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Encyclopedia > Food processing

Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food for consumption by humans or animals. The food processing industry utilizes these processes. Food processing often takes clean, harvested or slaughtered and butchered components and uses these to produce attractive and marketable food products. Similar process are used to produce animal feed. This article is about ingredients in general. ... In general terms, eating (formally, ingestion) is the process of consuming something edible, i. ... This article is about modern humans. ... The food industry is the complex, global collective of diverse businesses that together supply much of the food energy consumed by the world population. ... Look up Harvest in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Slaughter is the term used to describe the killing and butchering of domestic livestock. ... Butcher shop in Valencia A butcher is someone who prepares various meats and other related goods for sale. ... Next big thing redirects here. ... In agriculture, fodder or animal feed is any foodstuff that is used specifically to feed livestock, such as cattle, sheep, chickens and pigs. ...


Food processing methods

Common food processing techniques include: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 278 KB) Inside a fermenting tank. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 278 KB) Inside a fermenting tank. ... For other uses, see Beer (disambiguation). ... Fermentation in progress Fermentation typically refers to the conversion of sugar to alcohol using yeast. ... Kettles in a modern Trappist brewery A brewery can be a building or place that produces beer, or a business (brewing company) whose trade is the production and sale of beer. ...

Extreme examples of food processing include the delicate preparation of deadly fugu fish or preparing space food for consumption under zero gravity. For other uses, see Potato (disambiguation). ... Binomial name (L.) Batsch Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. ... This article is about the cultivated vegetable. ... Mincing is a cooking technique in which food ingredients are finely divided. ... Juice is the liquid naturally contained in plants. ... For other uses, see Fermentation. ... Kettles in a modern Trappist brewery A brewery can be a building or place that produces beer, or a business (brewing company) whose trade is the production and sale of beer. ... An emulsion is a mixture of two immiscible substances. ... Cooking is the act of preparing food. ... Boiling, a type of phase transition, is the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which typically occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid is equal to the pressure exerted on the liquid by the surrounding atmospheric pressure. ... Wikibooks Cookbook has more about this subject: Broiling Broiling is a process of cooking food with high heat with the heat applied directly to the food, most commonly from above. ... Plantains frying in vegetable oil. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Food cooking on a charcoal grill Grilling is a form of cooking that involves direct heat. ... A Deep-fried Twinkie Deep-frying is a cooking method whereby food is submerged in hot oil or fat. ... Some examples of baked food. ... Audio mixing is used in sound recording, audio editing and sound systems to balance the relative volume and frequency content of a number of sound sources. ... For other uses, see Bread (disambiguation). ... For the water carbonator, see Gasogene. ... A soft drink is a drink that contains no alcohol. ... Challah proofing in loaf pans. ... Spray drying is the process of mixing and drying a slurry (a kind of suspension) to form a homogeneous mixture of powders. ... Pasteurization (or pasteurisation) is the process of heating liquids for the purpose of destroying viruses and harmful organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, molds, and yeasts. ... Fuku redirects here. ... Astronauts on the International Space Station display an example of weightlessness Weightlessness is the experience (by people and objects) during freefall, of having no weight. ...


More and more people live in the cities and are far away from the production areas of food. In many families both husband and wife are working and therefore there is little time for the preparation of food based on fresh ingredients. The food industry offers products that fulfill many different needs: From peeled potatoes that only have to be boiled at home to fully prepared ready meals that can be heated up in the microwave oven within a few minutes. For other uses, see Potato (disambiguation). ... A ready meal is a meal that requires very little preparation and contains all the elements of the course in one package. ... Microwave oven A microwave oven, or microwave, is a kitchen appliance employing microwave radiation primarily to cook or heat food. ...

Microwave oven
Microwave oven

Benefits of food processing include toxin removal, preservation, easing marketing and distribution tasks, and increasing food consistency. In addition, it increases seasonal availability of many foods, enables transportation of delicate perishable foods across long distances, and makes many kinds of foods safe to eat by removing the micro-organisms. Modern supermarkets would not be feasible without modern food processing techniques, long voyages would not be possible, and military campaigns would be significantly more difficult and costly to execute. A combined microwave and fan-assisted oven. ... A combined microwave and fan-assisted oven. ... Packaged food aisles in a Fred Meyer store in Portland, Oregon A supermarket is a departmentalized self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise. ...

Modern food processing also improves the quality of life for allergists, diabetics, and other people who cannot consume some common food elements. Food processing can also add extra nutrients such as vitamins. Allergy is an abnormal reaction to a substance foreign to the body that is acquired, predictable and rapid. ... This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ... Retinol (one vitamer of Vitamin A) A vitamin is an organic compound required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by an organism. ...

Processed foods are often less susceptible to early spoilage than fresh foods, and are better suited for long distance transportation from the source to the consumer. Fresh materials, such as fresh produce and raw meats, are more likely to harbour pathogenic micro-organisms (e.g. Salmonella) capable of causing serious illnesses. Consumers refers to individuals or households that use goods and services generated within the economy. ... Produce on display at La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Spain. ...


