The Science of Freezing Foods

 

There have been many methods of preserving food over the course of human history. It is an important process because it allows humans to store food and prepare for times that it might be harder to come by food. Winter and drought are just two obvious examples of the many instances that food preservation has been crucial to survival. Salting and drying meat and produce are two of the oldest methods of preservation, but perhaps the most effective is freezing food. While this was a more intricate task for most parts of the world before the invention of electricity, there have been incredible advancements made in this area over the past century.

Freezing Foods

Why Freezing?

Fruits and vegetables are harvested when they are as close to ripe as possible. While it might differ slightly for when exactly they are picked, most will undergo enzyme changes after they have been harvested. They will continue to age and eventually rot whether they are on the plant or off of it. Everyone has experienced this at one point in their lives. They might have gone to pick up and eat a piece of fruit only to find that it has grown mold or gone soft. This is where preservation comes into play. The goal is to extend the lifespan of the food so that people can eat it much later. There are some side effects with each method of preservation though. Nutrients might be affected for instance, especially with a method like drying. The majority of the vitamins leave the food along with the moisture as it becomes a very different item. This is what makes freezing so ideal. Rather than altering the food to make it last longer, it slows the process of decay, literally “freezing” it in time. This is the best way to ensure that all of the health benefits offered when it was fresh will still be available months later. It is also easy to freeze almost any kind of food. It is not just specific to produce or meat.

Rates of Freezing Foods

Rates of Freezing

There have been two main techniques developed when it comes to freezing food on a commercial level. The first is rapid freezing. This is ideal for large scale operations that deal with a lot of frozen food on a daily basis. It is effective in freezing food in large quantities with the purpose of getting it out to the masses. In addition to the speed of it, rapid freezing offers other benefits as well. It causes less damage to the cell wall for instance. Essentially what that means is that the food will remain more similar on a molecular level to what it was prior to freezing. This means good things in terms of nutrients and potentially taste. There is also a shorter window for germs and bacteria to grow. Needless to say this is the ideal way to freeze food, and for this reason many home freezer manuals suggest keeping it at the coldest setting. The downside of this is that freezer burn will be more common at colder settings. The food should be sealed properly and fully to prevent it. The other method is of course slow freezing, but it is recommended to do it as quickly as possible.

 

Fluctuating Temperatures

In order to maintain the best quality possible, frozen vegetables and fruits should be kept below freezing. If you have a reason to keep some foods a higher temperature than others, then maybe consider investing in another freezer all together. The higher the temperature the quicker the food will deteriorate. Fluctuating temperatures will also cause problems. It can cause moisture to build within the packaging which will in turn alter the texture of the food.

Frozen Foods

Purchased Frozen Foods

The frozen food industry is a multi-billion dollar one, and it will only continue to grow in the coming decade. It does not take long to figure out why this is the case. Pre-prepared foods offer full meals that can be warmed up at the convenience of the consumer. They are tasty, nutritional, and perfect for a busy schedule. This freedom that they offer is often not fully appreciated. Since the ready-made meal market is such a big industry though, regulations have been put in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved. One of the big steps implemented are metal detectors for frozen food industry. Thanks to the modern process of packaging and manufacturing ready-made meals come into contact with a lot of machinery on their way to the kitchen table. Many food companies as a result have utilized these metal detectors to catch any metal fragments that might have found their way into the food at some point in the process. These metal detectors are crucial in keeping everyone safe and catching hazards before they even happen.

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Which Trading Method Suits Your Character?

Which Trading Method Suits Your Character?

When it comes to trading, from forex to stocks and shares, and whether you are based in Europe or the Arabic world, there are many different strategies and styles which can be used. Some traders like to employ a mixture of these, while others stick to just one that best suits their aims, lifestyle and other circumstances. If you’re thinking about starting to trade on the markets then this guide provides you with four of the most popular trading methods which suit a variety of different styles.

 

Impulsive and Fast Decision Makers

Scalping is the quickest trading methods, whereby profits are taken on small price movements. Usually lots of little gains are made throughout that build up to a big profit (all being well). This is ideal for traders who are impulsive, as many quick decisions are required, with any hesitation possibly resulting in a missed opportunity or the wrong decision being made. Those short on time will benefit as well, though plenty of focus and concentration is still required.

