Most foods are dangerous if consumed without proper processing. Food processing refers to numerous operations that involve making raw foodstuffs viable for consumption, cooking, or storage. They include multiple forms of procedures that range from cleaning to peeling. In the massive manufacturing of food, food processing involves the application of science and principles of technology in the preservation of foods by decreasing the decaying process (Neetoo, and Chen 2014). It permits modifications to the food quality to be produced in a foreseeable and regulated manner. Also, it utilizes the inventive prospect of the equipment to alter the essential uncooked supplies into a wide variety of delicious and attractive food items, providing an exciting variety in the consumers’ diet. It would not be possible to sustain the requirements of the urban population, and the range of food items may be restricted by seasonality.
In recent years, ingredients have served useful functions in a wide range of foods. For instance, ancient people used salt in the preservation of foodstuffs such as white and red meat, herbs, and other spices to improve the foods’ flavor and conserving vegetables in a solution that contained vinegar. Nowadays, a majority of consumers request and enjoy a supply of food items that is nutritious, secure, suitable, and wide-ranging. It is achieved through food additives and technological advances (Wilkinson, 2012). Food processing may result in developments in or destruction to the nutritive significance of foodstuffs, occasionally together at a similar duration, and it can assist in the preservation of nutrients that would then be lost during storage.
The importance of food processing, and explicitly, the procedures and elements developed by scientific and technological methodologies, on the sort of foods and the condition of an individual’s well-being, is normally devalued. However, it is essential to remember that food processing has been in existence for many centuries. It is apparent in the global and state guidelines and policies considered to mend the populace well-being, in nutritive commendations, and unrestricted guidelines and acts directed by such recommendations. Recent reports by the World Health organization listed various processed foods that are commonly consumed as well as drinks that are associated with the increase in various health defects.
Nova Classification System
The NOVA organization scheme is a popular technique that classifies all foodstuffs under the characteristics, scope, and objective of the streamlined procedure that they go through. They involve substantial, organic, and biochemical methods employed after the foods are detached from the environment and before consumption (Monteiro et., al 2018). The grouping technique classifies all foodstuffs into four alignments.
Unprocessed and Minimally Processed Foods
The food items comprise of palatable sections of plants or animals such as fruits, stems, eggs, and milk, respectively. While minimally processed food items are considered as the natural foodstuffs that have marginally changed for the critical objective of preservation but do not change the nourishing aspect of the product (Monteiro et.,2010). Instances include washing and getting rid of indigestible sections, crushing, freezing, heat treatment, fermentation, and vacuum packing. It permits the storage of food for a longer duration and still be safe for consumption
Processed Culinary Ingredients
Food elements derivative from nominally manufactured items through pressuring, filtering, crushing, or granulating. They are characteristically not consumed alone but utilized in preparing nominally processed food (Monteiro et., al 2016). For instance, fats from vegetation, seeds, or dredge and kinds of pasta generated from granules. Nearly all techniques employed in the manufacture of processed cooking elements are initially antique. However, they are now manufacturing merchandise aimed at making long-lasting foodstuffs appropriate for home use, in restaurants and kitchen canteens for preparation, seasoning, and cooking freshly prepared meals.
The processed food items encompass foodstuffs from the previous groups, whereby there is an addition of saline, sugar, or margarine. Preserved fruits and greens, some cheese, and freshly baked dough are a few illustrations of processed foodstuffs. These types of nourishments are generally prepared by using two or three components and may be suitable for consumption without any additional preparation methods (Weaver et., al 2014). The food processing in this group increases the durability of the food items in the first group or enriches the sensual merits. They may be over-used like the processed culinary ingredients and also result in nutritious meals if used sparingly. Additionally, the density of energy is lower as compared to readily prepared foods.
