e. The Roman Food Supply System. The Romans became very adept at
curing and preserving meat products. They established slaughter facilities and meat
shops that were much superior to those found in any other part of the world. Julius
Caesar was able to supply his legions with meat and other food products because of the
efficient manner in which food was processed, stored, and distributed in Rome. It is
presumed that the conquest of Gaul was made possible by the logistical advantage held
by Julius Caesar. The Romans were able to engage in sustained combat, whereas the
Gauls had to disperse in small units after each engagement to obtain food supplies. A
system of supply such as the Gauls had did not enable them to face the Romans in
f. Honey. The Greeks and Romans used honey as a preservative. Honey was
also used in combination with vinegar and other ingredients. Honey, because of its high
sugar content, inhibited the growth of microorganisms, and imparted a desirable taste.
Honey, combined with vinegar, salt, and other ingredients, resulted in a sweet pickling
solution resembling our sweet pickling process used today.
a. Microbiology. Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms including
bacteria, rickettsiae, viruses, yeasts, molds, and protozoa. These organisms are too
small to be seen without the assistance of a microscope. They are also known as
microbes or microorganisms. One must have an understanding of basic microbiology in
order to take advantage of the beneficial actions of microorganisms and to counter their
undesirable effects. The preservation and curing of meats is nothing more than the
commercial adaptation of the knowledge of the nature, life, and actions of
microorganisms gained in the classroom and the laboratory. The microorganisms that
cause the problems in food spoilage are bacteria, yeasts, and molds.
b. Bacteriology. Bacteriology is the study of bacteria, and more specifically,
the study of the chemical and biological properties of bacteria.
c. Virology. Virology is the study of viruses.
d. Mycology. Mycology is the study of fungi, including yeasts, and molds.
e. The Potential of Hydrogen (pH). The potential of hydrogen (pH) is a
mathematical expression of the degree of acidity or alkalinity, ranging from 0 to 14, with
pH 7 as the neutral point. A pH below seven, indicates acidity and above seven,
alkalinity. Therefore, the lower the pH below 7, the greater the acidity; the higher the pH
above 7, the greater the alkalinity.
f. Pathogenic. Pathogenic is a term meaning disease producing.