 

Impatient and Perfectionists

For those who still want to make quick trades and cannot leave any task unfinished, day trading could be the way forward. Here any trade that you open will be closed by the end of the day, whether it has made gains or not. Day traders do not like to leave any positions open when they go to bed, due to lack of patience and having to finish what they started. This does mean that overnight price movements will be missed, which can see potential gains but also losses avoided.

 

Calm and Considered

Swing trading is the most appropriate trading strategy for those who have the patience to wait for a trade to become profitable. Trades are rarely closed on the same day, with most swing traders keeping positions open overnight to aim for the best returns. Because of this, a larger stop loss is often required when swing trading. Keeping calm when a trade isn’t going your way is vital.

 

Incredibly Patient Traders

The longest term trading method is position trading, where some positions can be open for a number of years. Of course this requires immense patience and is not good for those who get excited easily. Being able to withstand the ups and downs of a bullish and bearish market is essential, as whatever you’re trading will likely experience these but hopefully pull through for a decent profit.

Decide which of these strategies best suits your character and begin trading in the most natural way for you.

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How To Make Unique Homemade Lamps

How to make unique homemade lamps
Some basic ideas on how to make homemade lamps and lampshades. Ways to decorate the shades by using stencils, buttons, ribbons, beads or rubberstamps.

Many ordinary or unusual objects can be made into homemade lamps. Hobby and craft stores sell the basic kits, which include the cord, stem, and socket. Visit flea markets, garages sales and thrift stores to find objects you can use to create these unique lamps. Glass and brass vases work very well, but you could also use ceramic figurines, toys, or teapots.

First, choose your object, in this case use a doll or toy. Take a flat, thin block of stained wood with smooth, rounded edges and drill a hole through the middle (or the side) that is large enough to run the electric cord through, and thread the stem with the cord so that it will be on the top. Then glue felt on the bottom of the wood. (which will keep the lamp from scratching your furniture.) Place your object on the top part of the wood and secure with appropriate type of glue. Then place a copper tube over the lamp stem and affix it to the bottom of the base with a nut or metal washer ring. Use manufacturer’s instructions to thread the wire of the cord into the socket. Place a bulb in the socket, place the lamp shade to the bulb, plug in and voila! you have a unique homemade lamp.

Another alternative would be to create your own ceramic lamps using molds. Begin by taking a ceramics class and make a pretty hurricane lamp, then wire according to the instructions. Paint or place decals on the lamp for decorations.

If you choose to use vases you do not need to make a wooden base. Just drill a hole in through the bottom of the vase so that you can thread the cord through. Glass vases need extra care to avoid breaking the ceramic or glass.

 

LAMP SHADES

There are kits for lamp shades you can find in the hobby stores that have a sticky adhesive on the surface so that you can place whatever kind of material on it that you choose. Another great idea is saving the frames from old, torn or worn shades and covering them with what ever kind of fabric you would like.

To make a ribbon shade, wrap and wind strands of ribbon (directly from the roll) from the top to the bottom of the shade, overlapping until you have covered the whole frame, then tuck the end in the inside of the shade and hot glue it into place.

Another interesting idea is to take a light metal type of material such as screening and cut, the top more narrow and the bottom more wide then place the sides together with staples or glue and paper fasteners. Place a pretty satin ribbon or bric brac over the top and bottom to hide the

jagged edges. Then sew unusual buttons or beads to the screen. in clusters. You can dress up any shade with beads or buttons.

Using plain white shades, paint swirls, polka-dots, squares, or other geometric shapes onto the surface. Or use stencils to create interesting patterns onto the shade. Do you know how to cross-stitch or embroider?

Consider texturizing your shade with a rag or a sponge and paint. Use two complementary colors for added interest. Then choose one or two rubberstamps and stamp the pattern you want onto the shade.

So keep your eyes open for objects that you think might make an interesting lamp. Give them as gifts or sell them on e-bay or in craft fairs, or flea markets. But most of all, enjoy yourself.

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