Ultra Processed Foods
These foodstuffs are conceived to be originations of components, regularly of personal manufacturing usage, characteristically produced by a sequence of industrialized methods and procedures. These nutriments may partly substitute minimally processed foods in a majority of individual’s diets. However, not all ultra-processed are said to be low in fibre and nutrients. A recent survey by the National Health and Nutrition in the United States discovered ultra-processed items consist of approximately sixty percent of entire calories in the diet of United States citizens (Mendonça et., al 2016). A linkage has been discovered between the upsurges in the sale of ultra-processed foodstuffs in addition to rising cases of stoutness.
Methods of Processing
Food processing entails traditional processes such as heat treatment, fermentation, conserving, burning, and dehydrating (Earle, 2013). On the other hand, modern methods include pasteurization, ultra-heat treatment, processing using high-pressure, and improved atmosphere wrapping.
The process involves heating the food and rapidly cooling down to get rid of the micro-organisms (Vegara et., al 2013). For instance, raw milk is likely to contain harmful bacteria that may result in foodborne ailments. Pasteurizing the liquid on a large amenity or boiling at home is vital in ensuring that the milk is safe for consumption. Aside from being utilized for dairy products, the process of pasteurizing is regularly used in preserving canned food commodities, liquids such as juice and distilled drinks.
Additives play a vital part in maintaining the cleanliness, sense of taste, impression, and quality of the manufactured foodstuffs. The addition of additives is done for specific, which entails ensuring food safety and maintaining the value of items during the shelf life of a product. According to Hudson (2012), additives such as antioxidants helping in preventing fats and oils from being bad, whereas the preservers assist in reducing the development of microorganisms such as the bread mold. Emulsifiers are utilized, in this case, in the improvement of the mayonnaise texture, or preventing salad coverings against splitting into water and fat.
Modified Air Packaging
To maintain the freshness of food items without condiments is a colossal task. One primary knowledge for attaining this objective is sealing the food products in a pack that encompasses a combination of natural gases in prudently regulated quantities that considerably decrease the decaying process by obstructing oxidation processes and the growth of micro-organisms (Guillard et., al 2010). This is the principle of modified atmosphere packaging: the environment in which the foodstuffs are wrapped is improved so that wastage is distinctly moderated and increasing the validity of the product. The variety of foodstuff to be packaged dictates the type and proportionality of the gas.
The process entails the sugar breakdown by microorganisms, molds, or additional forms of bacteria under anaerobic environments. Therefore, it denotes that oxygen is not required for the method to be conducted aside from the availability of oxygen in sugar (Stanbury Whitaker and Hall, 2013). The procedure is mainly employed in the manufacture of distilled drinks that include lilac, cocktails, and cider. Also, it is used to preserve food items such as sauerkraut, dehydrated sausages, and yogurt, even including inflating the dough in the making of bread.
In food processing, freezing is a technique for the preservation of foodstuffs by decreasing the temperature levels in order to restrict the development of microbes. The freezing method provides an excellent process of maintaining the quality of nutrients in food items (James Purnell and James, 2015). The nutrient loss is rather low at subfreezing temperatures for the typical storage duration utilized in commercial trade aspects. The freezing process can be used in the preservation of a wide range of food crops such as fruits, farm harvests, fish, and readily prepared meals.
Effect of food processing methods on food
Food processing techniques, such as refrigeration, helps in the preservation of nutrients that naturally exist in foodstuffs. Other processes, such as preparation through cooking, help in improving the nutritional value by guaranteeing the availability of more nutrients (Karmas, and Harris, 2012). For instance, food preparation and tinning tomatoes to prepare tomato paste make the bioactive component lycopene extra available to the body. However, according to some studies, Lycopene contains specific properties of an antioxidant that reduces the dangers of various cancer.
A majority of the processing methods guarantee the safety of food items by decreasing the rate of dangerous microbes that may result in ailments. Drying and pickling decrease the availability of water responsible for the growth of bacteria, therefore altering the foods’ pH levels restricting pathogenic growth and spoilage micro-organisms and retard reactions by enzymes (Van Boekel et., al 2010). During processing, some fats are rationally constant. On the other hand, unsaturated oily acids are inclined to oxidation and rancidity throughout the storage procedure. The use of improved atmosphere packing, antioxidants and sterilized wrapping may result in a remarkably enhanced storage duration, therefore easing these apprehensions.
