Why does food spoil

Why Does Food Spoil and How to Prevent?

Protein, fat, water, carbohydrates, etc. are naturally found in the structure of foods. Food spoilage occurs as a result of damage to the structures of substances due to external factors. Food spoilage is the changes in the taste, appearance and smell of foods that we can understand with our sense organs. Consuming a spoiled nutrients can seriously damage our health. Since each person’s body resistance and immune system are different, it causes different reactions in people who consume spoiled food. While some people who consume spoiled food feel fewer health problems, some people may encounter much more serious health problems.

Food Spoil

Food Spoilage

Food (food) spoilage is a situation that increases with the increase in air temperatures. With the effect of increasing temperature values, spoilage such as souring, smelling and rotting may occur more quickly in foods. Many reasons such as temperature, humidity, microorganisms, acidity & Ph values of foods, insects, light (sunlight), pesticides, and storage conditions affect the deterioration of nutrients. In addition, the amount of water in the natural structure of foods increases or decreases the resistance to deterioration.

Food spoilage is divided into groups within itself;

Physical Deterioration

It is a type of deterioration caused by external factors such as temperature, humidity, wind, sunlight. It is the foods that are exposed to these effects for a long time. Physically spoiled foods become shrivelled and discoloured. In addition, physical deterioration in foods is a situation that can occur during the harvest, transportation and storage stages. According to the data of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), physical deterioration occurs at a rate of 25-50% during the time that nutrients reach the consumer.

Chemical Decays

It occurs when nutrients come into contact with oxygen in the air. For example, if the cut vegetables and fruits are left open for a long time, darkening in colour, changes in smell and taste occur. Foods left in an open environment for a long time without being in contact with oxygen become unusable and unconsumable. The colour change (browning) that occurs in foods is also called the “Maillard Reaction”. At the same time, rancidity in oils can be given as an example of chemical deterioration.

Microbiological Deterioration

It is a type of deterioration that occurs through bacteria, moulds and yeasts. The toxin they produce (release) causes deterioration and is the most dangerous type of deterioration for our health. After microorganisms find the appropriate temperature and humidity environment, they can first start to consume the proteins in the structures of foodstuffs and multiply.

Since the favourite nutrient of microorganisms is protein, the more protein there is in a nutrient, the more likely it is to spoil microbiologically. Consumption of microbiologically spoiled food can cause food poisoning (toxin-induced). Microorganisms can contaminate food with many sources: air, water, soil, human, animal, tools-equipment, packages and so on.

What are the fastest spoiled foods?

  • Meat and meat products
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Soft Fruits
  • Eggs and egg products

Foods That Are Most Resistant To Spoil Under Suitable Storage Conditions

  • Vinegar
  • salt and sugar
  • Rice and pasta groups
  • Dry beans
  • Honey
  • Alcoholic beverages

No matter what kind of food has been spoiled for whatever reason, a spoiled nutrient does not have any nutritional properties, on the contrary, it has harmful effects on our health. 

Did you know you can report a food problem to the government?

How do we slow down food decaying and improve shelf life?

Shelf life is the time duration of the food, throughout which the food quality and its nutrients stay intact, fresh, and safe to consume. In the food manufacturing industry, shelf-life plays a major role in determining the quality of the food. Where in the industry, the food is continuously exposed to the fluctuating environment, it usually loses its shelf life; therefore, it is crucial to conduct regular shelf life evaluations.

decayed food

Companies often use several methods to extend the shelf life of their products, such as processing methods, disinfection, temperature, chemical use, and modified atmosphere. Let’s focus on disinfection.

Today, thanks to the development of technology and research, disinfection has many methods in itself. However, we will highlight one method that stands out regarding effect, ease of application and cost, Germicidal UV Light (UVC).

UVC technology is widely used in food production environments, to achieve quality improvements and to control hygiene during every process.

Contamination control is the primary step to reaching high-quality standards, in every single food production phase. Good hygiene practices satisfy HACCP regulations and, at the same time, allow profit optimization thank food product shelf-life improvement and general quality enhancement.


UVGI method maintains ideal hygienic conditions in food processing environments, both in the presence in absence of employees and all the different phases of production activities. You can also disinfect food processing equipment with UV-C Disinfection boxes and cabinets


Our expert team work with both big and small food industries, from production to distribution, obtaining always great results. We will help you to choose the best product between our complete range of over 300 different models offering you the custom solution that will satisfy your needs.


UVGI eliminates: bacteria, viruses, spores, fungi, moulds and mites, without creating resistant forms as chemical disinfectants and antibiotics do usually. It ensures the safety and quality of food products enhancing their shelf-life.


UVGI devices interact with cleaning operations improving their effectiveness. and do not require special maintenance, they need periodic lamp replacement.


It requires little time to achieve a microbial reduction of over 99%. UVGI treatment, unlike ionizing radiation (gamma rays), does not have to be indicated on the food product label.

Request Information

Contact us to get information about our solutions, application details and price information.