Food tends to spoil more quickly during the summer. And, with deadly virus in the air, it is important to pay extra attention to your food and look for an unusual odour and mould before consuming it, say experts.
Indrayani Pawar, team leader, dietitian team, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical and Varsha Gorey, clinical nutritionist, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, suggest some tips:
*Which foods spoil quickly?
Foods with high moisture content and protein-based foods are easy targets for micro-organisms. Milk and its products, raw and cooked meats and vegetables are more prone to spoilage compared to dry food items. Foods that are high in sugar, or salt or with high fat or oil content in contrast don’t spoil quickly because these act as preservative agents.
Storage becomes important here – low temperatures serve to preserve these food items. One must ensure food is not kept outside for long periods of time.
*How to identify bad food?
Spoilt food has a telling smell. Quite often, food items that look fine on the outside have mould or fungus growing inside which people don’t notice. It is always better to check the food for any unusual odours and open the food item to check for unusual signs, such as stringy threadlike growth. Dairy-based Indian sweets are more likely to spoil quickly compared to dry fruit and nut-based, pulse and flour-based or dry coconut-based sweets.
Consume fresh produce
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are always the best option in their respective seasons. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be consumed (as they are also good in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals). Smoothies with curds, or simple buttermilk are better options than fizzy or cold drinks. Curd will help to soothe the stomach as it is rich in probiotics and easy to digest proteins.
If you’re travelling long distances during the summer, it is best to carry dry foods. Nuts and oil seeds, roasted chiwdas, roasted makhana, multi-grain khakaras and chikki are some examples. Kokum sherbet, aam panha, nimbu pani, buttermilk and lassi are also great for the summer.