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Food processing

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Food processing is the methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food for consumption by humans.

Food processing takes clean, havested or slaughtered and butchered components and uses these to produce attractive and marketable food products. Similar process are used to produce animal feed.

Contents

Examples

Following are common food processing techniques:

  • removal of unwanted outer layers (Potato peeling, skinning of Peaches etc.)
  • Chopping or slicing - (chips, diced carrot, candied peel etc)
  • Mincing and macerating (minced meat, minced chestnut etc.).
  • Liquefaction - (fruit juice etc.)
  • Emulsifying (mayonnaise, ice cream , low fat margarine etc.)
  • Cooking (boiling, frying, steaming, grilling etc.)
  • Mixing (cake mixes, soup mixes etc.)
  • Addition of gas - (air entrainment for bread, gasification of soft drinks etc.)
  • Proving - (for yeast based products to develop taste and volume )

Extreme examples of food processing include the delicate preparation of deadly fugu fish, preparing space food for consumption under zero gravity, wine making, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets.

History

Prehistoric food processing incorporated slaughtering, various types of cooking (over fires, smoking, steaming, oven baking), fermenting, and preserving with salt.

More recently the field has expanded to include techniques such as canning (invented by Nicolas Appert), pickling, pasteurization, and packaging.

Benefits

Benefits of food processing includes toxin removal, preservation, improving flavor, marketing, distribution, and increasing food consistency.

Proponents of the raw food diet advocate consumption of foods prepared with very little food processing.

See also

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