In general, fresh food that has not been processed other than by washing and simple kitchen preparation, may be expected to contain a higher proportion of naturally occurring vitamins, fibre and minerals than the equivalent product processed by the food industry. Vitamin C for example is destroyed by heat and therefore canned fruits have a lower content of vitamin C than fresh ones. This article is about the nutrient. ...

Tate & Lyle brand Corn Syrup being moved by tank car
Tate & Lyle brand Corn Syrup being moved by tank car

Food processing can lower the nutritional value of foods. Processed foods tend to include food additives, such as flavourings and texturizers, which may have little or no nutritive value, or be unhealthy. Some preservatives added or created during processing such as nitrites or sulphites may cause adverse health effects. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1016 × 762 pixel, file size: 106 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Tank car of Tate & Lyle brand corn syrup passes through Lafayette, Indiana. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1016 × 762 pixel, file size: 106 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Tank car of Tate & Lyle brand corn syrup passes through Lafayette, Indiana. ... A tin of Lyles Golden Syrup Tate & Lyle PLC is a UK based multinational food manufacturer and is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TATE. It is a major producer of refined sugar, starches, animal feed and other food ingredients with global operations. ... A modern tank car, owned by the Union Tank Car Company, passes westbound through Rochelle Railroad Park, Rochelle, Illinois on May 29, 2005. ...

Processed foods often have a higher ratio of calories to other essential nutrients than unprocessed foods, a phenomenon referred to as "empty calories". Most junk foods are processed, and fit this category.

High quality and hygiene standards must be maintained to ensure consumer safety and failures to maintain adequate standards can have serious health consequences.

Processing food is a very costly process, thus increasing the prices of foods products.

Performance parameters for food processing

When designing processes for the food industry the following performance parameters may be taken into account:

  • Hygiene, e.g. measured by number of micro-organisms per ml of finished product
  • Energy consumption, measured e.g. by “ton of steam per ton of sugar produced”
  • Minimization of waste, measured e.g. by “percentage of peeling loss during the peeling of potatoes'
  • Labour used, measured e.g. by ”number of working hours per ton of finished product”
  • Minimization of cleaning stops measured e.g. by “number of hours between cleaning stops”

Hygiene refers to practices associated with ensuring good health and cleanliness. ... Energy consumption is a measure of the rate of energy use such as fuels or electricity. ...

Trends in modern food processing


  • Reduction of fat content in final product e.g. by using baking instead of deep-frying in the production of potato chips
  • Maintaining the natural taste of the product e.g. by using less artificial sweetener.

Some examples of baked food. ... A Deep fried Twinkie Breaded, deep-fried squid Deep frying is a cooking method whereby food is submerged in hot oil or fat. ... Saratoga chips Potato chips (British English or Hiberno-English: crisps) are slim slices of potatoes deep fried or baked until crisp. ...


The introduction of HACCP standards during production and distribution reduce the risk of contamination of the products. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a systematic method used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCPs), can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realised. ...


  • Rising energy costs lead to increasing usage of energy-saving technologies[1], e.g. frequency converters on electrical drives, heat insulation of factory buildings and heated vessels, energy recovery systems
  • Factory automation systems (often Distributed control systems) reduce personnel costs and may lead to more stable production results

A distributed control system (DCS) refers to a control system usually of a manufacturing system, process or any kind of dynamic system, in which the controller elements are not central in location (like the brain) but are distributed throughout the system with each component sub-system controlled by one or...


Food processing industries and practices include the following:

Canning is a method of preserving food by first heating it to a temperature that destroys contaminating microorganisms, and then sealing it in air-tight jars, cans or pouches. ... Industrial rendering is a factory-scale process that uses slaughterhouse waste, restaurant grease, and butcher shop trimmings as its raw materials. ... ... For the Batman villain, see Abattoir (comics). ... This article is about sugar as food and as an important and widely-traded commodity. ...

Prominent Companies

The Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), based in Decatur, Illinois, operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into numerous products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide. ... Cargill, Incorporated is a privately held, multinational corporation, and is based in the state of Minnesota in the United States. ... ConAgra Foods, Inc. ... General Mills (NYSE: GIS) is a Fortune 500 corporation, mainly concerned with food products, which is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. ... Kraft Foods Inc. ... This article is about the company. ... Pescanova is the world leading fishing company situated in Redondela, Galicia, Spain having port of Vigo as base of operations. ... Tyson Foods, Inc. ... Unilever is a widely listed [2] [3] multi-national corporation, formed of Anglo-Dutch parentage, that owns many of the worlds consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. ... Wimm Bill Dann is one of Europes biggest dairy products companies. ...


