Preservation (Latin conservare "to preserve") means the extension of the shelf life of objects by reducing chemical ageing. Typically, products such as foodstuffs and luxury foods, for example wine, as well as medicines are preserved for a longer or shorter period of time with the help of preservatives and processes. Preservation prevents or at least delays the physical decomposition processes that occur, for example, through drying or swelling, as well as chemical decomposition processes such as oxidation and hydrolysis. In the case of biodegradable substances, autolysis and degradation by microorganisms such as putrefactive bacteria, mould and yeast fungi also take place. In viticulture, during the winemaking process from the vineyard to the wine cellar, there are various methods and means which, in the narrower and broader sense, serve to preserve and thus increase the shelf life of the wine in order to maintain its enjoyability without a noticeable loss of quality.
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