Microorganisms and organic preservation?

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:37 pm

Microorganisms and organic preservation?

Post by elemerso » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:47 pm

I was wondering if someone could help me. After weeks of research it is driving me crazy! Any help would be greatly, greatly, greatly appreciated! I am looking for someone that could help me understand the chemical reactions and processes of fruit and vegetable preservation and could suggest processes that will work with what I am trying to create. I am a artist that is working with fruits and vegetables who is trying to create vegetable and fruit paper bowls here are some examples:


I have done some research on line and I am still having problems understanding the preservation of the organic materials and color. I have looked into food storage and preservation techniques removing sugars, water, and microorganisms that cause browning. I have researched processes like brinning, curing, freeze drying, fermenting, dehumidifying, aging, and adding ascorbic acid. So far I have found one process that sort of worked with kiwis. I sliced the kiwis into thin flat slices with a mandolin slicer, I then arranged the slices overlapping them into a circular shape and placed it in between two pieces of paper towel. I then microwaved it for short periods of time each time replacing the moist paper towels to remove most of the water. Then I sandwiched it with newspapers and pressed it in between to large pieces of particle board with a cinder block on top for extra weight, similar to how you would press flowers. I changed out the wet paper with dry paper every day for about 4 days which seemed to press it into the mailable paper material I needed as well as taking the remaining moisture out of the kiwi. The microwave heating process seems to attach the slices together as well as get alot of the water out but it is only good for small bowls, it takes some of the color out, and it gives it a slightly cooked or wilted look.

I was thinking about trying a different process of brinning, which is boiling the fruit or vegetable slices in a part salt solution for 3-4 minutes and then shocking it by placing it in ice water which stops the cooking process, arrange the overlapping slices like I did before, then do one good press to get the majority of the water out and then press slowly like I did before. Also I was thinking about misting the shape with ascorbic acid after the initial first press.

I really need advice that can help me know what processes I should be using so that I can make this a success!

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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:59 am

Post by triton » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:01 pm

Hi, I'm not sure if I understand what you want but, did you try simply change the water for organic solvent that will evaporate? Fix the fruit with protein linking fixative like 2% paraformaldehyde or glutaraldehyde for several days. Put the fixed fruit into serie of organic solvent concentration gradient- 30% ethanol, 50% ethanol, 70% ethanol, 96% ethanol, xylene or acetone...evaporation. Keep the fruit for several hours in each solution. You will se what you get. Or alternatively, once water is changed for organic solvent, you can change organic solvent for some organic chemical that will solidify. For example hot paraffin. However, I'm not sure about colors-pigments could be washed away by organic solvents.

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