The procedure of food processing provides availability of many food products that we are not able to eat otherwise. Without this ‘food processing’ we undoubtedly, would not have that large variety of food products available in the market. This is only because of various food processing methods that our supermarkets and superstore shelves are full of those things which are available only for a particular season of the year. Food processing enables 365 days availability of almost all the food items. Frozen and canned fruits, vegetables and meat products are the best examples that define food processing. UHT milk and tinned ready-to-eat fish are other two examples that prove that nutritious food is also readily available as the result of food processing.
Varieties of methods used in food processing are also very helpful in increasing the safety and the quality of the food. Procedures such as heating foodstuff on relatively high temperature razes out bacteria, many types of additives added in processed food helps in cutting fats from certain food and also saves food from getting rotted by growth of fungus and bacteria. Super quality packaging helps food from tempering.
The other big advantage processed foods provide is convenience of getting food anytime, anywhere. One cannot imagine life without frozen food and canned fruits that makes a perfect mood for a Sunday breakfast. Following are some myths and facts connected with processed food.
MYTH: There is no nutrition available in processed food as available in natural food.
FACT: Many processed foods are even more nutritious than natural food. But all this depends on the way that particular food is processed. For example, green vegetables are harvested within hours of their harvesting. In this way, the loss of nutrients is minimal and these vegetables preserve their high content of vitamins and minerals. In natural way, vegetables are kept in open or in water for weeks before they are cooked. Hence, there is every possibility of them losing more and more nutrients than in processed way. Some food stuff such as wheat bread and breakfast food has extra nutrients for extra nutrition. This can't be said that processed food is less nutritious because in food processing industry, it is taken special care of.
MYTH: The additives and chemicals used as preservatives are not regulated and checked.
FACT: The fact is that these additives play an important role in keeping the freshness, safety, taste, color and texture of the food. The other fact is that these additives are included in food processing for some special reasons whether they are to guarantee their safety, to improve their nutritional value or to increase their taste and appearance. Additives such as anti-oxidants stops oil from getting changed into rancid and additives like emulsifiers restricts peanut butter from getting divided into solid and liquid parts. Food additives that are approved and permitted by authorities are used in food processing industry and a regulatory committee keeps a strict vigil on the amount and the types of those additives. It is also a rule in food processing industry throughout the world to list every ingredient used in processing of that particular food item.
Dagur Jonsson is the CEO of Libius Inc a company which provides an internet appropriation service to companies in the food processing industry like www.marelfoodsystems.com and www.marel.com