water activity (a w);

c. Effect of gas atmosphere;

d. Effect of light.

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