Food processing is a type of industrial process that transforms raw materials either by chemical or physical means into food or other food forms. It combines raw food materials to produce food products that can be sold in the market which will be easy to prepare and served to the consumer.
Activities involved in Food Processing
Benefits of Food Processing
- It removes toxins
- It makes marketing and distribution easier
- It increases food consistency
- Many kinds of food are available all the time.
- Delicate and perishable food can be transported to far places
- It deactivates spoilage and pathogenic micro-organisms making the food safe to eat.
- It reduces the incidence of food borne disease.
- It improves the taste of food significantly.
- Mass production of food is much cheaper.
- Processed food save people time and energy preparing and cooking unprocessed food.
- It improves the quality of life for people who are diabetic and allergic because there are processed food that is free of sugar and other food-causing allergies.
- Vitamins and nutrients can be added to processed food.
Drawbacks of Food Processing
- Food Processing affects the nutritional density of natural food.
- Food additives are a great concern of food processing. There are health risks of any given additive that varies from people to people.
- The different processes involved in the mechanical process of food processing may introduce a number of contamination risks. Fragments of metal from metal containers may result in downstream equipment failure and create risk of ingestion by the consumer. However, most manufacturers today utilizes industrial metal detectors to detect and reject automatically any metal fragment.
There are new trends in modern processing. Manufacturers are reducing fat content from the final product by baking it instead of deep-frying in the production of processed food such as potato chips. They also lessens the user of artificial sweeteners to maintain the natural taste of the product. Government has endorsed standards and requires rigid application of these standards to minimize the risk and hazards of food processing. Processed food manufacturers use automation systems to reduce costs and will lead to more stable production results. Manufacturers also utilize more energy-saving technologies to save on the rising energy cost of keep fresh food frozen all the way from country to country.