Food processing dates back to the prehistoric ages when crude processing incorporated slaughtering, fermenting, sun drying, preserving with salt, and various types of cooking (such as roasting, smoking, steaming, and oven baking). Salt-preservation was especially common for foods that constituted warrior and sailors' diets, up until the introduction of canning methods. These crude processing techniques remained essentially the same until the advent of the industrial revolution. In its strictest sense fermentation (scientifically called zymosis) is the energy-yielding anaerobic metabolic breakdown of a nutrient molecule, such as glucose, without net oxidation. ... This article is about common table salt. ... Cooking is the act of preparing food. ... For other uses, see Canning (disambiguation). ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ...

Preserved food.
Preserved food.

Modern food processing technology in the 19th and 20th century was largely developed to serve military needs. In 1809 Nicolas Appert invented a vacuum bottling technique that would supply food for French troops, and this contributed to the development of tinning and then canning by Peter Durand in 1810. Although initially expensive and somewhat hazardous due to the lead used in cans, canned goods would later become a staple around the world. Pasteurization, discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1862, was a significant advance in ensuring the micro-biological safety of food. Image File history File linksMetadata Pudliszki-wyroby. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Pudliszki-wyroby. ... Year 1809 (MDCCCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... Nicolas François Appert (1750 - 1840-41?): French inventor of airtight food preservation. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1810 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Pasteurization (or pasteurisation) is the process of heating liquids for the purpose of destroying viruses and harmful organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, molds, and yeasts. ... Louis Pasteur (December 27 1822 – September 28, 1895) was a French chemist and microbiologist best known for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease. ... This article is about 1862 . ...

In the 20th century, World War II, the space race and the rising consumer society in developed countries (including the United States) contributed to the growth of food processing with such advances as spray drying, juice concentrates, freeze drying and the introduction of artificial sweeteners, colorants, and preservatives such as sodium benzoate and saccharine. In the late 20th century products such as dried instant soups, reconstituted fruits and juices, and self cooking meals such as MRE food ration were developed. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For a list of key events, see Timeline of space exploration. ... Spray drying is the process of mixing and drying a slurry (a kind of suspension) to form a homogeneous mixture of powders. ... Freeze drying (also known as Lyophilization) is a dehydration process typically used to preserve a perishable material, or to make the material more convenient for transport. ... Sodium benzoate (E211), also called benzoate of soda, has chemical formula C6H5COONa. ... Saccharin is the oldest artificial sweetener; it was discovered in 1879 by Ira Remsen and Constantine Fahlberg of Johns Hopkins University. ... An MRE packet, containing a main course or entrée of spaghetti with meat sauce. ...

Because the 20th century witnessed a rise in the pursuit of convenience, food processors especially marketed their products to middle-class working wives and mothers. Frozen foods (often credited to Clarence Birdseye) found their success in sales of juice concentrates and Swanson's "TV dinners". [2] Processors utilized the perceived value of time to appeal to the postwar population, and this same appeal contributes to the success of convenience foods today. This article or section should include material from One-Hour Thanksgiving Dinner. ...

See also

Various preserved foods Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food in such a way as to stop or greatly slow down spoilage to prevent foodborne illness while maintaining nutritional value, density, texture and flavor. ... Food caches, Hooper Bay, Alaska, 1929. ... Farming, ploughing rice paddy, in Indonesia Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fiber and other desired products by cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals (livestock). ... For general information about the genus, including other species of cattle, see Bos. ... For the computer security term, see Phishing. ...

External links

  • Food processing Faraday
  • Foodprocessing Informational Website
  • Hyfoma Food processing and manufacturing knowledge Portal
  • Institute of Food Technologists
  • How to choose a food processor
  • Food Processing Technology
  • U.S. association of suppliers to the global food, beverage and pharmaceutical processing industries

Other sources

  • Fábricas de alimentos, 9th edition (in Spanish)
  • Nutritional evaluation of food processing,
  • Food preservation 2nd edition, by Normal W. Desrosier


  1. ^ STAC - Project Information Center - 03-STAC-01 - Western U. S. Food Processing Efficiency Initiative
  2. ^ Levenstein, H: "Paradox of Plenty", pages 106-107. University of California Press, 2003
Food Portal

  Results from FactBites:
Food Processing (1914 words)
Food processing’s earnings trend over the last quarter of a century reveals an industry with rather steady relative earnings growth except for the long period in the 1980s that was triggered by severe national recessions.
The seasonal nature of food processing and the skill requirements are further illustrated by a profile of average hourly wages.
Food processing is slated, however, to recover during the next century with modest employment growth of 0.3 percent per annum between 2000 and 2020.
Food Processing (2729 words)
Food processing workers are highly susceptible to repetitive strain injuries to hands, wrists, and elbows.
Food processing workers are found in all States, although some sectors of the industry are concentrated in certain parts of the country.
In 1998, about 23 percent of workers in the food processing industry belonged to a union or were covered by a union contract, compared to 15.4 percent of all workers in the private sector.
  More results at FactBites »



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