A range of foodstuffs is now enhanced with vitamins and minerals as a measure of public health. According to Mourouti et., al (2015), readily prepared mealtime cereals regularly contain additional iron. They are viewed as one of the critical sources of iron in women’s nutrition since their consumption of red meat has plunged. Deficiency of iron is one of the significant nutritional deficit worries in Europe, negatively affecting up to 30% of women (Alexander et., al 2010). Some nations are fortifying Mealtime cereals and flour with folic acid as a way of increasing the folate eminence in ladies that have attained the age of bearing a child. It is from the detection that low folate position during the prenatal period is linked to the increased danger of defects such as spine Bifida in unborn kids.
Health implications resulting from consumption of ultra-processed foods
Food items such as carbonated drinks, sausages, chicken nuggets, and noodles possess a small nutritious significance and high density of energy. Similarly, in recent years, the mode of nutrition in most nations has moved towards an intense upsurge in the intake of manufactured items (Monteiro et., al 2019). Food stuffs are considered to be convenient, safe, and very much eatable after going through organic and biochemical procedures. However, recent studies indicate that adverse health effects due to the intake of these products have rapidly increased.
Eating ultra-processed items is linked to a surge in the threats of cardiac diseases and mortality. In a survey conducted by French researchers, they assessed the risk connected to the intake of manufactured food items and cardiovascular ailments in approximately 105,000 grownups. Following an amendment for numerous variables, persons in the uppermost quartile had twenty-five, twenty-two, and twenty-five percent more significant threats for contracting the disease, coronary heart diseases, and cerebrovascular diseases (Srour et al. 2019). This is compared to people in the lowermost quartile for the period of an average of five years. Furthermore, in a prospective Spanish survey, scholars surveyed twenty thousand graduates. At a regular continuation of ten years, according to Julia et., al (2018), partakers in the uppermost quartile of the ingestion faced a sixty-two percent greater threat for all-cause demise than individuals in the bottommost quartile.
Another potential health risk associated with the intake is the increased threat of cancers (Fiolet et., al 2018). Foremost, the foods frequently have a level of over-all fat content, saturated fatty acids with an inferior concentration of fiber and vitamins. A 10 percent growth in the intake was linked to a substantial upsurge of more than ten percent in threats of general and cancer of the breast (Rico-Campà et al. 2019). Further, than nutritive conformation, neoformed toxins, several of which contain cancer-causing aspects, are existent in temperature preserved processed food foodstuffs due to the Maillard effect (Latino-Martel et., al 2016). Furthermore, the wrapping of ultra-processed nourishments may comprise several resources into touching base with foods for which oncogenic along with endocrine disruptor features have been hypothesized, for instance, bisphenol-A.
How processed food may fit into a healthy diet.
A hale and hearty nutrition denote consumption of an assortment of nourishing meals from diverse food groups, comprising fresh fruits and greens, smidgeons and cereals, proteins, milk, and healthful fatty substances (Monteiro et.,2019). Most diets eaten today are processed in any case to some extent, but not all manufactured foodstuffs are similar. For instance, fruit preserved in fruit liquid may turn out to be a healthier choice than fruit preserved in a sweetened sauce. Consequently, when mindfully selected, processed foods can be integrated into healthful and balanced nutrition.
Foods that are processed at a minimal level, such as ice-covered fruits and greens, offer invaluable nutritional sources, with better accessibility and lower amount. Sliced, ice-covered, and preserved items in natural liquids or water, are consequently better options for people full of activities having short intervals to go shopping or prepare from a garden-fresh harvest (Sarwar et., al 2015). However, several processed foods that have a low amount of fiber, and a higher concentration of fatty components, extra sugar, and saline, are effectively consumed sporadically. For instance, conserved flavorsome diets and preserved animal protein are frequently soaring in salt levels. The World Cancer Research Fund directs individuals to munch fewer quantities of manufactured meat products like pork, salami, bacon, and several sausages, as well as hot-dogs and chorizo.